Friday 14th June 2024

Eight ways to be more mindful with your money

Shoestring Jane looks at things you need to tell yourself to be more mindful about money.

Trying to save money can feel like a punishment. You may feel you are missing out on the things you usually like to purchase. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Saving money can be done without feeling deprived or doing without. Here are some ideas to help you save money painlessly. Your bank balance will thank you for it.

1# Be honest

Before I delve into specifics, it’s worth considering why you buy stuff and whether you can save money by getting to know yourself a little better and being honest about who you are.

Subscribe to get Mouthy stories straight to your mailbox.

Real-life money stories, tips, and deals straight to your inbox.

Sometimes, we make purchases for items that don’t suit our lifestyle or tastes because we have an unrealistic image of who we would like to be rather than who we actually are. We like the idea of the thing, but in reality, we won’t use it. 

For example, I went through a stage of buying long, floaty dresses, which then sat in the cupboard waiting for an appropriate occasion. Most mornings, I pull jeans and a sweatshirt from my wardrobe because I get up, walk the dog, and work from home.

I might enjoy the image of myself waltzing around in a floral maxi, but they aren’t practical day-to-day. One or two floaty dresses are good to have for a summer party, but a wardrobe full is a waste of money in my case.

You might be drawn to big, bright jewellery you never wear because it doesn’t match the rest of your clothes. Or maybe you yearn for an impractical cream sofa that your kids will probably decorate with crayons or a full tool kit when you hate DIY and never get around to it. 

Whenever you are tempted to make a purchase to create an image, write the item on a list of potential future buys, then step away. Nine times out of ten, once you give yourself time to consider whether these items will be truly useful to you, the impulse to purchase them has gone anyway.

So, on to my other ideas to save money painlessly.

2# Avoid fast fashion

Like me with my Kate Bush floaty dress habit, many of us feel we need to update our wardrobes constantly to keep up with the current trends.

Even if the items are inexpensive individually, buying into the idea that you need to update your clothing with the fashion season can be wasteful and bad for your bank balance. (Not to mention the issues of exploitation, pollution, and climate change associated with the fast fashion industry.)

Consider buying fewer, better-quality items that are more versatile and practical. Focus on what suits you and items you know you will definitely wear.

3# Don’t buy too many groceries

Despite a growing awareness of the issue, many of us still waste too much food. Probably none of us will ever be perfect, but we can reduce food waste and save a lot of money with just a little forethought. 

Check your stores before you go to the supermarket to see what you have and which items need eating quickly. Write a meal plan for the week to incorporate these items, and consider how much time you will have for cooking and who will be at home to eat. Finally, write a shopping list and do your best to stick to it. 

These simple steps will take 15-20 minutes – time well spent.

4# Choose reusables 

Single-use items are among the things you can stop buying to save money painlessly.

In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, an initial investment into alternatives like reusable feminine hygiene products and nappies, cleaning and makeup removal wipes, razors, dishcloths, kitchen rolls, and so on will save a lot of money over time.

In some cases, you don’t even need to buy anything. Old T-shirts make good cleaning cloths, and stained towels can be cut and used instead of kitchen rolls to mop up spills. 

5# Cancel expensive subscriptions

Have you noticed how retailers are increasingly keen to tie us into subscriptions? They know that if they get us to commit to a weekly or monthly purchase, they are on to a winner. However, this approach usually causes us to buy more than we would have, potentially creating waste and taking away the incentive to shop around. 

It’s not just magazines and newspapers, as it was in the past. You can get sucked into cosmetics boxes, meal kits, pet food, fancy tea, fruit and veg boxes, flower deliveries and snacks. You can have a whisky, gin or wine subscription, a monthly book box, or a cheese lovers’ delivery. 

Consider all these types of subscriptions inessential luxuries that you can easily cancel without feeling deprived.

6# Question your tech upgrades

My mobile phone provider recently reminded me that I was due an upgrade. However, they didn’t mention that if I gave up my current phone, which is three years old but still working perfectly well, I would have to start a new contract at a higher rate. So I decided to stick with my old one!

My laptop is also quite old but fully functional. I purchased it secondhand for cash and intend to keep using it until it dies. 

Having the latest technology the minute it is available may be tempting, but if you don’t need to upgrade, work with what you have. 

7# Choose classic home decor 

Like fast fashion, home trends come and go. However, renovating your home costs much more than buying a new top. 

If you choose a neutral colour scheme and classic furniture and furnishings, they won’t date and will last for years.

8# You probably won’t win the lottery

I know that many people buy lottery tickets to support various charities. However, let’s face it: loads of us spend hundreds of pounds a year on lottery tickets and scratchcards because of the minuscule chance we will win millions.

The odds of winning the Euromillions jackpot are almost 140 million to 1. If you used the money to buy Premium Bonds instead, you may not win, but you won’t lose your money either! In fact, your chances of winning a cash prize between £25 and £1 million are 21,000 to 1 for every £1 bond you purchase.

Once you get into a frugal mindset, you will doubtless find even more ideas to save money painlessly. What are yours?

Photo Credits: Pexels

Shoestring Jane

Mouthy Blogger

Shoestring Jane is a full-time self-employed mum of three daughters. Her frugal partner in crime is handyman extraordinaire, Mr Shoestring. They are constantly on the look out for ways to save and make extra money. Read more on her blog, Shoestring Cottage.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.