Being stuck at home has its perks. If you’re like the ladies that voted on my poll… you’re actually saving money. No daycare bills. No Friday night movie nights. No vacations. Student loan repayments are put on hold. Less driving and parking. No kids sports registrations. Most people said that they have more cash on hand… and it feels good. If you could turn saving into an exciting habit, I’d tell you to ride that dopamine thrill and keep saving!
This isn’t usually how it works though. I’ve met many ladies that have become EXPERT online shoppers. From groceries and clothes to other basic life necessities, the majority of things can be purchased online these days. Businesses that weren’t up to snuff on the e-commerce wave suddenly emerged online. Those pesky internet ads don’t help either. Social media algorithms are programmed to collect information and show you exactly what you’re looking for. Online shopping is the new norm, and corporations know this. You may feel a sense of security having those extra dollars on hand… but in the click of a button (literally) you can spend it all away.
I’m in British Columbia, Canada…. and now that BC is in phase 3 of our COVID-19 re-opening, I know it’s tempting to treat yourself and/or your family. Stores everywhere are having mega sales in an effort to get that money you’ve been saving. Local businesses that are worthy of our support are asking for it. Don’t get me wrong… I believe in spending your money with joy. But I coach my clients to create a budget plan that allows them the freedom to do so. Without a budget in place for your joyful spending, it can become wild and unchecked. Here are my hot tips for resisting over-splurging.
- Make a budget that includes the future.
We all want to get out and enjoy the fact that we can actually walk around a store and make purchases again, but if you don’t have a specific amount set aside for your free spending, you could be spending away your goals… or the money you need for the roof that’s gonna leak in 3 years. You gotta plan for future you and think about how you want your money to work toward your goals. When you have a clear vision for your values and dreams…. that super cute pair of shoes just might not be worth delaying your dream trip by even a week. Or if you had a crystal ball that would tell you your water tank is gonna burst next month, you might not decide to buy that new patio furniture. Get what I’m layin’ down?
- Wait 24-48 hours before making a purchase
See something you really want to buy and genuinely think you need? Wait it out. Sleep on it. You’d be surprised how quickly you forget about an item you may not actually need. Stores are doubling down on marketing these days and are trying to make up for lost time by reaching into your pockets… and making it seem REALLY URGENT. Don’t fall for it. If you wait a day or two and still believe that you need to buy it, go back and make the purchase. You’ll feel better knowing you’ve made a smart purchase rather than an impulse buy.
- Take a break from social media
Not only are those annoying ads trying to sell you on whatever it is they think you need, your Facebook friends are also posting about the new gadgets they’ve purchased or the new home renovation they’ve just completed. This leads us to make subconscious comparisons about what they have versus what we have, and we then start to think about whether we need those things too. Take a break. Go outside and explore. Leave your technology at home. Not only will your wallet thank you, but so will your mind. It is much easier to avoid the temptations of social media marketing if your mind is in the right place.
- Make meals from scratch
Meal-prep food services deliver ready-made meals straight to your door; how convenient! You can get fast food delivered in under an hour. Yes please! It may seem easier and cheaper than going to the grocery store and making everything from scratch, but keep in mind these services charge for delivery, sometimes upwards of $2.99 for one meal…. and convenience. (Is it really worth an extra 2 bucks to have your bell pepper chopped FOR you??) And if you order more than a few times a month, these additional fees add up quickly. If you find yourself at home with more time than usual, why not take advantage and make your meals from scratch? Not only are you saving money by grocery shopping, you are also helping the environment by cutting down on packaging.
- Do your own home improvements
Of course, leave the plumbing and electrical to the professionals if these trades aren’t in your repertoire of skills. But there are many things you can do yourself to spruce up your home and by doing so you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in labour costs. For instance, rather than tossing and buying new, you can sand and paint old furniture. You’d be surprised how effective and easy this is to do. Always be sure to check the off-tints section in the paint department and save more than half the cost on paint. Or maybe you’ve been considering putting a backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom — you can buy DIY backsplash stickers from home improvement stores for a fraction of the cost. Spend time researching ideas on places like Pinterest or Instagram, and don’t be afraid to get crafty! With proper supervision, DIY home improvements are a fun thing to do with kids.
When it comes to saving money, a little effort goes a long way. These are only some of many ideas to help you reel in that cashflow. Remember, we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. This is a time when we must focus on our mental and physical health, while preparing ourselves financially for another wave.
If you feel like you need help in the budgeting department, I gotcha covered in a few ways.|
Take my free 5 day budget makeover series. I’ll send you videos and templates to help you get your budget in check.
Join my free facebook group exclusively for women to chat about money. I go live in the group to share tips and tricks that I teach my coaching clients and my Pretty Money Club members.