3 Way to Psych Yourself Into Being More Frugal

“Well, that was a total waste of money!”

Have you ever said that to yourself after making a purchase? Wishing you hadn’t made a purchase is something that bothers a person in lots of ways. They worked hard for that money, and now it’s gone. They feel guilty that they didn’t put more thought into the purchase. Or they are mad at themselves for not showing more restraint in the store. We’ve all wasted money on things that we shouldn’t have. But how can we keep ourselves from making the mistake again? There are three things that you can do to be more frugal with your money.

spend less money

Determine what really matters 

Before your next trips into a store, spend some time thinking about the sorts of purchases that you are more happy with after making the purchase.

Are you happy buying experiences such as concerts, movie outings, or meals at fun restaurants? Are you happier buying stuff that you can have over a long period of time, such as furniture?

Whatever you like, be honest with yourself and call a spade a spade. Now that you know what you enjoy purchasing the most, consider cutting out spending extra amounts of your income on things that you don’t enjoy as much. That way, you align your wish list with your receipts.

Don’t buy stupid stuff you don’t need

It’s such a simple statement, but it says a lot. Don’t. Buy. Stupid. Stuff. Do you need a fun new mug with your favorite character on it? Do you need to buy brand new clothes? Do you need to go out to dinner if your friends are, but you aren’t really hungry? No.

Now, you may decide to do these things, just for the fun of it, and that’s okay. But, consider what you are doing as you do it. Will that impulse purchase really make you happy? Or are you just feeding what could be considered a childish need to have a shiny new thing right away?

Delay making purchases

Whenever you want something, it can be difficult to tell if your desire for it is an impulse, or if you want the thing because you will really want it and use it. A good way to tell if your desire has the ability to withstand the test of time or if it will dissipate, is to wait. The next time something catches your eye, put it on a list, then wait. Clean your home, organize your finances, and pass the time.

If you can say, around a month later, that you still want to make the purchase, then chances are much better that you’ll be happy with yourself after making the purchase. If you aren’t really interested in it anymore, or if you’ve added other things to the list that you would rather have, then you might want to consider cutting it from your list altogether.

If you haven’t been very careful with your money in the past, don’t beat yourself up too much. It can be difficult to be frugal. But if you consider the types of purchases you are thrilled with afterward, keep yourself from making silly purchases, and delay making purchases, chances are high that you will be much happier with the purchases that you make.

 

Gadgets I Love and Make My Life Easier

I hate stuff. I’m at a point in my life where I crave space and don’t want anything I don’t use on a semi regular basis.

This weekend I was cleaning out a closet and was actually getting annoyed by the sheets consuming too much space, bedding we need and use but because they weren’t physically on a bed at the moment I almost threw them in the donate box just so I could have that tiny bit of space. It’s crazy.

I’ve never considered myself a ‘’gadget’’ person. I don’t see things like fancy new uHD TV’s and immediately want them. I’m practical in that way but sometimes gadgets have a way of making their way into my life and change it forever. Usually through my husband who is in fact very much a man who loves his toys. Though this drives me crazy sometimes, sometimes I have to give him credit where credit is due and he (for the most part) has introduced me to some stuff that I really enjoy and I feel make my life a little bit easier.

which gadgets help life

Keurig Machine

The beef I used to have with a traditional coffee maker is that I’m usually the only one drinking it so would make a larger pot just for me and after my one (very rarely two) small cups I’d be done and throw the rest of the pot away. I also use to set the timer to be ready in the morning, which requires prep and me actually remembering to do it in my groggy before bed state of mind. If I’m being honest, this routine more often than not led me to frustration (first world problems, I know) and I ended up forgoing home coffee entirely and got take away instead.

Welcome k-cup maker. I love that I have individual coffee cups, in different brewing size options and different flavor options. Some mornings I want my chai tea while others I want a good ‘ol cup of coffee. This is still significantly less than buying and I find it much easier to use and deal with than traditional coffee machine.

My Smartphone

Does this even need an explanation? It’s an extension of my body and I no longer no how to function without it. I pay bills, answer emails, engage in social media and take pictures. There is very little I don’t use this gadget for.

E-reader

I love to read, so does my husband, between the two of us we have hundreds of books and I hate how much space they take up! I’m so glad we can have as many books as we want contained in one little device. Some books are worth buying in paper copy and we still buy a ton of books for our kiddo but for us we’re getting into the habit of reading digital (we share one e-reader between the two of us, we don’t both need one).

Do you have any gadgets you love to use or have made your life easier in some way?

Would School Uniforms Reduce Clothing Costs for Kids?

When people see students wearing uniforms, they can conclude that the student goes to either a private school or a Catholic school. As a kid, I went to both Catholic elementary school and Catholic high school. In elementary school, they had uniforms when I was in junior and senior kindergarten. When I was in the first grade they stopped it. However, since uniform was mandatory for students attending a Catholic high school, I had to go with my parents to purchase the appropriate uniform from the supplier for Catholic high schools.

private school uniform

Image Courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

That was quite a long time ago. I vaguely remember the cost being around almost $300 for a few shirts, a couple of pairs of pants, a sweater, a vest, and a kilt.  That didn’t include the cost of dress shoes. My first pair, which lasted a couple of years, was about $100. The pairs of pants were way too long for my vertically challenged self. Thankfully, my mom was able to hem my pants, so that didn’t cost anything.

I figured I was all set to meet the dress code for my entire high school career.  The clothing provided from the uniform store was very baggy, even for the small sizes.  I didn’t realize until after my first few weeks of high school that you could buy dress shirts and dress pants that fit better from regular clothing stores.

So on top of spending the initial $400, I would slowly phase out my traditional uniform pieces with more fashionable ones.  Back then, I’d say I purchased dress shirts for around $15-$20 and dress pants ranged from $20-$40.

A very rough estimate of how much I spent (of my parent’s money) for my school uniform throughout my school years would be $600-$700. When you think about it, $600-$700 for five years (during my time in high school, the length of high school in order to attend university was five years, however some people fast tracked and earned their credits in four) doesn’t seem too bad at all, considering that could be the yearly clothing budget for some people. Maybe even more!

I do understand though then when you have a professional job, you do have to look a certain way. Since you’re earning significantly more, you would want to buy good quality pieces that would last a long time. Often, good quality means paying a little bit more, but you also have the choice of buying good quality secondhand.

Imagine spending $600-$700/year on clothing every year for five years straight though…..

When it was time to go to university, I actually had to do some regular clothes shopping, because universities in Canada don’t have a uniform dress code. I certainly didn’t want to be the only one wearing a high school uniform while everyone else was in hoodies and jogging pants!

I like to think that having a uniform in high school did save me a bit of money. It also saved me the stress of having to figure out what to wear each day. My only thought was: Is it going to be a white shirt with grey pants or a white shirt with black pants?

Although most teenagers would beg to differ because they may feel wearing a uniform doesn’t give you a chance to express your individuality, I felt that having a uniform put almost everyone on a level playing field. Kids didn’t get made fun of so much because of how they looked or because they weren’t wearing a certain brand of clothing. They didn’t feel peer pressure/financial pressure or put financial pressure on their parents to buy expensive high-end clothing just because all the cool kids wore it. At my school, even the cool kids wore uniforms, because, well they had to. Mind you, there was a LOT of people who would rebel by leaving their shirttails out or wear black running shoes and try to pass them off as “dress shoes”.

 

Did you have to wear a uniform in school? Do you think making uniforms mandatory would save money on kids’ clothing?

3 Places to Find Wedding Decor and Items

If you read my other blog or my spotty, not so weekly updates, you know that I got married back in July and am gearing up to go on my honeymoon just now.

I was planning my wedding all the way from September, 2013. I remember a time when I felt that I couldn’t do any of the fun planning because the wedding was too far away.

where to get stuff for wedding

Little did I know that there is no FUN in wedding planning, in the slightest.

Planning out decor and activities seems like a light hearted, fun activity, until you start seeing the price tags on supplies that you need.

Case in point: Renting tablecloths from a local rental place cost $10.00 per tablecloth. You can find them, as I did, through various vendors for $8/tablecloth.

The better deal, apparently, is to buy the table cloths because you can then sell them after. But even so, the initial cost of buying 20 table cloths at $8/piece (and then thinking about all the other things just in the linens category that you have to shell out for) is enough to make a bride and groom shudder.

I saved a lot on our wedding by finding various things through different channels. Here’s what I mean:

Facebook Wedding Groups

I was not a very active user on Facebook when I got engaged, but since then, I’ve spent more and more time on Facebook, all for the wedding buy/sell/swap groups.

There are a few of which I am a member, and they are a goldmine for good advice and discounted decor items.

Now, be aware that many of the brides on those groups are shady. I once saw somebody post 50 brown paper bags for $10, then saw the exact same bags at the dollar store for $1. So do your research! Don’t fall into the trap.

This is also a great place to sell the things that you don’t need when your wedding is over and done with, although with a lot of headaches and annoyance as people fail to pick things up.

Craigslist

I’m a huge fan of Craigslist and have been for years. It has helped me save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on household items, electronics, and various other things, including wedding stuff.

I bought all of the flatware and dishes that we needed for the wedding on Craigslist. A dinner theater was closing down in the area so was selling everything for around $300 – including plates, bowls, flatware, glasses, wine glasses, ice buckets, and so much more.

Renting these things would have cost far more than $300, and we got to sell them after, too.

The Dollar Store

It’s funny how few people clue in when wedding planning that the dollar store is a great place to buy a lot of the stuff they need for a wedding. 

I bought ice buckets, vases, and even electric tea lights at the dollar store. Then, I’d log onto that Facebook group and people would be selling those things for $5 instead of the $1 that they bought it for.

Not everything from the Dollar Store is plastic, and I got some really good deals on a lot of stuff.