1. Carry water – I’ll never be able to say this enough, but fill a reusable bottle every day with water (from the tap is fine) or diluted juice and then drink it throughout the day. You’ll quickly find you’re less thirsty and that you won’t buy so many drinks on impulse.
9. Sleep on it – If you find yourself in a shop, about to hand over your hard earned cash (or not earned credit card) for clothes, shoes or a bag then stop and think about your purchase long and hard. Most stores are happy to keep items on layaway for around 48 hours. Ask the shop assistant if they can keep it aside for you then think about it overnight. Ask yourself the following questions: How often will I wear it? Does it go with at least 5 outfits in my wardrobe? Does it need any special cleaning treatment (EXPENSIVE!)? Is it similar to anything I already have? How many hours did I/will I have to work to pay for it? Use Money Saving Expert’s Demotivator to find out! If you wake up the next morning and feel that you still really need it, then go ahead, you’ve rationally thought it through and it won’t be an impulse buy after all.
Unfortunately one of the best tips – taking cash to the supermarket, so that you don’t overspend on your food shop – hasn’t been successfully implemented by yours truly. I tried it a couple of months ago, and it ended in disaster. Perhaps it’s because I only do a full-on supermarket shop once a month and store half the food in the freezer; I fill a trolley, rather than a basket. I went into the supermarket with my three crisp £20 notes ($60) and a pocket calculator. It’s true: I have no shame. I’m quite happy to wander around with a calculator, tapping in prices as I go, like the frugal geek I am! Fortunately it was Asda, so nobody really noticed me because they were all distracted by the 2p sausages and hordes of squalling children.
Anyway, about halfway through the shop I pressed the wrong button on the calculator and it all went to pot. I carried on adding prices to the shopping list in my head, but the glaring strip lights and vivid-hued cakes must have had a dazzling effect: when I got to the check-out, the trolleyful turned out to be about £2 over! I had to put some potatoes and peppers back, as the check-out assistant and the people behind me in the queue all huffed and puffed. I apologised and it would have been a red face moment, so I cunningly minimised embarrassment by telling the assistant that I only had cash because I was doing some shopping on behalf of an elderly neighbour. What was I thinking? Told you I had no shame! I shan’t be repeating this one.
Image credit: ironmal.