When you’re trying to save money, it can make you feel that you’re being deprived of having fun and you can start to feel alienated – you’re either saving or living a life, and that the two are mutually exclusive. However, this need not be the case, you can still feel very much part of your community of friends and family, and have fun while simultaneously saving for that rainy day.
Rethink Your Budget
You need to save money, right? When you’re trying to save money, you need to assess where you’re currently leaking your income. Set up a spreadsheet so that you can easily capture all your expenses. You need to have columns for housing, utilities, food and groceries, and transport etc. At the end of each week, use a highlighter to illuminate any unnecessary spending. Did you have a takeout one night rather than cook? Did you buy a coffee on the way into work?
Once you can identify where your money is being spent unnecessarily, set yourself a goal of saving that amount each week. When you’ve saved the set amount for a month, reward yourself. Each quarter you’ll be able to treat yourself to a meal out. Remember to check out the restaurant’s menu online before you go, so that you know what to budget for. For example, the Chilis menu offers a $20 meal for two, which will give you the fun that you deserve but at an affordable price.
Rethink Your Socializing
You may be meeting up with friends at a bar, but you’re fully aware that you can either have one drink or none because of the cost of drinks when you’re out and about. Instead of having those feelings of inadequacy, why don’t you invite your friends to your house for a cocktail hour? You can download cocktail recipes from the internet and designate a liquor for each attendee to bring, and get shaking! This will cost less for everyone, and be a break from the norm. Turn it into a new tradition where one of your group hosts each month, and you all must wear your finest dresses or perhaps have a fancy-dress theme!
Rethink Your Gifts
It’s coming up to the holiday season, and with that comes the extra financial pressures of gift giving. You may be dreading the thought of being put behind on your saving plan as you have to reciprocate gifts that are given to you or your children. Some of the most well received gifts are ones that have the personal touch, or are given for sentimental reasons. For example, Fall is the time that you’ll be able to find acorns, so why not pot some up to give as gifts with a note to say that it is a gift from the tree of knowledge, or that you hope that the child grows to be as strong as an oak? All the pots need is a ribbon trim to be considered a thoughtful gift. Think outside of the box; the only limit is your creativity and not your budget!