I have been trying - and quite spectacularly failing - to take my finances in hand for a while now. Big events like Christmas and birthdays blow me out of the water, mainly because I don't do the sensible thing and save for them throughout the year.
Pathetic, right? I'm old enough now to be a sensible person and save some cash. I want to be able to feel relaxed and in charge of my finances, and of the sea of stuff that surrounds me. To that end I've been reading Girlynomics by Kate Battrick, better known as Ms Make Do Style. I need to dedicate some time to doing some proper hard core budgeting, but there are already some simple tips that I can get on with right away.
First up: no more online shopping! Basics - groceries and essentials such as (some!) books or emergency gifts, fine. But if I need clothes, or homewears, shoes or a gift-in-good-time then I need to plan ahead and get to a shop. A proper, bricks and morter, shop. Ideally a local one.
It is too easy to click the button online. Too easy to chuck a couple of extra things in the basket that I don't really need. Too easy to order things thinking 'I'll send one back...' which I never do. Or to get something that doesn't really fit, or isn't really me, or doesn't sit well in my wardrobe (ha! That is a whole world of weird in itself!), or even something that was not what I ordered in the first place... and never send it back. And suddenly I'm a couple of hundred pounds poorer and surrounded by even more STUFF. Ouch!
So. To the shops! The fact that I really have to be in the mood for shopping, which coincides increasingly rarely with opportunities to get to 'proper shops', is an inbuilt bugetary factor. More often than not, recent shopping expeditions have involved me wandering from shop to shop in a growing cloud of frustration and dis-interest. The trick is to avoid coming home with something random and sparkly (emerald green sequined cocktail dress anyone? Hanging in my wardrobe after my last London shopping trip and so handy for any home-working, seaside town dwelling, mother of a small boy...).
Next up, a spending fast (or maybe diet)...
(Speaking of diets - those coins in the picture? Chocolate. Munching through that stash is another bad habit I need to give up!)