One of my 2018 resolutions is to manage my finances better, so I’ve decided to take baby steps towards achieving that and here are the few steps I am taking:
- Carrying packed lunch – We have microwaves on every floor in the office and we have a very well equipped kitchen where we can warm our food, so I always carry packed lunch to minimise buying sandwiches which could easily be €5 each and by 5 working days, that’s €25 per week and €100 per month on lunch alone. I also buy bread, cheese and ham sometimes me and keep them in the fridge in my office just in case I forget lunch then I can make my own sandwich.
- Cable Tv Subscription – I cancelled my cable TV subscription when I realised how much I was spending every month on very few TV channels and opted for NETFLIX which is less than €10 per month compared to the €59 I was paying monthly.
- Couponing – My supermarket always gives coupons with every purchase and before, I would throw them in the bin because I was shy to use them, but now I make very good use of them. I keep them in my purse and when I go shopping I choose the ones I need for that day.
- Buying on promotion or during sales – The beauty shop where I buy my beauty products has a special promotion every month where I can buy at least two or three products on half price or two for one then on top of that, they have little promotional gifts like nail polish, mascara, facial wipes, make up remover, hand cream etc, so I make a shopping list of what I need and I wait until I receive the promotional voucher then I do my purchase. We also have sales in January and July, so I make a list of things I need to buy and buy during the sales when I can buy for half the price or up to 70% off.
- Styling my own hair – I learnt how to plait hair on my late mum’s and my sisters’ hair. That skill has come in handy since living in Belgium. Having your hair done in Belgium is very expensive and on top of that, they hardly style your hair the way you want, so over the years, I learnt how to style my own hair. Its saves me hours spent in a salon because there’s always a queue and the money to have it done.
- Making my own hair products – Since going natural, not only have I learnt how to style my own hair, I’ve also learnt how to make my own DIY hair products that I use to save money. I buy raw shea butter and oils of my choice and whip up my own hair butters and moisturizers.
- DIY for sale – I recently took up knitting again which I learnt when I was a little girl when I knitted stuff for my dolls. I now knit scarves, hoodies and anything my friends requests and I sell them.
- Buying only what I need – When I moved to Belgium and discovered the January and July sales, I went crazy! I would just get up and go shopping even if I didn’t need anything in particular, now I make a list of things I really need and even when I go shopping, I stick to my shopping list though occasionally I would add one or two things not on the list but I have really improved on impulse shopping
- Home gym – I personally prefer working out at home in the comfort of my own home or go for a run when the weather permits than go to the gym because I don’t like being stared at by men as I work out and gym subscriptions are also expensive.
- Drinking water – I’ve always been paranoid about tap water, so I’ve always bought bottled water. Recently, a friend gifted me with a water filter and I am using it instead of always buying bottled water.
- Piggy Bank – Every time I go shopping and I get change in coins, the €1 & €2 coins go in a piggy bank and I plan to take them out at the end of the year and see how much I save.
- Second hand & Charity shops – Second hand and charity shops aren’t only for poor people, they are best places to buy good quality clothes shoes and accessories for less. I am glad I live in a an area where there is one at almost every corner of the street and I just love shopping from their sometimes. One day, a friend came by with a beautiful leather handbag, I asked her where she bought it from and she showed me the charity shop where she bought it from. I am yet to go there but I’ve seen it and they have great stuff.
- Eating out less – I have quiet good number of friends and sometimes we go out for a drink or for a bit but I know I can’t afford eating out every time, so sometimes I cook and invite my friends over for a meal while we catch up on what’s going on in our lives. Of course I make an exception on special occasions, I have to live a little too ;-).
- Budgeting – Budgeting has really helped me stick to buying only what I need. I don’t go on shopping sprees like I used to before, I only buy what’s on my budget but I occasionally treat myself to something nice. It’s allowed ;-).
What simple steps are you taking to save money this year? Any suggestions I can add to the list?
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and you find it helpful.
Thanks for dropping by!