Hello, my name is Janine and I'm a fan of spending my hard-earned money. I'm the 'Treat Yo'self' brand ambassador, the poster child for 'just spoil yourself a little'. I make better reservations than I do home-cooked meals. Every time I get paid, I promise to be a little more responsible with my money, but it doesn't always work out that way. This Savings Month I decided to put myself on a spending diet and go from big spender to big saver. What better place to look for advice than the Internet? I used some of the tried and tested Internet-approved savings tips to see if I could turn my financial foolishness into fiscal responsibility. Here's what happened:
Make My Own Coffee At Home
One of my biggest thoughtless expenses is my daily fix from a coffee shop. Ordering that solo cappuccino has become such a part of my daily routine, that I do it even when I don't need a dose of caffeine to wake up. This Savings Month, I decided to try to forego my morning pit stop and instead make a filter coffee at home. I went to my local supermarket and stocked up on Italian ground coffee, in the hopes that my homemade brew could keep me away from the tempting frothed delights of the local coffee shop. I'd be lying if I said it was always easy to say no to the call of takeaway coffee. But, my discipline kind of paid off. Instead of spending R340 on takeaway coffee during the month, I only spent R136 (Yes, I cheated a few times! I'm only human!). While I'm definitely not on my way to being a savings pro, it was good to know my discipline can pay off in the long run.
Save Every R10 Note
This advice is about creating a habit of saving little bits of money at a time. Seeing as I was paying for everything in cash, I decided to save every R10 note I was given back as change. It became so routine, and such a fun way to see money pile up. In total, I managed to set aside R210 in R10 notes.
Have No Spending Days
Pick a day a week where you don't spend any money. Sounds hard, right? I thought this would be the most difficult savings trick to follow – what if I needed to pick up some bread or milk on that day? But, this was actually really simple to execute. All it took was a little planning. Every Wednesday, I knew to pack my lunch and all my snacks and have a prepared dinner at home. That way, I'd avoid the 'popping into the shop after work' trap. I'm definitely going to continue having No Spending Days, as it made me realise how many of the 'quick spends' I make are really just money wasting and unnecessary.
Shop Your Closet
Savings Month coincided with Winter Sales at the mall. Coincidence? Conspiracy? Who knows! This month, I was determined not to hit the mall and buy anything – even if it were on sale. Usually, I'd use Winter Sales as an excuse to get those leather boots at half price or buy another coat. This year, I really challenged myself to stay away. I was so confident that I'd be able to achieve this goal, but I clearly had no idea of the pull of those sales racks. I bought a pair of leather loafers because they were deeply discounted, but I ended up returning them after a few days! They weren't even my size – what was I thinking. While I was basking in the glow of my financial responsibility, a friend of mine debuted his clothing range on Spree. I ended up buying an item to (a) support him and (b) spoil myself. While I didn't faithfully stick to my commitment to not shop, I did spend within reason this month and was definitely more conscious of how I was spending money.