If I’m completely honest with you, I never really struggled with money in the sense that I always had some money saved over. I was taught quite young to save money once I had a set weekly allowance. I even remember that a lot of it was saved for my own spending money when we would go to Hong Kong as a family. (The currency conversion was amazing back then.) Once we were back, I’d start saving all over again and it’d be like a race to save more money than I previously had. That was motivating.
When I say I never really struggled with money, I don’t mean that I’m rich or from a privileged background. Absolutely not. (Although nothing wrong with that either. It’s all about good temperament really.) I just think because I started early, once I got into my teens, I could appreciate buying my own clothes and other items with the money I’ve saved for some time. For some reason, that felt like a really cool and grown-up thing to do. And then when it came to the bigger ticket items like a trip to Hong Kong as aforementioned – I fully understood that saving required time.
It’s not easy nowadays. Economy isn’t great, prices are only getting higher but wages are barely supporting it. Today, I’m giving you some useful tips because I realise that not everyone has a knack for saving money.
1. Assess where all your financial woes are going
Some people are more natural at saving than others. Whether you are a big spender, a big saver or are able to balance both well, I think it ultimately comes down to two things: your personality and your lifestyle.
If you are very social and out-going, then it is very easy to be exposed to environments where you are spending money and/or require you to spend money prior to. For example, you may go out a lot and may like to wear a new outfit every other week for it. I’m sure it’s all good and fun, but unless you’re earning considerably, the costs stack up very quickly especially for a one-night-outfit. And let’s not forget that I haven’t included buying food and drink yet…
It’s very simple – the money you are spending is the money you could’ve saved if you didn’t spend. Assess your lifestyle and financial woes with a pen and paper, and decide what you are spending too much on and how best to limit yourself. Sustainable capsule wardrobe? Cook and eat at home more? Alcohol from the supermarket?
1.2 Just because you can, don’t go out and blow out all your money
There are people who admit they don’t have much money anyway, which okay, is fair – but then they go out and blow all their cash! I have seen people do this many-a-time and I just don’t get it. Please don’t do this. (I won’t feel sorry for you either if you do this and struggle until your next paycheque.)
2. Think of saving in the long-term
I’m not asking you to live frugally but I do want you to think of saving as almost like a future investment and emergency fund. Of course, you’re going to spend a certain amount each month; and there may be other months where you completely discount your spending because of bills. I would suggest to do some math and decide on a budget that would be your spending money.
Sure, having lots of money doesn’t equal happiness, but I think a lot of us would agree that having money problems can be really stressful. Although – there is actually a saying in Chinese: If it’s a problem that can be solved with money, then it is not a problem, hence why you need to consider your savings as a future emergency fund!*
*An emergency fund is that money you can turn to for future unforeseen events. If you only think about your money in the present then I think you have no chance of saving. Always think in advance!
3. Do your research well
Sometimes, it’s very easy to jump at the first offer and buy a product or service. The first offer may look good but it’s very possible that if you’ve jumped at it already, you haven’t looked at the ins and outs of the offer, researched other competitors/similar products or services and done a price comparison.
Marketing is a funny thing. They are not liars but they definitely don’t show you the entirety of what you’re buying at one glance – you really have to do your research. For example, you are buying a package, but you may not have considered that anything extra not only costs money, but a lot of it too!
4. Take advantage of offers and vouchers
It’s hard being a savvy shopper nowadays – there are so many products to keep up with and that doesn’t include the hundreds and thousands of new ones being launched daily. But amongst the pool of competitors, I’m sure you will have a few trusty products you go back to time and time again? Look out for offers on everyday essentials, seasonal trends, holiday packages…the list goes on.
My friend recently treated me and another friend to a spa treatment (back massage and facial) at a hotel at a fraction of the original price, via a website called Groupon which is essentially a website offering deals on products and services. Luxury doesn’t have to cost the earth!
5. Challenge yourself!
This is the one that has really been keeping me on my toes because although I don’t necessarily struggle with money, I can sure as hell make what I’ve spent more productive! You’d be lying if you said that you’ve never spent on something completely useless. 😛
I read and catch-up with a lot of blogs and have found it really enlightening that people write anti-hauls where they justify why they won’t be buying certain products. [See my latest one here] That type of commitment to not buy something is actually so powerful because we are standing our ground and saying that we don’t need so and so’s product. And it’s true – you don’t actually need everything that you want to buy. So challenge yourself with no-spend months, budget yourself when you do spend and justify the costs – was it worth it?
[See my first ever The Beauty Clean-Up (Empties) post and why I decided to start this series which is related to spending and using products more efficiently.]
I hope that this was helpful for a lot of you! I feel like this is an area that many people struggle with. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions that this post didn’t quite cover! ⬇️⬇️⬇️
As always, thanks for reading! 🙂 ❤
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