How do you physically, emotionally and realistically STOP spending??

(80 Posts)

Please tell me the secret. It is out of control. We don't, happily, have debt other than the mortgage. But savings goals are not met, and I feel like I am letting down our family, our security for the future, by being ridiculously frivolous. DH does not give one shiny shit about it, as long as we are not in debt. Everytime I mention it to him, he just say's we're alright, but I'm the one that looks after the money. I can imagine him on turning 65, looking at me like hmm and saying, where did it all go? Too late then, too late.

So confession I've just worked out, embarrasingly, that I've spent (the majority on me and the DC) 620gbp/mth on average on CLOTHES for the last five years. Almost as much as we spent on food, 800/mth (includes alcohol, take outs, nappies). If I'd been able to reduce clothes spending by 50% we could have had 18k in savings.

So how do you do it?! How do you resist? How do you set a budget and actually stick to it?

I know that we are very fortunate btw, I'm not bemoaning our general financial position, I just need to stop with wasting it, otherwise what is the point of earning it? A friend summed me up well a little while ago, instead of an emotional eater, I'm an emotional spender. We are going through a lot of stress at the moment, downturn in work market, moving etc... and I feel a bit depressed, but this is no excuse.

Any tips gratefully received!

(I'm going to add up toy expenditure tomorrow, and will have to hang my head in shame even further)

Quangle Wed 12-Jun-13 21:33:07

very timely for me. I have been on a shopping diet recently. Half of it for me has been deciding not to look at the shops, not to subscribe to the emails, not to look online to see what's in the sales. I almost thought I was "saving" by checking to see what they have in Hobbs when it's 20% off, ditto various other stores. So I've gone cold turkey and have unsubscribed from all the emails and just don't go and look. It's really helped. It's amazing how insidious they are - plus the pop-ups that show you something you were browsing 10 mins ago.

Also it helps to have a target - something else you want to do with the money. Can you get yourself a totaliser like Blue Peter used to have all those years ago?

20wkbaby Wed 12-Jun-13 21:41:47

I'm not sure what the secret is - not sure there is one and I can't claim to be a saint in the spending dept either but HerRoyalNotness that is an awful lot to spend on clothes.

I know for me a lot of it was about what I got out of spending and then what spending eventually made me feel, ie the expectation vs the reality.

Can you channel your energies into ebaying and start enjoying building up some savings?

Put stuff in basket online and then close the browser window - is amazing in that it almost feels the same.

Make a project of being as frugal as possible before anyone asks about it/ accuses you of being a skinflint?

Definitely send to junk all the mailing lists etc they are just temptation.

If you really find it hard to stick to a budget work out what the surplus is, leave yourself a margin and transfer the rest directly into savings account that takes a few days to access or one you have no direct access to - eg DH's then if there is an unexpected expenditure it is there but otherwise is too much bother to withdraw it.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 12-Jun-13 21:41:49

You get really cross about companies fleecing you and decide that, on balance, the CEO's of these companies are most likely lovely people but that doesn't mean I want to contribute to thier next yacht.

Then I took a packed lunch in to work and left my cards at home. That slowed me down.

nohalfmeasures Wed 12-Jun-13 22:49:53

ask yourself "Do I need this item or do I want it?"
If you want it, do you have an equivalent item at home that will do the job?
If you need it ,can you buy it elsewhere cheaper?
For clothes, find a local person who will alter stuff for you. Trouser legs can be taken in, hemlines can be altered for a few pounds
Clothes can be dyed really easily in the washing machine- that old faded pair of jeans can be dyed black or blue.

nohalfmeasures Wed 12-Jun-13 22:51:54

We transfer a set amount to savings each month. We live on the rest. Some months it's quite tight- those are the months we have packed lunches etc, other months it's fine

Good idea about the emails, I halfheartedly unsubscribed to some of them and will do the rest. You're right, it's the discount emails that get you, you take a peek and well....

I know 20wk it is, that's why I find it disgusting! It's not as if I have a wardrobe full of designer gear either!! It's a wake up for me and I should have added it up a long time ago but was putting it off. We could have spent some lovely holidays together as a family of paid a chunk off the house.

I am okay saving into the DC accounts and Uni fund, I treat them like a bill almost. without a goal it is more difficult. Generally I k ow what we're saving for, pension and house deposit/paying off mortgage. I've just started a holiday and car saving account as well and have a little bit in there. Want I almost need is a bank account with "jars" that I can allocate money to for specific things. Then if there is nothing in there we can't spend it.

I'm just so sick of consumerism, and yes, making other people rich buying their products. Will leave the cards at home, except for the one to pay our daily parking.

I hope to have a clean start when we move next month, need new bank account and won't be able to get a credit card without credit history (moving country) which will help. I will be forced to be more frugal as well as I won't be working for about 3mths initially.

ShoeWhore England Wed 12-Jun-13 23:06:39

Don't go to shops is what works for me.
Redundancy really focussed the mind too.

I now plan my clothes spending v carefully. Lay out what you own, decide if anything needs chucking. Then I look to see what's missing or if there's anything that would really bring some outfits together. I only buy the things I need (more or less!)

Have you tried writing down everything you spend for a week? It can be quite an eye opener!

defineme Wed 12-Jun-13 23:16:17

I never go to town! I work in rural area and my little suburb only has a couple of clothes shops. I also think you have to step back from thinking you need the new thing and think what the hell is wrong with the old thing that was the new thing.

I do know quite a few who spend that much on clothes, indeed my best friend said it was one of the main reasons she went back to work.

I think when it comes to kids you can get into a trap, particularly with girls, of thinking they need an outfit for this and one for that, when that's just nonsense. They wear uniform for the majority of the year anyway.

\Get hobbies in place of time you would be shopping, free ones!

Online shopping is my downfall! It is the devils work grin. It doesn't matter that I don't have time to get to the shops now. We can all nbuy whatever we want 24hrs a day in the comfort of our home!

TwasBrillig Wed 12-Jun-13 23:25:08

Do you think its an addiction? Are you harro elsewhere in life? Could counselling help?

Ehhn Wed 12-Jun-13 23:28:51

Actually get a pension! Mine is a SIPP (sel invested personal pension) costs £90 per month, you get tax relief and can't touch it til 55. I earn a fraction of what your family must so I'm sure you and dh can afford on each.

Ehhn Wed 12-Jun-13 23:30:42

Also speak to independent financial adviser as they can make your money work for you and even grow your wealth through pension/investment/savings.

Also look at an isa that is locked down for 1, 2, 3 or 5 years.

Not réally happy, no. I think I am a bit depressed. Feeling down a lot at work, very tired all the time, and have no get up and go. I suspect where we live has a lot to do with it. We're in Canada and the winters are harsh and long and we've yet to have summer start. I had the heating last week which is mad here. Gets very hot here in summer. I wonder if I just never get out of the winter doldrums. We are moving somewhere very hot and sunny soon, but it brings new stresses. The move, finding a house, school, daycare, settling into work and provin myself again. It's the same company but a different division and I won't know anyone or them me.

I know it's a cycle I have to break.

I jut started one through work about 18mthd ago for DH and I. At you sensing a theme? If I don't do it, it doesn't get done which adds to the stress of responsibility for the financial side. We put in 10% and th company give us 6% and maybe more on a good year as a bonus. So that is a step in the right direction.

Speaking to an FA I'd a great idea. I feel a bit confused about it though. DH is paid in UK, we live abroad, I get paid locally and use my wage for living. How would we go about working it out? We would need to do the investment bit in UK and we won't be back there for a bit. Are investment ISAs easy to arrange? How would I choose one?

As you can tell we're not very savvy investment wise. We find it easier to pay off a tangible thing.

tribpot Wed 12-Jun-13 23:42:01

Having named savings goals helps - you're finding that already with the Uni fund. You're not going to take money out of the Uni fund for a pair of shoes, but you might out of 'general savings', on the grounds you can always replace it later. You need to want things more than the new stuff.

SoggySummer Wed 12-Jun-13 23:44:18

Would going to charity shops help?? Browse and treat yourself to something there at fraction of the price.

Raaraathenoisybaby Wed 12-Jun-13 23:46:16

If you have 620 to spend a month give yourself 100 and enjoy it. If you saved 500 a month that would be a huge amount over a year grin

Yes tribot that works for me. Does anyone know of a bank account that offers jars like this? I'm at the limit of accounts for saving with my current bank I think. Or maybe I should open it with a different bank altogether and transfer the money to be saved generally and then it is out if sight out of mind type thing?

raara grin. We do have incidental money each monthly that is for coffee or lunch or odd things, I'm okay there. DH spends over his allowance but it would be churlish of me to point it out in case he starts examining the bank statements closer.

I went to the dollar store today soggy and spent 2.60 on foil and parchment and put back paper cups I was considering. That felt good actually, not leaving with £50 of tat!

Bluecarrot Thu 13-Jun-13 08:10:23

Personally, I love spreadsheets and charts. It's a bit geeky but have a chart that tracks my outgoings, income and total savings ( excl savings for short term) Its on the back of my wardrobe door so I see it every day.

I'm a fan of Dave Ramsey ( though he specialises in debt, I've never been in it) and Your money or your life by joe Dominguez and Vicky robin ( that's where the chart idea came from)

I don't know Canadian accounts but if you bank online you can just set up a few separate savings accounts and view them on one page online. I do this with Halifax but my rate has just dropped so looking for alternative. I move money into each the day after payday and then anything we didn't spend gets sweeped in too, at the end of the month.

You might want to consider accounts where you won't see the money on a regular basis?

Consider buying on eBay then reselling the following year for outgrown kids clothes. smile

Bluecarrot Thu 13-Jun-13 08:13:21

But to answer your title, you need to feel rewarded by savings. Create goals, don't stop shopping altogether or you might binge. Think what items you value most and spend on those rather than bits here and there ( for dp, its DVDs, for me its gifts for others)

GemmaTeller Thu 13-Jun-13 08:17:22

Do not keep your credit cards in your purse (too easy when out shopping, too locatable when internet shopping)

Nipping to the shop for that pint of milk? only take £2 so you physically cant buy anything else.

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