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! :)

Comments

  1. Congrats on getting through the spending ban! It's inspired me to do one of my own; my flat is completely cluttered by all my products and I rarely if ever finish a product and spend way too much money buying new ones and ending up broke! I think this has given me the push I need to actually do a spending ban now! X

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    1. Aww thanks Harriet, thats great to hear! Do let me know how you get on :)

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  2. I really need to do this! I always spend on things I don't need. My friends and I do swaps. We all bring products that we don't use often or just aren't for us and switch. Its a nice way of getting new stuff but not spending money! xx Rena

    Kiss and Make Up

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  3. The holiday photos are a good idea, I take a toooon of them anytime I go somewhere. With all of the disney posts you've been putting up, I'm half tempted to put up some of my old photos at Disneyland Paris xD The lunch thing is a great idea and I already google coupon codes always xD

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  4. WOW at your empties stash, well done! Great tips and tricks too :) x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

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  5. I really admire you for sticking to the ban, I think I'm good at resisting temptation most of the time but it is a bit hard when you feel you're the only one not blogging about a certain item! Do you have a quidco account? It's great for earning cash back, most online beauty and fashion retailers on it :) x

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    1. I haven't, but I have heard a lot of bloggers use it so I may look into it! Sounds like you can't go wrong earning money back!

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  6. That is one impressive empties pile! There's a catering company around the corner from me at work and although I take my own there's a couple of people in the office who go there every day, don't even want to think about how much they spend!

    You did a fab job on the spending ban, proud of you :)

    p.s thanks for the cheeky mention ;)

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    1. Thanks Amy :) Spending at work is something people often forget about, I for one certainly did until I worked out just how much I was spending!

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  7. That's a LOT of empties. It's amazing how much you get through when you shop your stash instead of buying something new all the time. I think a lot of people will learn from this post. It's definitely got some amazing tips :D

    The cost of your lunches was extreme when you calculate it up. You don't realise how much you spend when you look at just daily. I'm lucky in work to not have people stealing food (I've heard that happen in other places) so I can buy a loaf of bread and box of cup of soups for the week and that's me sorted. £2 per week. I used to spend so much before this, at least £4 per day. SO bad! :O

    Juyey xx

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    1. Thanks Juyey, thats all I really wanted - to give some tips on what I learnt and maybe help someone else :)
      And I know right? Crazy amount of money! We go to work to earn money not spend it! So glad I'm out of that habit :)

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  8. Thanks for this. I'm a chronic overspender and I really need to be on a spending ban. x x

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    1. No problem Leah, hope one of the tips helped :)

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  9. Thank you so much for this post as I'm reeeeaaally wanting to do a spending ban to save for a new camera! You done so well, you must be so proud!

    Megan xxx
    Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty Blog

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    1. Thanks Megan! I hope some of these tips will help you! :)

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  10. Congrats and kudos, seriously! I still don't think I could do it -_-

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    1. Aww I bet you could Sarah! You just need an end goal like I had. I think you could totally do it for a trip to Disney :D

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  11. Thank you for all these tips! :D
    I'm not sure I could pull off a spending ban just yet but you have helped me so much
    and I love your new blog layout!!

    SAMI★SPOON

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    1. Thanks Sami! :D I love it too, the lovely and talented Amy did it for me :D

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  12. Congrats on getting through it. Work/uni lunches are a pain, it's the drinks that kill me. I take a 750ml bottle and still end up spending a few quid on drinks in the day, especailly with this heat!

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    1. Yeah drinks are a pain! I got a bobble bottle for x-mas so you can fill it with tap water and it "filters" it. Its become a lifesaver for not buying bottles of water :)

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  13. Congrats!!! Your post with tips & tricks is very inspiring. I've been contemplating on doing a spending ban myself, thank you for sharing your story.

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    1. No problem April :) I hope some of these tips help you :D

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  14. Super congrats on the 150 spending ban! I need to go on one of these and quick. Your tips & tricks are very helpful and hopefully help me when I choose to start!

    - Jess
    The Mod Mermaid

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  15. My dear, I just want to take a moment to say that I am very very proud of you and this has truly been an inspiring post! I have terrible money spending habits and I have more makeup than I can use for the next 10 life times. Seeing your stash of empties has been especially inspiring and I am going to work harder to clear out my own stash!

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    1. Aww thanks lovely :) I am really happy to hear you say that! Your comment was so sweet :)

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  16. Amazing empties stash! Recently I realised how rarely I ever finish anything off as I buy so much, oops! xx

    http://beckyalyssasbeautybox.wordpress.com

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  18. Great inspiration and amazing tips! You did such a wonderful job with the ban and had a lovely vacation as a result. Yay! xo

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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  19. My #1 tip for a no-buy: stop watching videos/reading blogs/receiving ads from cosmetic companies in your email. Unsub if you have to.. you can always resub later. Removing the constant temptation helps tremendously. Also stay away from stores/departments within stores that you know are a temptation. You can't buy something in Sephora if you don't go. If you do run out of something.. say mascara.. get someone else to go pick it up for you.

    The ultimate congratulations for making it through 150 days.. that is a huge amount of time to stay strong.

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    1. Thank you :) Thats a great tip too!

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  20. That is such an achievement, well done! Those empties are something to be proud of! Beth May Blogs

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  21. Thanks for sending your link in the #bbloggers chat! Ill deffo be giving this challenge a go now and these tip and tricks will come in handy!!

    Lisa x

    http://littlemisslines.blogspot.co.uk/

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