Monday, 29 December 2014

9 Tips to Save Money and Curb Impulse Shopping

I just got my credit card bill. Le seigh. You know that saying "shopping is my cardio"? Can online shopping be cardio? Well, that's my weakness. But I'm resolving to save a little more, so that means spending less. Here are the tips I'm going to try and follow to help grow our savings and pay for an upcoming trip.

1. Unsubscribe from retailer emails and unlike their FB and Instagram pages. Bye bye J. Crew. Au revoir Anthro. No more will I allow you to assault my Facebook news feed with free advertising because once upon a time I clicked 'like'. And my inbox? It already feels lighter. I picked my favourite (Chapters Indigo), and that one got to stay. But otherwise outta sight, outta mind.

2. Tell a friend about the item. This trick I do often with my friends or on the blog. Sometimes I find something that I think is so great, but I probably don't really need it, so I feel better when I tell others about it.

3. Don't buy for "sometime." I often find gifts and think, "Oh this would be a great baby shower gift, or this would be a great gift for so and so." But the problem is, I just end up buying more things and don't always gift them when I thought I would. My new mantra is this - If it's not something I need right now, or I don't know exactly when and for whom I need a gift, I won't buy it.

4. Use up what you have.  Stationery, food, cosmetics. These are all things that I have multiples of at home. I resolve to use up the things I have at home before I buy anymore. Seriously, there is almost half a cow in my freezer.

5. Brown bag it. I'm usually pretty good about bringing my own lunch, mostly because at work I really don't often have time to run out and grab something. But, I can be better at making Rob's lunch for him, so that he buys it less often. At least that's what I tell myself. Rob tells me that whenever I make him lunch, he eats it at 9:30am and then still gets "second lunch". Ugh. So maybe this one doesn't really work.....

6. Use the library. Buying a Kobo has got to be one of the best investments I've ever made. Ebooks are usually only slightly less expensive when buying a hard copy, but I can download books from the Toronto Public Library right onto my Kobo for free. Free books. On my Kobo. Plus the waitlists for ebooks are often shorter at the library. I also don't have to go pickup or return my books because they just disappear off my Kobo when my lending period is over.

7. 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Purchase.  Check out this article. The idea is to ask yourself, how will you feel about this purchase in 10 minutes? in 10 months? in 10 years? Focus on short and long-term profit/loss. I've been trying to use this one more and more lately. In 10 months I'll likely be annoyed that I spent X number of dollars on another sweater, but I'll probably be ok with splurging for a glass of wine when I'm out for dinner and a movie with a friend.

 8. Sell your stuff. I'm a purger. I'm constantly going through our house and getting rid of stuff we never use. Sometimes I just give things away, mostly stuff like books and such, to friends. Other times I'll send a big pile of stuff off for donation. But if something is still in great shape, I find local buy and sell groups on Facebook and sell items there. I belong to a couple, and it's a super easy way to make a few extra dollars if you've got extra stuff around the house.

9.  Scope out where kids can eat for free.  When you're out for dinner with your family, try finding a restaurant where kids eat free, usually with the purchase of an adult entree. Here's a list of 9 family-friendly restaurants where kids eat free.

So those are my money-saving tips. Do you have any to add? I'm sure we'd all love to read them too!

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