Getting Started – Stop Spending

Many people in the UK are struggling with debt. The UK owes a total of £56.5 billion in credit card debt. The average household owes £2033 in credit cards. But, many of us are not average. If we are honest, many of us have fallen into a credit trap in the past year and find it almost impossible to get out.

We adjust ourselves to a certain standard of living. We use credit cards to buy things we need and often things we don’t. As long as we can pay the bills, we do not worry about them. But, life has a way of upsetting our apple cart. People get sick. Jobs are lost. Rent and life expenses go up. When we allow ourselves little financial wiggle room, these life-events don’t take long to put us behind. When we start relying on our credit cards for our daily expenses or taking out loans to pay the credit card bills, which leads us to more debt, we have a problem. But, how do you start correcting that problem when you are smack in the middle of it? The first thing you do is STOP SPENDING. As Will Rogers once said, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” This is excellent advice in this situation. You must make an immediate decision to stop buying unnecessary things and overpriced items now. Until your financial crisis is over, every cent matters.

In this article, we will share a few tips for saving money. Hopefully, this will help you see the way out of the misery of living a life where you have more money going out every month than you have coming in.

Be honest

It is time for some cold, hard facts. If you have a spouse or partner involved, the two of you need to sit down and honestly list everything coming in and going out of the household money. Only then will you have a clear picture of what you need to do to turn things around.

Yes, you will have to make the (dreaded) budget. But, several free apps will help you create your budget and track your spending easily.

Adult time

Financial matters are best kept between adults. Children are not equipped to understand needs versus wants. They are little creatures of habit. If they are used to asking for everything they see, and usually end up getting them, that is what they will do. When it comes to our kids, we tend to let our feelings override our good sense. So, in this situation, adults need to set limits and support each other.

Perfect timing

Fashion trends and home decor trends for 2022 are set. This will be the year for vintage and sustainability. The colors and patterns will be much like they had in the 70s. This means you will need few items for your wardrobe or home. Search the attic and bring out items from yesteryear.

It is also a perfect time to sell your excess. You need cash. Go through the closets, storage rooms,  and attics and have a big yard sale. List nice coats and items that no longer fit on eBay.

Barter and swap

Is the guitar your son just had to have and never learned to play collecting dust in the corner? Has your spouse given up on the fancy body-building set in the basement? Maybe you want to trade in your skiing equipment for a set of golf clubs. Don’t buy anything. Instead, barter your services or swap your items online. There are many swap sites with people just like you who have one thing but need another. Check them out. You may be surprised at what you can get and get rid of.

Better than going out for dinner

Do you love to go out for dinner? You like to eat wonderful food that you do not have to cook. But eating at restaurants will be off-limits (or at least severely limited) for a while. There is another option.

Dinner group

Get with a group of your friends. How many is up to you. Once per week, each friend will make a home-cooked meal for the group that can be frozen and easily heated, and served. You can do this with one meal, two meals, or any number up to seven meals. The group meets for coffee one day per week, and each member swaps their meal(s) for one prepared by another group member. The more meals, the better. If each member prepares three meals, they go home with three homemade meals to put in the freezer, ready to heat and serve. Add a salad and rolls, and you are ready to eat.

The result is each family gets to eat delicious food that they did not have to cook. Eating a meal that is different from one you normally would cook keeps dinner interesting. You save money and time.

If your group shops for groceries in bulk and splits the product and costs, you save even more money. Note: Some people team up with lunch buddies at the office. Each person brings lunch, and they swap. This makes it fun to eat in, and saves the money of eating at a restaurant.

 

There are many ways to save money and still enjoy your life. You are not being punished. You are being responsible and smart. You are finding ways to make what you work hard to earn more valuable. Click on the tips link above and get busy taking your life back. You can do this. It all starts with stopping the spending. 

 

See some more of my money and finance posts here

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