1. Time Versus Money
Nearly every spending situation is a matter of time versus money. Do you get the bus to town or do you walk? Do you sew up the tear in your dress or buy a new one? I try to avoid paying for things that I don’t really need so I repair rather than buy. I am however, a little stretched on time so I can’t walk the hour to our shopping centre.
2. Don’t Throw Anything Away
Well up to a point; if you don’t have a project lined up for those empty cardboard tubes, recycle them or your roommate will. For instance, the ideas for this website were first written in an old college notepad only a few pages down from a list entitled “Things to do before Uni”.
3. Think Free
A lot of people spend money because they think they have to. However, a lot of things can be gotten for free on websites like Freecycle or from friends who don’t need the item anymore. For instance, my friend recently moved into a shared house. I’ve let her borrow my toaster, kettle etc. because I don’t need them while I’m at home.
4. Get Creative
Everyone goes a little present crazy around the holidays; I know I personally spend about £10 per person and in December it all adds up on my credit card. However, something that a friend did last year and I plan to do this year is make presents. Last year I got a hand-knitted scarf and a hand-sewn heart decoration. These kitsch presents could easily have been sold in a store for probably more than ten times the price they cost to make. The fact that they were homemade also made them more special.
5. Use Discounts
Too many people pay full-price for items when there are plenty of deals available to cut the price. Websites like myvouchercodes often have discount codes that you can use in shops, online, in restaurants and for takeaways. You can even add an extension onto your web browser to automatically source dicount codes.
6. Sell, Sell, Sell
Everyone has a certain amount of stuff at home that they don’t want and the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” exists for a reason. There are lots of places to sell; jumble sales, car boot sales and my personal favourite, eBay on their free weekends.
7. Charity Begins At Home
Some people continue to dismiss charity shops as being full of outdated clothes, half completed puzzle books, and broken toys. This is simply not true. They can be great for work attire (shirts, suits, smart dresses), fancy dress parties (especially 1980s) and books. The majority of my book collection is from charity shops.
8. Shop Around
Today I wanted to buy McFly’s autobiography. It was listed on the publisher’s website for £18.99 which is expensive even for something I want as much as that. After a quick search or different bookshops and supermarkets (Waterstones, WHSmiths, Tesco etc), I found it for £9 (less than half price!) on Asda.com including free delivery. It took less than 10 minutes and saved me nearly 10 pounds. That’s why you should never take the first price you get.
9. Borrow, Don’t Buy
The things I most like to buy; DVDs and books are very expensive to buy new (especially if you like blu-ray or hardback editions). The problem is that most books I only read once, most films I only watch once so why would I buy them? I borrow books from the local library for free. I currently have out five books, four of which are hardbacks and have not yet been released in paperback in the UK. My friends and I share out our DVD collection so it costs about a quarter of the price.
10. Have a Fuck-Off Fund
We never know when things could go wrong and at that point, you don’t want to be going to a payday loan company. The idea is that if you start saving whatever you can each month and put it into a high-interest account then you’ll soon have a tidy sum to pay for a failed MOT, a broken phone or new glasses; someday you’ll even have enough of a safety net put aside to do almost anything like…