Keeping to a budget....again.
We have a had a lovely week of fresh Spring sunshine . Bitterly cold still when walking along the sea front, but I can handle that with the sun on my face. It has been just glorious having the children home from school with no sickness and the sun shining. It makes all the difference doesn't it?
However, I always find despite my best intentions, having the children off always bumps up the budget, mainly for food!
I don't spend a lot on taking them to paid days out. We spend enough on their sports clubs during the term times to be doing this as well. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the country where we have entertainment that is free of charge within minutes of our house. The children are members ( £9 a year) of our villages tennis court which is 3 minutes from our house. We have a full size football pitch 2 minutes from our house. The park is at the bottom of our road. The beach is a 5 minute drive away. The list continues. We enjoy these "free" activities to capacity before spending on expensive days out.
I find I get to this time of year, the sun peeps out and suddenly I am yearning after new clothes and fresh decor and plants for the garden. For some of us it just seems to be in our nature! I am always planning and scheming about the next thing.
Fortunately this year I have our extension to keep me occupied, but usually these are some of the things I keep in mind to help me stick to a budget:
- I ask "Need" or "Want"
- If "Want" then wait and save for it.
- Plan, Plan, Plan. I enjoy a spend so much more if I have planned it in, decided what I want and am saving for it.
- How will I "feel" next week if I buy this today. Sometimes we buy things for that quick , instant feel good factor. That wears off. Avoid emotional buying.
- Walk away and think about it.
- Don't go into the shops you love if you know you shouldn't spend.
- Don't deny yourself all the time. I find this ends up with you "falling off the wagon" and having a big splurge. It is better to have a reasoned spend from time to time than constantly deny yourself the things you like to do. ( As long as you can afford it)
- Write down what you have spent each day- it will shock you how the small purchases add up
- Take out your "spending money" each month in cash. That way you won't be tempted to just "pop it on the card."
- Don't take your credit card shopping with you.
I think there is a whole other blog post on "Emotional Buying" in there somewhere, that if we were honest a lot of us have struggled with at some point and at times probably still do.
How do you deal with the temptations of new Spring clothes, fresh decor, booking a nice hot holiday, treating the kids when they are home etc etc.........all within a budget?
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