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How did you sort your life and finances out how or when did it click?

35 replies

Cupcakeicecream · 01/12/2019 12:23

When did you realise that you needed to sort things out how did you do it?
Your house finances relationships time management.
I've just come to the realisation that I dont want to be buying into commercialism any longer buying xmas and bday presents for people who I barely see but it's just become a habit I want to break. Being a sucker for all the sales summer sales black Friday the deals seem to good to miss but I end up with stuff I dont need or dont use. Saying yes to events or talking to people who seem to forget I exist until they need or want something from me I just need to say no.
Generally wasting money on top up shops you go in for bread and milk and come out 20 or 30 pounds lighter.
Wasting time on Facebook or I Instagram.
Buying clothes and they're in the wardrobe months later still with tags on.
I need your hints and tips on how to break the cycle.
In the new year I want to take control of my finances scale Back and have a simpler more enjoyable time and only buy things when I need them or I love them.
How did you change your finances around.
I'm going to declutter the house unsubscribe from shops and stop making the small talk with people who need or want something from me. Anyone else

OP posts:
Obligatorync · 01/12/2019 12:58

Mine hasn't been a sudden lightbulb moment and I'm still learning. A huge income drop in my late 20s and severe anxiety and depression took their toll.
When changing habits, what works is little and often. Set tiny goals that need to be worked on daily. I have a spreadsheet, but I'm a bit odd.
Don't expect perfection, but when you're hitting most of your goals most of the time, consider stretching yourself a little bit more.
Over, say, six months, you will notice real changes in your life.

Lockheart · 01/12/2019 13:15

You might be better off asking this in a money management forum rather than AIBU.

AllergicToAMop · 01/12/2019 13:18

I stopped giving a fuck about others tbh. Except immediate family and handful of closest friends.
I just woke up one day when I was 27 and realised that I don't have to care since most people don't either🤷 Was amazing day. Haven't seen quite a few people since I stopped doing nonstop favours... Blessings.

I am stingy So I don't spend much anyway so can't help in that area.

crispysausagerolls · 01/12/2019 13:21

I am shockingly bad with money but fortunately married someone who is excellent with money and sorted it all out for me 😁 not very 2019, but really bloody helpful!

AllergicToAMop · 01/12/2019 13:22

Damn. Sorry. Sent too early.

By not really giving a fuck about people, you stop giving a fuck about what they think about you. Hence you stop spending on show off things, presents etc.

Oh and to the shop. You know why fresh bread and dairy are in a back? So you have to pass all the other things which would surely go amazingly into a sandwich/surely need for cleaning/etc on a way to the back and then out. Hope this helps with the restrain. Knowing it's done on purpose.

MaJoady · 01/12/2019 13:23

If you want to stop with the clothes / black Friday etc type of spending, then I find it easiest to always have a list. Christmas presents, I plan what I buy for who and go and buy it. I can't remember the last time I went shopping to browse. Or indeed browsed online. If you do, then that's the habit to break (imo).

Because I don't regularly browse, if I do see a spontaneous, frivolous purchase when I'm out then I can usually just buy it because it's been 3months since I last bought myself something iyswim. And if I'm not sure, I take a photo, put it back and seen if I can still remember it a week later. Would that help?

Christmas I can't help with, we've never done big Christmases. But Martin Lewis had a good programme on ITV about similar last week, so perhaps take a watch?

This year was the year I did a big reorganisation of my finances. There's still some way to go, but now I have a spreadsheet for all my savings and I know exactly what is where. It's boring and a slog, but worth doing in the end

nrpmum · 01/12/2019 13:24

My light bulb moment was when I left my ex husband. Used a spreadsheet ever since because I was a single parent and had to be bloody careful with money

Digestive28 · 01/12/2019 13:27

For me it was thinking about where the money went and what I was paying for. I am much better buying local and having a conversation with someone whereas online it all can be done without thought. Once I got my head round this I felt better, I still spend possibly more as not buying online but I feel I have much much more self awareness about it so overall I am buying less so actually spending less

FollowYourOwnNorthStar · 01/12/2019 13:28

I did it when I bought a house. Financially, I cleaned up my finances, got a bills account and cut out any wasteful spending as I enjoyed seeing the mortgage and interest I was paying go down.

Also, when I unpacked in the new house, I wanted everything to have a ‘home’, it to be non-cluttered and to only have things I loved around me. As I unpacked each room I decluttered and also bought nicer things to replace some things - but when I say nicer, I mean heirloom quality pieces that will last forever, not just end up in landfill (I got a lot from other people, not just stores too).

This made me realise I didn’t want gifts that would just be a waste and clutter my home (or be thrown out) and that lots of others probably felt the same! I actively started to suggest going to dinner, or a movie or concert or an experience as a birthday/Christmas gift for both gifts I receive and that I give (adult, not children....yet!) For those that do insist on gifts, I am very specific about what I want. The only people who still buy for me are very close to me, and no one seems to ave a problem with being told this, in fact they actively ask when I am sending them the list of three things to chose from (with links and a range in price).

Having the house in order made tidying and cleaning easier and gave me more free time. I also wanted to entertain in my home more, which meant nicer, more meaningful nights with friends and family and richer relationships.

I’ve never thought of it as rejecting consumerism, but I guess, I do live a life kind of not thinking about things now. I only think about things if Something has worn out and I have to replace something. I really love looking around and seeing my place being perf calypso in order with nothing more to get/that I need.

Raver84 · 01/12/2019 13:28

When our income reduced for a while we asked if family would do secret santa. Everyone was so relieved to ony buy one gift, we've carried that on now even though finance has improved.

We do buy Xmas and birthday presents for nixeces and nephews but limit this to 30 per child. I budget this over a year and save up.

We do all our food shopping at aldi. The food and cleaning bits are fab.

I've stopped buying so many kids clothes. I pass good items to charity or sell them at car boot sale and put money towards holiday.

I have had my car a long while. I've no need to replace it.

My clothes for myself I buy second hand and only if its something to need or love. I brought a beautiful Hobbs dress yesterday for 1 pound. I'm over the moon with it.

I generally buy less shit. Only replace make up when needed. Don't waste money on grab and go coffee but do take a flask most places.

With all the above we do save a lot and I'm much happier having less crap in the house. I am. Not on insta, twitter or face book.

FollowYourOwnNorthStar · 01/12/2019 13:30

*perfectly in order....not perf calypso!

chockaholic72 · 01/12/2019 13:31

I'm a work in progress, but for me it was when I bought a house (single, no kids or parents) and realised that if ever anything went wrong, I would have to cover it - gutters, drains, boiler, car, whatever. So, I had a good look on the money management tips on Pinterest and started with the following:
Four accounts - current, savings, bills and sinking fund. I do my transfers to each account on the day I get paid. Once my current account is empty, that's it until the next payday, so it makes me think about what I buy.
Shop for clothes twice a year only. Audit your wardrobe before you go.
Do not shop for clothes as a hobby or because you are bored. Never shop with a mate. Just go for lunch, or a gallery or a museum or walk - it's cheaper than that £75 dress or pair of shoes.
Every quarter, eat down your freezer and cupboards - even if it makes for interesting combos. I do allow myself top ups of fresh fruit and veg to perk things up but can get away with missing a weekly shop when I do this.
If your council tax is debited for ten months of the year, don't spend that two free months - stick it in your sinking fund. That way you're covered for that tyre replacement or central heating breakdown or root canal.

Charles11 · 01/12/2019 13:31

Firstly, how do you imagine this simpler life you want to live? What are you doing?
Start there, then start organising your time and finances in accordance.

thebear1 · 01/12/2019 13:34

I stopped shopping as a leisure activity. No more going to the shops on a Saturday. Do supermarket shop online as. Followed some frugal threads as well.

lorettalemon · 01/12/2019 13:34

I find I don't buy all the things that are on offer and look nice or that I don't need in the supermarket now I shop online and just put in what's on my list. More expensive things like washing products, I buy 2 when they're on offer. I always look carefully at the price per millilitre and so on.

Whenever I buy anything online I go through the basket and will often delete things.

If it comes to buying clothes etc, I have a one month rule where I have to wait and see if I still really want the item and it would have to be very special.

I tend to shop for clothes mainly in one store and just buy in one go, summer and winter - I made a wish list on the app and when they had their Black Friday sale, I went in and got the things I'd been waiting for the last few months to buy on sale.

I don't buy gifts for people "just because" I feel I ought to. I'd still send a card and if it's a family member, take them out for food.

I keep a certain amount for the month in my current account (so I have to take money from the savings account if I decide I want to buy something I don't need and this usually puts me off doing it). I do watch the pennies and what's left at the end of the month, if anything, goes in the savings account.

My friends joke about my love of vouchers and discount codes, I always look for them, use Clubcard ones, the petrol ones and try to shop for the yellow sticker reduced foods if I go in a shop, it seems like it's just pennies but it quickly adds up

FollowYourOwnNorthStar · 01/12/2019 13:35

As a suggestion on how to start....if what I wrote appealed to you, pick one room in your home and declutter it, and make it streamlined and lovely. It make take a few goes to declutter, often when we do it, that’s actually just the first run through!

When I looked at what I was throwing away, and how I had paid money for all of was such an eye opener. Every dollar I spent in future I remember that pile of stuff and if I couldn’t think of a need or exact place for the thing, I couldn’t buy it. Things seemed different after that, especially as I kept throwing things out.

Busybeebeebee · 01/12/2019 13:36

Getting divorced did it for me. Firstly I wasn’t working, we had 2 kids under 2 and the childcare costs outweighed what I would have earnt. So when exH buggered off with another woman I had to act fast. I didn’t qualify for benefit as I had my own home.
Anyway, going to work in a pub twice a week for minimum wage (parents looked after the kids) did it for me. I thought who is priority here and what am I working for? Me and the kids.
At this point I made it clear that I wasn’t buying for anyone at Christmas or birthdays other than my kids.
Once kids qualified for free childcare I managed to get a daytime job and my income increased. In the meantime I also met an amazing man and luckily 5 years on he is an amazing husband who earns a good wage. He did however have a large tax bill to pay when we got together (£700 a month) so our patience has paid off together.

Busybeebeebee · 01/12/2019 13:37

Decluttering is also amazing because once you have got rid of all the stuff you don’t need you look at it and think ‘wow, that’s a lot of money I spent on this stuff I no longer need’ and it makes you think what do you REALLY need to buy going forward.

BlueSuffragette · 01/12/2019 13:37

Don't do contactless payment and try not to pay with your bank / credit card. It's too hard to keep track of spending yhat way and doesn't feel like you are using real money. Set yourself a weekly 'money to spend' budget for food/ drinks etc. Take this amount as cash out from the ATM machine each week and only spend that. You will keep a much closer eye on what you are buying. The rest of your 'not to spend' money goes on bills that are paid by direct debit and an amount by d/d into a savings account. If you only spend 'allowed' money you will keep on track.

FollowYourOwnNorthStar · 01/12/2019 13:38

I also agree (and could have written) every word @chockaholic72 said.

Emmapeeler1 · 01/12/2019 13:39

Following. I also want to simplify my life after a really shit year.

lorettalemon · 01/12/2019 13:40

I also wanted to say - my lightbulb moment was after I got rid of stbxh, who was a massive hoarder and bought loads of junk (not expensive stuff but so much tat and stuff), the clutter had driven me so mad that I became militant about being clutter free. I realised how little storage space I had, I hated the sight of stuff piled up everywhere and I realised I had pretty much what I needed and there was no point in buying stuff. I think I used to, to cheer myself up, when he was around.

Maybe it's partly about getting older, but I'm just not interested in having latest phones, lots of new clothes, going to restaurants I've heard about, like I was in my early 20s.

I feel like it's more of a hassle than a pleasure to have to change things like phones and computers so I only buy stuff that absolutely has to be replaced and I do that begrudgingly.

The other things I've found I've saved a lot on are switching so a sim only phone contract and making sure to shop around every year for the best insurance and utility deals

Dollymixture22 · 01/12/2019 13:40

Online banking was the kick up the ass I needed.

Watching my mortgage reduce with overpayments is a joy. I still treat myself, but I pause and think do I need to spend £200 on a new dress, or would I be happier transferring the money to my mortgage. Sometimes the dress wins and sometimes the mortgage.

I am planning for retirement - it’s twenty odd years away but I want to be kind to my older self so when spending money I try to balance enjoyment now with comfort and security later.

chockaholic72 · 01/12/2019 13:46

@FollowYourOwnNorthStar - ditto me with your own post! I am decluttering this weekend :-)

BlueBirdGreenFence · 01/12/2019 13:51

I didn't. As I got older and marginally increased bit by bit (mainly from getting promotions because I had experience rather than some amazing talent), I was able to be more savvy with my money. Like make repayments for finance bigger and over shorter times so paying less interest, buying slightly more for better quality so things last longer like shoes or electrical appliances. It really struck me recently when I was able to afford to pay an extra £30 for a warranty on an item. I wouldn't have afforded this in the past so would have often had to have bought the full item twice if it broke before it's lifespan. It is much more expensive to be poor.

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