Does anyone else get spending fatigue at this time of the year? I put money aside all year for Christmas, so I am not worried about going into debt to fund the festivities, food and presents. However, I stick to my frugal habits the rest of the year and spend as little as possible. Dusting off the purse and spending lavishly doesn’t come naturally!
So I am already thinking ahead to 2018 and getting back to my usual careful, frugal habits and lifestyle. We will be commencing (finally) the redecoration of the lounge in the New Year, so will need to focus our spending on that.
Post Christmas sales
I may take advantage of some post-Christmas sales to purchase cards and wrapping paper for next year, and hopefully some soft furnishings for the lounge project. After that I will be starting a no spend month for the whole of January.
I did this last year and found creating a no spend rule for the month was incredibly liberating. Friends asking me to the pub? Sorry, I am on a no spend month – perfect excuse! Shoes wearing out? I have other shoes; I will just wear some of the ones I don’t like so much.
Saving money where you can
During a no spend month, we do, of course, have to pay our bills and purchase food. However, with the latter particularly, creating a no spend ethos means you automatically save money wherever you can.
I will clear out the cupboards, fridge and freezer and start to use up some of those ingredients that sit unused at the back. It makes me more creative and adventurous in my menu planning!
Top frugal habits
A no spend month will help to boost our emergency fund and go into the New Year feeling financially more healthy. It also allows me to remember some of my top frugal habits and make sure I am practising what I preach.
My top 20 frugal habits for life are:
Make a monthly budget and stick to it.
Review your bills at least quarterly and shop around.
Pack a lunch for work or school.
Make a shopping list.
Buy groceries from the discount supermarkets and look out for yellow stickered bargains.
Repair and maintain items rather than rushing to replace them.
Buy second hand whenever you can.
Where you can’t buy second hand, use cash back sites such as Top Cashback. (This is my referral code. If you sign up using it I will earn a fee and you will get a £5 voucher until 27th December). You can also try Quidco. (Again, this is my referral code and if you use it we will both earn £5).
Use Approved Food every now and again to buy staples (my affiliate link). They currently have a tin of Christmas chocolates for £1!
Cook from scratch as much as possible and batch cook soups and stews.
Freeze left overs.
Grow some of your fruit and vegetables in the garden.
Rather than eating out, cook a nice meal for friends at home.
Pack a flask and picnic for days out.
Drink water rather than fizzy stuff, tea or coffee (particularly when out and about).
Take frugal exercise: gardening, walking and running are free.
Cut your TV package to the minimum.
I will revisit these in more detail in the New Year. In the meantime, just typing this list makes me feel better! I can’t kick my frugal habits.
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