If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, then you know I love to shop. I love to spend money. But you know what doesn’t share my joy in shopping and spending money? My bank account.
As much fun as shopping is, real life happens and real life costs money. In other words, I’ve got bills to pay. Plus, I’ve spent too frivilously in previous years and now that I’m older, it’s time to do better. I’ve learned that I need to be more choosy about what I spend and how I spend it.
These days, when I buy something, I try to ask myself the following three questions:
- Do I need it right now? 2. Do I love it? and 3: Can I DIY it, or buy it secondhand?
1. Do I need it right now?
I am trying hard to only buy the things that we need, but let’s be realistic. Sometimes, you have paid all your bills, you’ve put money in savings, and you want to spend a little on yourself. Sometimes, that mirror you’ve been eyeing comes on sale and you just can’t pass it up. It is OK to buy something you want but don’t need every once in awhile if you’ve taken care of your needs first. When I ask myself this question, it isn’t a deal breaker if I don’t need it. It’s only a deal breaker if it isn’t a necessity, but the necessities haven’t been taken care of yet. If it’s something you don’t need now, but may need later, it’s better to wait until you do need it to buy it. That way, you also avoid the clutter of having the item sit around until you need it.
2. Do I love it?
I struggle with this when it comes to clothing. I might like an item of clothing and think it’s cute, but when I try it on, I don’t love it. If I like the clothing item, but can’t imagine at least three ways I can wear it, I need to leave it at the store. I may like a decor item, but if I don’t love it and I can’t imagine where I’d display it in my home, then I need to pass it up. I’ve bought lots of things over the years that I liked, but ended up giving away later on. If you don’t love it, and know immediately how you’d use it, don’t spend your money.
3. Can I DIY it, or buy it secondhand?
You can score some incredible deals at thrift stores, Craigslist, and consignment shops. I have consignment shopped for furniture, clothing, and decor items. We have bought several pieces of furniture off Craigslist, including our dining room set.
When it comes to DIY decor and furniture, Pinterest is your friend. Even if you aren’t sure how you could DIY something, Pinterest can give you the sudden inspiration you need to figure it out. I recently created these captain’s mirrors when I was unable to find new ones that fit my budget.
I hope these money-saving tips have been helpful to you. What finance tips are you practicing these days?