10X How To Save Money When You Love To Spend

April 16, 2020

How To Save Money When You Love To Spend

I didn't want this to be a post where I talk about why saving is important or where I insinuate that saving is easy because it's not. I simply wanted to create a list with tips that might be helpful to those of you who like shopping and are interested in some new ideas on how to possibly save some money. I've been a spender my whole life. Growing up I didn't have much which meant that as soon as I had some money it would all be gone in a matter of days. I was fine with it and had made peace with the fact I wasn't able to buy or do anything else until I worked again or got some pocket money. When I compare that to my lifestyle now - I'm still a spender but I'm also a planner. Ironically enough, I found myself a partner who is also a spender. Yes, we were double trouble for a while, but those days are over now. No more spending money on things we don't need or think we need. Here's a list I compiled of everything I like to do, to keep tabs on my finances while still being the spending queen I like to be.

1. Adopt a minimalist lifestyle

A few years back I started minimising all of my belongings and the relief was so great that I haven't looked back since. I had way too much furniture, way too many clothes, too much makeup, I was bulk buying too much food and my mental health and my house were a mess. I was keeping boxes that had nothing in them because they were pretty, I had linens laying around I'd never use because it was either ugly or old. I purged everything. I donated and sold all the stuff I wasn't using. Even if I liked the item but hadn't worn or used it in ages, I got rid of it. After that, I finally had a clear overview of what I actually wanted in my home. There's not one item that's gone that I miss. I'm a lot more conscious now when I shop. I want to keep my house nice and tidy, I want to keep a small closet and I plan my meals once a week to make sure I don't over buy or produce a lot of food waste. I saved so much money planning meals, I could't quite believe it. I didn't realise just how much I spent on food or how much take out I ordered. Planning and minimising really is a money saver.

2. Find your style

You'd be surprised about how much money you can save if you actually know what you want. Easier said than done, I agree, but when it comes to home, beauty and fashion expenses knowing your sense of style really will make a difference. Make mood boards, make favorites' lists and wish lists. Get to know yourself. You'll stop spending money on items you think you want and you'll start focusing on what makes you look and feel amazing. Fashion wise I have a standard uniform, I wear jeans, a cute top and depending on the weather something to keep me warm. I don't like layers, I don't like complicated outfits, I like simple, straightforward clothing and I like neutral colors. My makeup is very much the same, my main focus being skin and brows. I know which colors suit me and I know how I like to blend my stuff. I no longer buy into makeup trends. I stick to what I know works and make sure I purchase my most used items when there's a sale.

3. Choose basics over trends

Speaking about trends, those are something I try to avoid as much as I possibly can. It's easy to give into to the craze but is it really worth it in the end? No, it's only the initial rush of having the product in your hands that is so satisfying, afterwards it will simply sit in one of your drawers, never to be looked at again. Most trends aren't worth the hype. Cult products and basics are things you want to invest in as they are a lot more sustainable in the long run. Trends isn't what makes a style, trends die, style isn't going anywhere.

4. Activate roundups on your bank card

My bank offers a service called 'easy save', where with every single bank transaction it rounds up the amount you paid to the next euro and transfers the difference immediately to your savings account. For example: spend €2.50 save €0.50, I save up to almost €5 every week by using a service like this, it's pretty amazing and it feels very rewarding. Check if you bank offers something similar. It's like having your spare change in a piggy bank, instead it's on your card already.

5. Differentiate your wants & needs

Write down what you would like to buy and get an overview of what you need versus what you simply want. Find a balance and figure what is worth splurging on and what isn't. I find that making a list of everything I have an eye on at the moment, while adding up all the prices, helps me to be a lot more rational about the way I spend my money. Some expenses you might want to consider moving to next month. Knowing what to prioritise is key. Stop buying items you simply don't have room for in your home. If your house is a mess, it's time to clear out some stuff and reassess your belongings. Keep it to the essentials, stocking up on product might save you some money in the future but it prevents you from buying other things in the present moment that you might need.

6. Admit that your shopping behaviour is predictable

Think about it, you always walk into the same stores, check the same websites and buy the same kind of items. Are you due for a trip to the hairdresser? Are you a book lover? Fashion addict? Do you love doing groceries? Do you like travelling? Is your expensive serum almost finished? Your foundation? You already know what you're going to spend your money on so why not keep track of your expenses and make a list, set a weekly or even limited budget. 

7. There's a discount code for every damn holiday (even imaginary ones)

Sales are actually really easy to foresee. Every single time there's a holiday, a bank holiday or a made up holiday, I can absolutely guarantee you every single online shop will have a discount code available. I don't remember the last time I paid full price for any of the clothing items I wear or the makeup products I use. While I don't recommend subscribing to newsletters (more about that later) making favorites' lists on your most frequented websites will allow you to have a full overview of the items that you like and see which ones are on sale. My favorite drugstore for example, I know for a fact has sales nearly every Sunday. Online stores also have sales way more often than physical stores do. There's no need for buying full price, being patient and waiting for weekend or holiday discounts always pays off.

8. Sign out from newsletters

This is where things often go wrong when you try to save. You signed up to use a discount code and now you keep receiving these emails. You've been made aware of a flash sale and all you want to do is take advantage of the opportunity, even though your bank account might not necessarily agree. You'll end up spending money on something you probably don't need and won't care about in a few weeks. Sign out of those newsletters because fact is: there's always going to be another sale and from my experience there are (online) sales literally every week. It's actually kind of exhausting. Sign out and save yourself that flash sale shopping craving you didn't have in the first place.

9. Plan your expenses

An easier way to plan your expenses is to use the 50/20/30 budgeting rule - this is a rule where 50% of your income goes to necessities like rent and bills, 20% goes to your savings account or debt (if you have any) and 30% is for what you want to spend your money on. Even if you're rubbish at planning (just like I was) start with something small like limiting your trips to the grocery store, plan your meals to avoid food waste etc.

10. Sign out of personalised ads on Google or use Adblock

I signed out as soon as I knew I even could. Advertising and marketing is a serious business, one where people will do everything in their power to convince you that you need their products. Ads are meticulously designed and engineered to play on your emotions. Every time you see an ad, the actors they hired (even those claimed to be 'experts' are actors, sorry to break it for you), the location, the dialogue or voice over, it's all part of a very carefully thought out process to make you spend your money. If you're someone who's particularly sensitive to ads I'd even suggest adding an extension to your browser that will block all advertising. Consider it self care.

What is your favorite money saving hack?