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

(80 Posts)
HerRoyalNotness Wed 12-Jun-13 21:27:45

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)

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!

HerRoyalNotness Thu 13-Jun-13 14:21:40

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.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 13-Jun-13 15:53:24

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

Philip greens yacht.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 13-Jun-13 17:41:39

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

HerRoyalNotness Sat 15-Jun-13 12:30:07

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>

SilasGreenback Sat 15-Jun-13 12:42:13

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.

HerRoyalNotness Sun 16-Jun-13 03:14:19

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......

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