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 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.

bigkidsdidit Thu 13-Jun-13 08:19:52

I have set up a savings account that I need to give notice to take money out of. I also have a standing order on payday to go into it. This way I just can't get at it!

What I've done so far:

Credit cards left at home, except for the one to use to pay parking
Overnight I had about 20 emails come in, only 2 of them were actually from people, the rest were, 40% off, new stock in, see how to wear this etc... so I have unsubscribed from them all, and will continue to do that as new ones appear. That really is dastardly. At unsubscribe windows, they're all, wait, you won't see our deals or sales anymore, do you really want to do that?
I have one pair of shoes arriving which I just had to pay duty on. So that is it for June, no more unnecessary buying.
We have a kids party on saturday and I thought to buy the host a gift, but then remembered I have random lego sets in the cupboard, so will give him one of those and DS will make a card.

I actually feel better that I've written it down and am getting some feedback/advice, so this is great, thankyou everyone.

I'm going to go an add up toy spending in the last 5years as well. Will be back with the figure soon.

Ehhn Thu 13-Jun-13 14:56:56

If you find a good IFA who has experience of international and uk based work/life they will be able to really sort things out for you and a good ifa should make things clear. if they do neither, don't use them! I also second bluecarrot's suggestion.

Investment isas can be done through a bank but they only sell you their products. Mine is done through an IFA, with money in the BRICS countries and mining, gold and about 8 other locations. It is complicated with spread risk, done based on lengthy discussions about plans for the future and attitudes to risk. Seriously only a few thou ££ spread across about 20 different companies in nearly as many countries!

Also, just take cash for what you need and maybe a little spare for a small treat like a nail varnish or magazine.

Finally, if shopping has become therapy, seek something else to occupy yourself- a language course, (french for canada?) or something cultural, or short course at a local uni or college? Anything else to enrich and distract other than shopping!

AdoraBell Thu 13-Jun-13 15:37:28

Diferente bank, open as Many savings accounts as you can and set up DDs straight to them from your salary. Don't Get an ATM or debít card on the new accounts, make it a hassle to Get al the money once it's transfered.

I have felt exactly the same. We are also abroad and now can't afford to stay. When I think of what's been Spent over the years - not only me spending - it makes me feel quite ill.

In terms of clothes, how Many outfits do you/DCs need Per day? All Those on línea bargains, you only save on Those if you were already going to buy that exact product, in that size and colour. So if it wasn't already on your shopping list it's not a bargain.

AdoraBell Thu 13-Jun-13 15:39:14

I meant your salary once it's in your maín account, not direct from the employer.

Wishihadabs Thu 13-Jun-13 15:52:36

Just don't look. Don't go to the shops, don't open the emails.

I will see what accounts I can open once we move in July, and set it up then and try to find an IFA. We're moving to the States, and want to do a lot of travelling while we are there. There is so much to see and road trips we can do which will hold much more value for our family longterm. I took DS1 to Floriday for a few days with a friend in April, and he says everytime the Disney ad comes on. We went there Mum!! Very excited and is at a good age to remember these experiences.

I have put in my purse a little note highlighting what I've spent on clothes averaged out, and will refer to it, whenever I am tempted. Also need a pic of Phillip Green or other, to discourage helping make them richer!

The toy spending wasn't as bad as I first feared, but still averaged out at 120/month, incl dvd's, books, toys, some educational things, bikes, scooters, and our rather large Lego habit. I have naturally cut back on this in the past 6 mths though, so feel that is under control.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 13-Jun-13 17:21:02
Bestseller Thu 13-Jun-13 17:24:21

For impulse buys like clothes, either online or in a shop, i never buy the first time i see it. I tell myself I'll buy it tomorrow. By tomorrow I've usually forgotten or decided i didn't like/need it that much.

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 13-Jun-13 17:26:26

This is a timely thread for me. I will be a taking a lot from it. DH and I are very fortunate, and we are both high earners, but I fritter money way like anything. On anything and everything. I can rationalise any spending decision I make. I need to be stricter and have goals, too. This thread is such a good start.

Triumphoveradversity Thu 13-Jun-13 17:36:33

I have always been frugal but have worked in locations nowhere near shops. I'm also scared of online shopping as I know two people who had their details hacked in to online and had their accounts cleared out and it took weeks for banks to sort them out.

I also look at items and think well I have one pair of feet so what is the point of 60 pairs of shoes. I have one wardrobe with two small draws underneath. I never buy anything unless it can fit in that one wardrobe.

My Father died recently and the you can't take it with you has been very much in my mind. I found about 20 pairs of brand new socks still in wrappers.

triumph sad. My dad is a bulk buyer actually. He'll go to the local cheap store and buy 20 pairs of shorts or 10 pairs of shoes, so he only has to go shopping once every 2 years.

The Yacht is going in my purse with a slash through it! Grrrr.

I do actually need to buy a new dinner set. I was going to use last years (small) bonus which would have covered it, but that got frittered and we are still eating off 15yo chipped plates. I will make a savings plan to buy one in December, or maybe January sales. Then I can spend this years bonus on some art which I've been wanting for oooooh about 4 years, but never saved up for it.

sudointellectual Thu 13-Jun-13 17:44:21

Add all the sites you habitually browse and buy clothes from to a nanny/blocker extension. It depends on what browser you use but for Chrome there's Chrome Nanny, Firefox has Leechblock-- there's one for each.

When you try to open those sites your nanny will redirect you somewhere else. Set it to redirect to your online banking and put twenty quid in your savings every time you find yourself there.

Triumphoveradversity Thu 13-Jun-13 18:00:19

Well the hospice charity that nursed him who were brilliant got all his clothes, including a few brand new shirts still all wrapped up.

I bought a really nice dinner service at a retail outlet replacing ikea with Denby. Trouble is I am such a clumsy git I chipped one of the plates the second time I used them.

So keep your chipped stuff to chuck regular stuff on and keep your good stuff for best. I could weep at this statement as I sound like my Grandmother!

specialsubject Sat 15-Jun-13 11:23:08


I second someone else's comment that you need a bit more a life. Shopping is not a hobby, or a good thing to do. It isn't fun, it's boring. It is really a vacant way to spend time. Brutal, but true.

stop buying clothes. Repeat. Stop buying clothes. You can have new underwear when the old stuff wears out, ditto new shoes. If you have spent that much on clothes you won't need anything else for the rest of your life.

Yes I do need a life!!

Life has been reduced to a cycle of work, looking after kids, house work, chores and shopping. I know it's because I'm bored and depressed.

Now we found out we're about to get fucked over by our company in our next move and made local hire. Last time I looked we don't hold US passports. I want DH to stand up to them for his family but he'll take it and bend over for some more when they do it again.

Anyway week ended positively, no new acquisitions in the house and spent a day with a friend yesterday to break the monotony. Busied myself last night making caramel popcorn bags for a kids party, time I'd normally spend surfing the net <klaxon>

Do you have six months salary in savings? If not make this a goal. I know it isn't possible for many people, but if you do have the money then save for this.

Reading threads on here it seems many people have been living like you and that is fine if they keep earning or as I think many hope their salary will increase. Then someone is sick, loose a job or get divorced and suddenly everything falls down. Having six months money in a savings account to cover your expenses including things like nursery/school fees if necessary gives you the breathing space (even if it is just a terms notice fees) and gives you time to adjust your spending to the new reality. You don't want to be living on benefits and trying to pay off a massive loan you took out while you thought everything would sort itself out in a couple of months.

And don't use your bank to transfer money between countries - dh uses an online currency exchange to move money between US, Canada and the UK. Gets a much better rate than our banks can ever offer.

dotnet Sat 15-Jun-13 13:16:12

Hello Royal. I had to laugh when I saw you spent more than 600 pounds a month on clothes for yourself and the dc. That is SUCH a lot! But I think you may need to go 'cold turkey' being as you've got into such a gripping habit.

I'd suggest you ALLOW yourself to splurge £600-plus pounds on clothes for the next year, BUT at intervals. Make the £600-plus a QUARTERLY amount (apols for all the shouty capitals). Mark the 'it's allowed' months in your desk diary.

On the two months out of three when you're not allowing yourself to buy clothes, bear in mind that pound shops and charity shops can be regarded as kosher, you can use them. This way, you can still get your retail therapy fix, but with hardly any outlay. You might be surprised what you find. I got a Liberty skirt last week in a charity shop for £2.
Good on you for deciding to stop being such a Marie Antoinette. I'm sure you'll be fine, and you'll get a sense of satisfaction when you're in the habit of spending money more carefully.

dotnet grin. Thankfully I can still laugh at myself!

We have the 6mths savings, but we will probably use this for a deposit in our next move. No other debt apart from mortgage in Uk. We'll have the DC savings as a backup until we replenish ours. Which I should be able to do much quicker! Thanks for the tip too silas about the currency transfer, I'll have to look into that to transfer house deposit money over.

amazingmumof6 Sun 16-Jun-13 03:45:21

marking my place to spread wisdom latergrin

Picoo Sun 16-Jun-13 04:14:41

Agree re cards, get rid or put them away. It's too easy to spend money on them. Budget for everything and at the top o.that budget list pay yourself first, i.e. put away your savings then pay your bills. It sounds like you can afford a decent clothes budget so set one and stick to it, going cold turkey is hard and it is easy to fall off the wagon.

Work out what you and/or your OH are paid an hour. When you look at an item ask yourself do you need it or want it. If you only just want it then ask yourself was it worth working x number of hours to buy this item or is it just something else to clutter up your wardrobe/house and are you just handing over your hard earned money for something that just makes someone else richer!!

MERLYPUSS Sun 16-Jun-13 09:08:41

I was made redundant. I now only buy clothes at bootsales and primarni/asda. I can get the brands of jeans that fit me (M&S, gap or next) at bootsales for about £2. Everything else I really look to see if I need it.
Being at home means I scratch cook most times. I havent bought cleaning products this year except bleach. I use stuff I have stock piled last year and vinegar in the bathroom for limescale or kitchen degreaser.

Lavenderhoney Sun 16-Jun-13 15:11:17

If you are a bit techy, build yourself a cash flow with in comings and outgoings and update it daily. You'll see how much money you have now and in the future.

You sound like you need a special savings account called " first trip ever without the dc" or something- or save to all go the Maldives or wherever you think would be nice.

Never use shopping as a leisure activity. Online browsing at night is a hard habit to break. Think of a hobby, like family history or something to distract you.

Get out all your clothes, sell any you don't like. Tell yourself you have to wear everything in your wardrobe at least a hundred times before replacing it or buying something else. This will also stop you buying anything new. Put it in the wardrobe in its bag with the receipt and take it back if you change your mind. Never buy anything where you only get credit.

Become a critic for clothes- when you see something you like critically examine it ( colour, cut) and tell yourself the shops are open 24/7 and maybe next week... I also suggest making a list of all these essential clothes etc " for Christmas or birthdays" and they will soon drop off the radar. I do that with the dc, works for me toosmile

Calculate how you can save money all ways, don't spend a lot just because you can. You never know what's round the corner. Be careful with 5 year saving plans for instance as if you need the money you can't get it without a massive withdrawal feel.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Mon 17-Jun-13 14:27:21

HBOS let's you open multiple internet accounts and give them different names - holiday fund, clothes etc.

I love shopping and frittering money away and have just gone from being comfortably off to on benefits. Have been over my head in debt three times before in my life so I am worried it will happen again.

Am currently lusting over Vitsoe shelving that I can't afford!

This last week I stuck to a meal plan. That sounds a bit pathetic, but am really pleased with myself smile. Planning, I have decided is the way to go.

PoshPaula Mon 17-Jun-13 20:49:32

I'm glad you made this post OP, it's pretty much the sort of thing I wanted to post about but didn't have the nerve, basically because I know people are really struggling and I'm not. But I do spend a lot on clothes. I justify it by saying to myself 'I don't smoke, have a pet or expensive hobby, drink much alcohol' etc. Anyway, I haven't bought clothes for two months! Major achievement! I have made myself wear the clothes I have in NEW combinations. Yes, sounds stupid, but it's working. I don't have that yearning feeling at the moment, either......

Excellent PoshP!! I know things could be worse, but it doesn't mean we can't try to have more of a buffer against those times.

Whitebird I am NOT googling Vitsoe shelving grin.

I have left all cards at home, and got rid of my subscription emails as each comes in. I bought the DC some new underdaks and socks yesterday, about 60quid worth, incl a superman tee for DS1 and summer sandals for DS2, in the sales. That will be it for the rest of the month.

Once we move, hopefully we will have a bigger wardrobe which I can organise a bit more. I want to be able to see everything I have and coordinate outfits better (will probably ask a stylish new friend to help on this front). At the moment, I forget what I have in there, not that I buy double ups unintentionally, just that I don't make use of what I do have properly.

lavender I have a spreadsheet balancing all of our accounts and credit cards etc.... That I've kept since oooooh about 2000ish. It doesn't help me budget, it just shows what goes in and out. The stupid thing is, I'm a cost engineer and work with multi hundreds of millions budgets and seem to keep them under control <although I don't get to spend any of it directly>.

We just found out we are going to lose some income in our next job transfer, so will have to tighten up our spending to be able to continue any savings plans at all. I have 2 months left to put a bit aside for a holiday, and moving expenses, which I will do, we really need the vacation, and then living more frugally on DHs wage until I can start work as well in September-ish.

Lavenderhoney Tue 18-Jun-13 19:49:47

Op, I used to work in finance and everything was in Msmile it kind of numbs you to spending and took me a while to catch on my home cash flow was real and not in Msmile iyswim.

I am used to spending what I like, have had to rein in, and realised I have a slight problem with doing so. I too like nice clothessmile

I use our cash flow to see what we will have in the future and I add spending. Dh and I have holidays planned with a rather massive cost(!) and I tell myself maybe next week- and then repeat.

I also stay away from the shops , only buy the best quality I can, and only allow myself one of anything. It can only be replaced when empty or worn out and tatty. Unmendable in fact. Which stops me buying as I think I might see something better next time. This I learnt when moving from the sticks to central London and mooching round Oxford st and kings road at weekendssmile

I am very lucky dh is not a spender. He doesn't buy anything ever. He says to me get what you want, but I don't. We don't fritter money away.

emma16 Tue 18-Jun-13 23:08:20

I used to be pretty obsessed with shopping, not massively but a little & over the years as ive got older & changed I just asked myself who was I doing it for? I came to the conclusion that it was to make myself feel better about myself, lack of self confidence, relationship at the time wasn't great etc. But now I don't care if someone see's me in the same top more than 3 times ;) my relationship got sorted down to hard work & we are now happily married & I just realised that there's more to life than lining the pockets of some big fat cat's sat in their leather chairs!!!
I think a good thing to stop doing is buying & looking through women's magazines, they are the devil!!! I realised one day after looking through one that when I did, I was so bloody depressed as I felt my head had been bashed with the fact I needed this product, that product blah blah. And if those celebrities lives are that crap despite all the money they have & help, then god help little old me!!
So out went those & in came take a break where I could actually win money!
I also started saying to myself when I did & do go shopping, before going to the checkout look at what's in your arm/basket & ask yourself 'Do I really need to buy this?' Just think properly for a second instead of the impulse purchase & you will most likely put it back, I guarantee you!
Kids don't need loads of clothes esp if they're in full time school, they need more uniform than normal clothes. I buy my 2 a set of 7 outfits at the start of each season, then if I come across sales I might pick up a few cheap things in a bit bigger size to put away. Obviously when it comes to a summer holiday I do buy some extra things like shorts, cheap quid t-shirts from primark & little dresses from h&m for about 2.99.
I do really believe shopping is a distraction from something else, so perhaps just be honest with yourself?
And definitely make yourself transfer even half of what you would normally spend on clothes each month into a savings account of some sort, just to begin with whilst you adjust & once you see that amount totting up, you'll probably see a different perspective on your habits smile

Raaraathenoisybaby Wed 19-Jun-13 00:32:57

Emma that was such a good post I shall try and heed your advice.
I recall well the raging desire to buy that magazines brings on! Don't miss that!

duchesse Wed 19-Jun-13 00:48:47

Making a point of accumulating no spend days worked for me. I realised that the world did not cave in if that thing did not come home with me. Developing a dislike of clutter and a desire for surfaces has also curbed my spending urge. I have begun to envy people who lead pared-down lives and want to achieve that for us. I will utterly fail with books though, I know that already. The only things I can get rid of is dross like Dan Brown.

emma16 Wed 19-Jun-13 10:56:31

Thanks Raaraa smile I honestly do swear by binning those evil magazines! What annoys me is they are generally run by women too, putting pressure on each other to maintain this kind of lifestyle that in the grand scheme of things wont make any difference to the quality of your life. That comes down to who you spend it with, what you do each day & the memories you make!
I also make a point of setting a target of how many days I can go without buying un-necessary stuff. Sounds a bore but actually quite liberating, you soon realise where the pennies used to go!

duchesse Wed 19-Jun-13 11:19:36

Also "Do I really NEED this?" is a good mantra.

PoshPaula Wed 19-Jun-13 11:44:55

Emma that is very good advice. I am going to do my best to apply this. I like the idea of target setting, too. I am finding this a very supportive thread (thanks OP!).

I've always thought clothes etc would matter less to me as I got older but it doesn't seem to have worked that way...

apatchylass Fri 21-Jun-13 21:41:51

Perhaps it's like any other weakness - you have to plan ahead to stop yourself succumbing to it. So work out when you tend to do this shopping - is it late at night alone on the computer? or during the day? When you know, then plan to be doing something at that time to make it physically impossible to spend - go to a movie or go running with a friend, or do some voluntary work with old people - that one might help focus you on saving for your old age.

Does sound as though spending so much has become almost a hobby for you - a small thrill. If you find something else that has a similar effect, maybe it would help. Also, if you set up a savings account and transfer what you haven't spent in a month, you'll get that feeling of satisfaction.

Could you do a stock take? Sort out the clothes you have and that your DC have, and the toys, and organise them so you know they don't need another cute cap or tee shirt or whatever, then ebay some of the excess stuff and put what you make into a savings account?

Ime, people who are quite compulsive about something can be compulsive the other way too - you'll probably end up driving your husband round the bend with thriftiness.

Shitsinger Sat 22-Jun-13 10:20:32

I agree with apatchy and think you are addicted to the nice feeling when you have bought something new ( as was I ) . I swapped to a hobby or activity such as a nice hot bath with my book as a different way of treating myself.
The trouble with the shopping thrill is that it only lasts a shortwhile.
I had a big clearout and was shocked to find how much unworn stuff I had forgotten about. Big ebay sale and I now have a very nice wardrobe and I stick to the one thing in/one thing out rule!

Xenia Sat 22-Jun-13 10:57:18

Shopping addiction is a medical condition and people get treated for it. It can ruin lives.

It is an internal mental thing surely? I hate shopping. Genuinely. It gives me huge pleasure usually only to replace clothes because they literally have holes in and I love to wear the same every day. The children have often had second hand clothes. We just are not into material stuff like that as a family. It is an ethos. Every family has different morals I suppose. However I spend on school fees. It is not for me to tell one woman she should not spend £600 on clothes for example if I spend more than that on school fees a month.

Also we both were big savers so paid off the mortgage entirely when I was about 32 or 33 and then paid it off on two flats we let out at the same time. I think we preferred that to spending. If you are lucky enough to have a spouse who is the same as you things are much easier.

You could try never buying any clothes ever and leaving clothes shopping for everyone in the family to your other half. It is likely your own clothes will not wear out for a year or two anyway so no need to buy a single item of new clothes for 12 months surely except a few pairs of tights?

Triumphoveradversity Sun 23-Jun-13 18:35:02

I am also not keen on shopping, I have not bought any new clothing or shoes for months many times easily up to six months. Not sure if I could manage a year, good idea for a challenge.

You're right Xenia. When we move next month, we will have a better layout, so I can see what I have more easily. As I unpack I will organise it all and try to make up outfits, and see where gaps are, so I'm only buying necessities. I too have my favourite things that I wear all the time, so it makes sense just not to have stuff hanging around in the closet unused. The funny thing is we could easily send the DSs to private school, we are great at paying bills, and are never in c/c debt. It will also help we'll be buying another house where we're moving. I find it much easier to pay off something, rather than saving to invest.

This month has gone pretty well actually, we're 1k down on what would normally get spent, so that has gone into our holiday fund, yeeha!

I have thought of a hobby to do, photography. I already have the whizz bang camera, and software, as it's all digital these days, apart from the course cost, it'll be cheap ongoing. I did a course with a film one about 12years ago where we developed our own prints, and I really enjoyed it. I love taking photo's and get frustrated that I can't get the pics I want sometimes, so this will be a great thing for me to do. We will start up golf as a family too. We have the clubs, in the cupboard grin, and our new location is sunny and full of courses to utilise.

I think a lot of it has to do with our situation now too. We have had our lives on hold for 12mths while our company decide where we are going next. We've had so many stories from them and different locations, it ceased to be funny. It's a very stressful time. Even now, the hoops we have to jump to get our next Visa is ridiculous and the company has put in charge the immigration specialists that stuffed up our last Canada Visa's, it took 6mths to get them renewed, during which time we couldn't leave the country and were cut off from any health care, child benefits etc..... They have 4 weeks to sort it out <loses all hope> as we're then out of our apartment, and jobs.

milktraylady Thu 27-Jun-13 18:13:53

Hi OP I've not had time to read all the replies- but have you come across the software- YNAB?
"You need a budget"

I was in exactly the same position as you with money pouring through & nothing to show for it & always feeling broke.

1.5 years after starting ynab & I actually have savings! I was able to budget for being off on maternity leave.

Ynab uses 'pots' of money where you allocate your income into & spend against it. So you know if you are over budget & over spending.

Life changing for me!
And a great app to record spending on the move.

Good lucksmile

oooo I like the sound of that, an app on the move. I do it all by spreadsheet at the moment, but it's more recording where we are spending than sticking to budgeting!

So this is a new month. Last month I bought a 23quid top from TKMaxx, and a couple of bracelets. Well down on the usual spend. This month, I will attempt to only buy one thing, so will consider carefully what I need/want. The DSs don't need any more clothes for the summer. There won't be any new toys, except for what the DSs use their pocket money for. I'm also teaching them to save half of it for bigger things, get them on the right road early.

We plan to go visit a Shark Exhibit in town, visit a theme park (found discount on cans of coke), attend jazz fest (free), and see Despicable Me 2. The weather has been lousy, but we'll still do lots of park visits, and try to get DS1 riding a bike before the end of the month. If we are still here near the end of July, we'll have enough from NOT spending on shite, to go to a music festival we enjoy, just before we move to the US.

Visa application is in, 3-4 weeks timescale, fingers crossed!

Oh and our landlady who we moan and groan about, for not fixing stuff in our apartment, but is an alright sort really, happens to be an artist and took me to her studio yesterday to choose a painting as a GIFT! Amazing!! I couldn't decide between 3, 1 DH vetoed, 2 we both like. We will approach her about selling us the other we don't get gifted, cutting out the commission of a gallery, which leaves us 2 big original paintings for little cost! Result.

kukeslala Fri 12-Jul-13 19:06:34

One thing go onto a mortgage overpayment calculator, input an amount start small and look at what you can save in interest.
* I'm obsessed with our mortgage any debt scares me!

SummersHere Fri 12-Jul-13 19:15:55

Firstly only use cash for non essentials. Do not take credit cards out with you, far too tempting.
Open a savings account for your spare cash that you have to give notice to use.
Ask yourself when tempted, do you really need this item?
I stupidly built up a lot of debt clothes shopping back in my 20's. Haven't used a credit card in years, don't even use my debit card for non essentials. I only go shopping if I need something in particular and withdraw the amount of cash I'm willing/able to spend on that item.

Kirrin Sun 21-Jul-13 08:55:05

I was just coming to start a thread asking for help with this! Some great tips on here - thanks.

My downfall is on line shopping - largely due to boredom blush I literally get on the computer thinking "what can I buy?" Rather than looking for something I actually need. And my solutions to everyday problems tend to involve shopping too. My "office" is a tip and my first idea to help sort it was to go to Staples and buy some nice folders. I have folders. That's not the problem!

I recognise it is a problem so I am going to pick a goal to save for and try and curb my spending that way. Also, I love a challenge so seeking out the cheapest deal on things might work for me also, rather than just buying the easiest option!

Laska42 Tue 23-Jul-13 17:42:42

ok do we need a 'stop spending' support thread? i could start one?

Kirrin Tue 23-Jul-13 22:12:16

sounds good to me laska smile

lljkk Wed 24-Jul-13 19:14:22

Problem for me is the main thing we spend money on is the kids, their clubs especially. That's going to be a very hard one to pare down.

£650/month on clothes. Wow. I spend £13/month on clothes (for me only, I mean).

newbiefrugalgal Thu 25-Jul-13 23:52:31

I'm in.
Started the cash in purse this week and once it's gone that's it-food and fun etc. bit of a nightmare with the start of school holidays but got to do something to stop the spending!

Lots of fab tips on here.

SarahLouise1234 Tue 13-Aug-13 11:47:09

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MissDD1971 Sat 17-Aug-13 18:10:49

This is a great thread.

I agree with magazines, I don't always buy fashion in them but they're very tempting even though Grazia high end fashion is out of my price range.

What I try to do now or would suggest is to all a set amount for saving for clothes, going out etc. don't go over it and if you don't spend the money then save it.

I also found the savings pot app a different one not used yet but planning on doing it.

Also what you don't miss eg transferring to savings account or pension then it isn't there to spend.

MissDD1971 Sat 17-Aug-13 18:12:42

Ps the cash in purse great idea. Did this when on holiday recently and really stopped me overspending and thinking about other spends.

Bring out what you need too. For day/week/night out.

BrownSauceSandwich Sat 24-Aug-13 13:46:29

OP, I think you're spot on to relate your spending to emotional eating... It's just the same sort of impulse control problem. And like emotional eating, there's no fixing it without dealing with the emotions you'r trying to suppress. counselling sounds like a pretty good idea to me. The others have given some brilliant practical ideas... Siphoning money straight off into non-instant-access savings, same as you do with pension contributions, is great, because you tend to just forget about it. You must have a tonne of stuff to get rid of... That surely wont help your emotional health. eBay it if you can, but if that's too hard or too slow, just cut your losses and charity-shop it, because rationalising the volume is probably more important than the money you'd get for it. When you have what you think is a reasonable amount of stuff, you should aim for a steady state... That means any time you go to buy something, you have to ask yourself what you're getting rid of, and how.

MadameLeBean Sun 01-Sep-13 21:05:32

Oh dear typed a long post and lost it all!

SirSugar Tue 03-Sep-13 08:49:38

Each time I don't buy something I mentally consider it money I have saved - in the last couple of days I have saved £20 on non essentials that could have ended up coming home with me.

Coming back to this as the hullabaloo of the move is receding. I've been doing well in terms of not spending on clothes. I would have saved 2k in the last month which was handy for our move indeed! I should have started this a year ago as now we are buying a car and have expenses to do with the move, realize we should have been setting aside a moving fund in advance. Happily we found a car, and despite DH wanting to spend 10k more than the budget I set, we spent $500 over which is great going!

Next hurdle is finding a home and kids into school. It is tempting to go out while I'm off work which would invariably led to spends, but I have been more selective. For instance, we are staying in a temporary apartment which is very basically equipped in the kitchen. I made a list of what I needed and bought cheap the items we have coming in the shipment and where I needed the thing myself, eg chopping board, spent a little more as an item to go in the house. I will make do without a couple of things as they were too pricey for what they were. No clothes bought in the last 6 weeks apart from a pair of ugg ballerinas on sale for $20!

Unfortunately when I unpacked my suitcases I have no clue what I was thinking when I packed them, so have very few work blouses. I'll make do with grey marl tees I have for casual, and use a belt to make more interesting.

I did clean out a few bags of clothes before we left and shoes, and was finally able to go through the DC clothes and give a couple of boxes of things to a dear friend who had just had a baby boy. Thank goodness it wasn't a girl otherwise I wouldn't be able to do it!

I think holding on to things comes from my mother regularly clearing out our rooms, throwing things out, giving our things away, as SHE couldn't stand clutter. I put emotional memory in things, especially now with DC and find it hard to let things go, i have all their baby things and special toys still.

sirsugar I used that mentality when talking Dh back to our car budget, I said its a family holiday! One of which we have not had this year. Puts perspective on things, although we still won't get the holiday sad

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now