How Not To Spend Money

Written by Karen Bryan

how not to spend moneyThere are many spending traps into which to fall; the trick is to avoid as many as possible, especially if that spending doesn’t bring you any real benefit. So here are my eight tips on being frugal and how not to spend money.

Stick to a Debit Card

Only use a debit card, then you can’t spend what you do not have in your bank account. Then it’s harder to over spend.

Only Use Your Overdraft in (Real!) Emergencies

Most overdrafts incur charges, so don’t use it if at all possible. Keep a safety margin of say £50 – £100 in your current account so that you don’t end up going into the red.

Avoid Sales So You Don’t Spend to Save Money

Although this may sound counter intuitive, I think that going to sales can encourage you to buy things you don’t really need, because they seem to be such good bargains. Fair enough if you have something specific in mind which you can buy at a discount in a sale, but otherwise give sale browsing a miss.

Get a Credit Card with 0% on New Purchases

I’ve illustrated how you can even make a small profit with a credit card that offers 0% on new purchases by putting the money to pay off each month’s balance in an interest bearing savings account. This is only for the super disciplined. Again, this only works if you stick to only buying what you need.

Don’t Sign a Mobile Phone Contract

Why not keep your current phone for longer (do you really need the latest model)? I get by with a Samsung Jet which cost me half the price of an iphone and does everything I need it to.  You can buy a giffgaff sim card (runs on the O2 network); as an example, £10 a month  gives 250 minutes to UK landlines and any mobile network, unlimited texts and data and free giffgaff to giffgaff calls.

Buy a Flask

With a cup of tea or coffee at a cafe costing £2 or more, spending a few pounds on a flask is a great investment.  When I’m at events like the World Travel Market I take my 500 ml flask which saves me a few pounds on hot drinks and time standing in long queues at the catering stalls. When we go for a day out in the countryside we take the one litre flask. It’s not only about spending less, but it also means we can have a hot drink at some lovely spots where there isn’t a cafe.

Have a Good Rake Through Your Wardrobe

Your wardrobe is probably so crammed that you’ve forgotten some items lurking in there. Don’t buy new clothes if you have plenty to wear already.

Take your Lunch to Work

If you prepare lunch to take to work, you won’t spend on sandwiches from a bakery.

This article was included in the Totally Money Best of Blogs 2011.

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