How to Resist the Urge to Splurge
In the past month, I had surgery, so medical expenses were high again. On the upside, I hit the Medicare threshold so now I get 80% back on medical expense and this happened before the CT scan which was a big saving. All up, this month I had about $1,500 out of pocket medical expenses, then I had some minor side effects to the surgery resulting in a week of not feeling awesome.
Overall, I have done pretty well, aside from the medical expenses (some of which I knew), I didn’t spend much I didn’t need to.
Things that helped resist the urge to buy this month were:
1. Selling Everything I Can
It is amazing how much stuff we have at times and what they will sell for. After going through all my clothes, I listed them on eBay and sold $170 worth quickly.
Doing a clearout this way has two benefits: cash and you see how much you waste. I am adamant I will only buy pieces I really love/will wear for a long time and create a wardrobe I want. I’m not buying anything until the end of this challenge, though.
2. Being Prepared
We had meals cooked and in the freezer before I went in for surgery. We started shopping at the markets the last thing on a Sunday when all the meat was 50% off. This meant we stretched a few meals we weren’t expecting to so we could change our shopping habits, but it has saved us money.
Creating a plan for everything that was going on and anything we could be prepared for helped immensely. While we can’t always plan for everything, the more prepared you are, the better off you will be.
3. Repurposing Or Repairing
We had leggings rip, so I cut them off to make shorts and my kids LOVE them. In fact, these cut off leggings are now their favourite shorts as they are a length they prefer. We did this with some of their long sleeve tops they don’t want to wear as well and now they love them.
My partner needed his pants fixed, so I did that. I also fixed a couple of skirts of mine which I will sell as I don’t wear them and they aren’t my style anymore. Knowing how to sew has saved us a small fortune over the years.
Anything in our house that had been on the ‘to fix’ list finally got fixed or thrown out. This saved space, reduced clutter, saved money and gave us ‘new’ items since some of the things had not been used in months.
4.) Compare, Compare, Compare
I compared a bunch of things this month from spices we buy (I found somewhere online where they are 1/4 of the price of Woolworths), clothes the kids need, protein powder my partner buys and compared internet packages to see if we could get a better deal.
Often when we think of comparing, we think insurance quotes or electricity. I am currently with Red Energy for electricity. They offer a $25 bonus when you join too.
But there is so much more we spend money on and can review. Start with the big ones for larger immediate savings but look at the smaller things such as ingredients you buy often.
5. Focused on the Long Term Goal
One day my partner went to the gym and I stayed at home with the kids. I wanted to use this time to really work out what I wanted for the rest of this year, how I wanted to start 2017, what financial shape I wanted to be in, those sorts of things. I didn’t tell my partner I was doing this.
Funnily enough, he came home and announced he had a thought at the gym. His goal for the end of the year was to have a specific amount in savings, plus a couple of other things. I laughed and pulled out a piece of where I had written exactly the same goals for myself while he was away.
Being on the same page with where our lives are heading and being able to focus on a specific goal we are working towards has made it much easier to resist the urge to spend. Check out what to do if your partner is hopeless with money for tips on this.
6. Free Entertainment
We have looked for as much free entertainment as possible. We went to the Zombie Walk and a public Halloween festival for our kids and Halloween. We explored more of Melbourne and spent time doing things our kids love like playing at the park and going to see the ducks.
I am looking forward to this challenge being over. It’s gotten a bit boring at times and because it’s not essential to my finances that I do it, I found it a little hard. I am more excited to achieve my financial goals though, so I know now we are on the home stretch I will definitely be able to achieve my goals this year and will be starting 2017 in the exact financial and physical shape I wanted.
What tips do you have to reduce spending?
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