Reading this blog, you can get a feel for how we nuts like to live life to the fullest, whether it be by engaging in various activities listed on our summer bucket list, attending outdoor music festivals, or searching for great spots to dine and drink. The one downside to an amazing summer filled with exciting experiences, is the havoc it wreaks on your bank account. So here are some tips I’ve pulled together on how to save some moula and make sure your summer doesn’t suffer…
1) The WANT vs. NEED test:
As you can probably tell, we nuts love to shop. Whether it be jewlery, shoes, purses or clothing, you will be hard pressed to find a woman who isn’t enticed by the closest mall. That being said, it is very easy to blow half (or all) of your paycheque in a single visit. Something that I have learned is to evaluate what I actually NEED and what I want because it’s beautiful. If you rip your favourite jeans that you wear twice a week, then by all means, replace them! That’s a crucial purchase. But, if you have 5 pairs of jeans that look the same and you find a 6th (similar) pair, you probably don’t NEED them.
However, it is important to splurge. If there is an item that you WANT but don’t NEED, walk away for that day. Don’t be swayed into an impulse buy. If you’re still thinking about that WANT after a few days, then cut back on something else (like eating out which is a HUGE money sucker) for a week or two and use the money you’ve saved to go out and get it. There is nothing worse than depriving yourself and regretting it later.
2) Take the time to look for Specials:
The latest craze that has hit the mainstream is couponing. After watching Extreme Couponing on TLC I literally had to re-evaluate how much money I spend on groceries. Unfortunately, the shoppers depicted on the show are from the United States, and we Canadians are not privy to the vast number of coupons that they are. However, the weekly fliers for grocers in your neighbourhood can become your best friend. Just by planning out your shopping trip, you can easily save yourself a good chunk of change each week.
Similarly, when dining out during the week, you can find great specials. For example, Milestones has a ‘Girls Night Out’ special every Monday. Four of their delicious belinis and four appetizers for $40; you can’t beat it!
Finally, take advantage of couponing sites like Living Social and Groupon. These daily-deal sites send you one e-mail a day that offer seriously discounted services and products. Sometimes they aren’t applicable, like the day I was offered a discounted oil-change for my non-existent car, but they often offer great deals on aesthetics and exercise, such as yoga and Pilates classes.
3) Make a budget, and stick to it:
Sit down each month and try to make a budget that accurately reflects your expenses and how much you are putting away into savings, but make sure to take your social life into account. Each month is different, and your budget should reflect that. Where July has been filled with lots of (pricey) events, October might not be. So maybe I can’t buy a new purse this month, but come October, that baby will be all mine!
Finally, leave the debit card at home! One of the biggest problems that we have is the ‘never-ending’ cash flow that is always at our fingertips. When you can’t see the money leaving your hand, you tend to overspend. Bring cash with you when you go out and when you shop so that you can track your spending and stick to your allotted amount.