150 Day Spending Ban: Reflection and Tips 'n' Tricks
Hello wonderful people. A little while back I completed my 150 day spending ban! Your support and kind words meant the world to me and I honestly would not have done as well as I did without all your motivational comments week after week. So thank you :)
I thought I would write a quick post about what I learnt over my 150 days, as well as some tips and tricks that may help you if you are thinking about doing a spending ban or simply want to save money. I am by no means a master of saving now, but I learnt a lot and would like you share with you so perhaps it would help someone :)
Firstly what I learnt...
- Its only make up. Yes it may *seem* like the end of the world to not get that limited edition lipstick but really... is it that unique? Is it going to destroy your world? Probably not. And while it is painful to watch your entire twitter feed rave about the latest limited edition items, in the long run I haven't even remembered what it is was I wanted 6 months down the line.
- Buying lunches costs A BOMB! I used to spend about £80 a month on food for work. Yes, mental! I cut that out completely as part of this spending ban and honestly I haven't looked back since. I'm not any hungrier and all it really takes is an extra 5 mins to throw a banana, apple and some leftovers in a bag and take it to work with me. BOOM - £480 saved automatically. Thats almost £1000 a year. Thats a holiday.
- Being in debt is NOT worth it. Getting out of debt however is a great feeling.
- Debenhams/Asos/FeelUnique ect... ALWAYS have 10% sales. Don't feel like you have to spend because of the 10% off this weekend baloney. The amount of times I saw it come up over the course of my ban was ridiculous. I used to get suckered into thinking "Oh I must buy something as its 10% off and this deal is too good to miss". In reality, they always have these deals on every other week so only buy if you really need something.
So here are some tips and tricks I picked up along the way!
- Shopping the stash helps massively to beat shopping cravings. Got an itch to spend? Delve into your stash and you can come out with some things practically untouched and forgotten about. I loved changing up my make up every week and giving it all some use. It was like a mini shopping trip in my own home.
- You may *think* you want something, but leave it a couple of days and your mind may change. One thing I learnt was things I wanted last month, I didn't want so much the next. I was getting caught in the hurricane of hype for products and felt like my life depended on having it. When really I didn't want it that much after all.
- Always search for coupon codes! The one thing I did buy on my spending ban was skincare as I completely ran out. After typing in "Feel Unique" and "Coupon Code 2013" into google, I managed to save myself £40! Asking on twitter helps too, we are lucky enough in the #bbloggers community to have a bunch of lovely ladies sharing the latest codes.
- Search your stash for dupes before buying. Little did I know, the one time I broke my ban for the MAC Archie Girls collection, I actually bought two lipsticks and had very similar ones in my stash. While I don't mind, as I loved the packaging - if it was in normal MAC packaging I would have been bummed! As beauty bloggers/make up addicts we have a lot of products, so we probably have something remarkably similar in our stashes already :)
- Try using up something similar if you want to buy something. By this I mean...if you are lusting after a new foundation, finish your current one first. The chances are if you buy this new one, your old one will get left behind and expire. Finish up products and treat yourself afterwards - its very rewarding!
- As beauty bloggers, its very easy to buy new products to "review". I'm lucky that a lot of my posts are literally just make up looks I whip up without the need to spend actual money. Try reviewing things in your stash that you haven't reviewed before, or come up with post ideas that don't require spending money. Things like make up looks, face of the days, outfit of the days, little life catch ups can be just as interesting to your readers. I am a huge fan of Paintpotted's Amy and how she incorporates lots of post ideas that don't require money spent - like her Rat Snaps post and holiday pictures.
- Making little goals and setting targets for yourself will really help. For me, it was all about affording to go on holiday and being able to comfortably have a good time money wise. The last time I went, I wasn't able to have a cheeky drink at a bar or buy that little souvenir I wanted as I sadly couldn't afford it. My goal this time around was to be able to treat myself to these little things. Setting goals like saving for a holiday, saving for a that Mulberry handbag or having enough money for that Macbook will make the spending ban SO much easier and make achieving that goal so much sweeter.
- Research before buying. A mistake I have made only a few too many times. I have bought countless high end products only to find myself disappointed at the quality and pigmentation. Temptalia is a godsend for reviews on the newest MAC, Nars and other collections and will save you a lot of money. Trust me. And trust her reviews. For a long time I read her reviews and thought... nahhh this product will work better for me. Nope. It didn't!
And lastly, I thought you would like to see my empties over the past 150 days. I think for me this is quite a bit and I knocked out a decent chunk of my stash.
Anyways, I think thats enough tips for today! But honestly, I do hope they helped someone reading. If you are reading this and thinking you would love to do a spending ban but don't think you would be able to, give it a try! If I can do it, you sure can :)
Please comment and leave your money saving tips! I'd love to know! :)