Looking to cut back on spending?
OK, this is going to sound simplistic. And it is.
Re-evaluate everything you purchase. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I really need this item? When I’m not sure, I don’t buy it and see if I missed it. Usually I don’t. There are two benefits to doing this… the first is that it prevents hasty purchases, and the second is that if I eventually think I really need the item, it gives me time to shop around for the best price.
- Can I live with a cheaper, generic substitute? A lot of what we buy – especially for the kids – is store-brand items. They hardly ever notice a difference in quality.
- Can I get this product cheaper elsewhere? (for example, in bulk quantities at BJs)
- Can I live with a different, less expensive form of this product? To give you an example – I like Tide and used the liquid for years. Switching to the powdered form AND buying in bulk saved us quite a bit, with no difference in the quality of laundering.
I have been told (by my mom) that I’m not much fun to shop with. I’ve often found myself carrying something around at the store, only to put it back before I get to the checkout because of question #1 above. It’s true. I don’t buy a whole lot of “extras”. (Oh, and one of my secrets to spending less is to simply avoid Wal-Mart if at all possible). 🙂
But I also think the discipline of spending less than you make is extremely important. And it’s allowed our once-frivolous-spending-double-income-no-kids selves to become a family of five on one income. That’s definitely worth it.