Author Topic: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways  (Read 7521 times)

Meggslynn

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I have always been a saver. Never had a problem there. BUT, compared to most of you I would say I am quite spendy. I could increase my savings at least 5-10% if I could cut back. I would say my problem revolves mostly around online shopping (clothes,  household goods, toiletries, supplements) and not being very organized around meal planning therefore increased grocery costs.

From those of you that aren't naturally frugal what has worked for you? Or do you have meal planning tips?

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2014, 01:44:28 PM »
It took many years for "bargain shopping" for clothes to realize that I save a lot more money if I don't go shopping.  Stop visiting malls as recreation.  Delete shopping sites from your bookmarks.

Remove credit card info from your on-line accounts.  One click buying is your enemy.  At least force yourself to slow down when buying something on line.

Cococola

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2014, 02:19:52 PM »
Imagine if you have to move and pack, you will realize how much crap you have accumulated over the years.

For everything you buy especially clothing, only bring one piece if you are willing to give away another piece, otherwise, you really don't need it.

pzxc

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2014, 02:21:54 PM »
Have a "buy nothing day", then challenge yourself with a "buy nothing week" and if you master that, try a "buy nothing month"

Frugality is a muscle :)

Meggslynn

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2014, 02:24:23 PM »
I just unsubscribed from the numerous retailer SALE SALE SALE emails I get. I always felt like I saving money as I was purchasing stuff during a sale but that is not true at all.

I will remove my credit card from retailer websites next.

I dislike the malls so that is not a issue there thankfully.


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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2014, 02:34:56 PM »
As far a meal planning, start small. Just plan for Monday and Tuesday. Then just add to it. It's easier to add little by little than to take a full week challenge. Best of luck!
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2ndTimer

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2014, 02:53:05 PM »
Hi:

Meal planning:

1.  Start with how much money you are allocating not what you "feel like" having.  You may be "in the mood" for asparagus but it is November and you are a damned fool if you walk past 19 cent/lb. cabbage to pay $3/lb. for shipped in asparagus that tastes like cardboard anyway because it was picked so long ago.

2.  Sit down with the grocery fliers and look at the loss leaders.

3.  Think about what you already have that would go well with those loss leaders that your family likes.  Last week the last of the season's sweet onions showed up cheap at Grocery Outlet.  I bought a 5lb. bag because they go well chopped on bourbon chicken, mixed into coleslaw (it's cabbage season) and made into French Onion Soup with the beef broth I have in the freezer.

4.  If the loss leader is something popular at your house buy extra and freeze it.  I am just now using up the last tray of chicken parts that I bought on sale during grilling season.
 
5.  When you make the dish, make enough for two meals or more and freeze the extra.  I know we like Bourbon Chicken so the last time I made Bourbon Sauce I made three pints and froze two.  I will be thawing one out to use with the above chicken legs. Normally I would top them with chopped green onion but green onions are expensive and sweet onions are cheap so it will be chopped sweet onion.  I will serve the whole thing on rice that I buy in bulk at WINCO


Meggslynn

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2014, 04:10:31 PM »
Thanks. I like all the start small tips. I find meal planning for an entire week daunting so a couple days at a time is a good idea.

Also the idea of having a no spending day and then week and then month. Small steps.


Meggslynn

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2014, 04:12:19 PM »
Hi:

Meal planning:

1.  Start with how much money you are allocating not what you "feel like" having.  You may be "in the mood" for asparagus but it is November and you are a damned fool if you walk past 19 cent/lb. cabbage to pay $3/lb. for shipped in asparagus that tastes like cardboard anyway because it was picked so long ago.

2.  Sit down with the grocery fliers and look at the loss leaders.

3.  Think about what you already have that would go well with those loss leaders that your family likes.  Last week the last of the season's sweet onions showed up cheap at Grocery Outlet.  I bought a 5lb. bag because they go well chopped on bourbon chicken, mixed into coleslaw (it's cabbage season) and made into French Onion Soup with the beef broth I have in the freezer.

4.  If the loss leader is something popular at your house buy extra and freeze it.  I am just now using up the last tray of chicken parts that I bought on sale during grilling season.
 
5.  When you make the dish, make enough for two meals or more and freeze the extra.  I know we like Bourbon Chicken so the last time I made Bourbon Sauce I made three pints and froze two.  I will be thawing one out to use with the above chicken legs. Normally I would top them with chopped green onion but green onions are expensive and sweet onions are cheap so it will be chopped sweet onion.  I will serve the whole thing on rice that I buy in bulk at WINCO

Thanks, these are all awesome!

I definitely need to pay more attention to what veggies are cheap / in season.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2014, 05:19:42 PM »
When I get the mail, I just take all the catalogs and throw them right out.  I don't even look at what they are.  This caused a problem recently with my xh, as he had bought my older son a subscription to a political magazine, and we never received it.  So I guess I threw it out.  I will have to be more careful, but it really does help not to even look at the clothing catalogs. 

Another thing I do is make sure I have enough wardrobe basics.  I, personally, need camisoles and nice shirts to wear under jackets at work.  If I don't have enough of these staples, I get annoyed with my wardrobe and think I need to go shopping.  I don't -- I have tons of beautiful clothes.  I just need to have enough inexpensive items to support the actual outfits.

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2014, 05:52:41 PM »
I have always been a saver. Never had a problem there. BUT, compared to most of you I would say I am quite spendy. I could increase my savings at least 5-10% if I could cut back. I would say my problem revolves mostly around online shopping (clothes,  household goods, toiletries, supplements) and not being very organized around meal planning therefore increased grocery costs.

From those of you that aren't naturally frugal what has worked for you? Or do you have meal planning tips?

What works for me is remembering my last boss, who screamed at me one day...then glanced over at the look on my face and took a quick step back: I really was thinking about how much fun it would be to make him pick his teeth up off the floor.

So. I can have a new whateverthefuck or I can have that money, thereby eliminating the need to save bail money.

It's an equation: save more or spend less.

You might also force yourself to drive (bike?)  past the homeless shelter in your town prior to every shopping trip. You will find people living in horrendous conditions, many of which could have been avoided if they had made smarter choices.

Then, fully informed: make your choice.

Greenroller

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2014, 09:20:02 PM »
What has saved me a lot of money is to have a nice stock of food ready in my freezer. I do use a vacum sealer which isn't cheap- but has paid for itself many times over. For instance, this weekend I made a pot of delicious Italian minestrone soup. My family ate half the pot, the rest got divided up into 1.5 cup portions and went into the freezer for a quick and easy meal for another day. I do the same with chicken, fruit that's really ripe ( for a smoothie) and beans. Buy them dry, cook them up and freeze extras. I purposely make extras for this purpose.
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NewMustachian

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2014, 05:20:41 AM »
Clothing shopping is something I struggle with too - Project 333 has helped me.  Once I did it, I realized how many duplicates I had.  If you find a recipe that you like, you could try making a double batch. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2014, 05:45:22 AM »
All these are good, but the most basic is - stop exposing yourself to a consumer society.  The ads are carefully crafted to make you want to buy - as MMM pointed out in a post, even if you are not interested in the item they are advertising, they are selling you a lifestyle.  So newspaper flyers and junk mail flyers - into recycling, or try not to even get them.  No catalogues in the mail (except seed catalogues, and even they can be seen online).  If you cut TV for other reasons, you have also cut off that source of ads - and TV ads are very seductive. 

Once the constant bombardment is over, you will be a lot clearer on what is a need and what is a want.

Oh, this works, this is how I survived grad school with no debt.
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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2014, 07:05:59 AM »
Before you put those catalogues in the recycling bin, pick up the phone and call them and tell them not to send you any more.

If you have web accounts, you can usually opt out of promotional emails.

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2014, 07:26:26 AM »
What works for me is remembering my last boss, who screamed at me one day...then glanced over at the look on my face and took a quick step back: I really was thinking about how much fun it would be to make him pick his teeth up off the floor.

So. I can have a new whateverthefuck or I can have that money, thereby eliminating the need to save bail money.

It's an equation: save more or spend less.

I imagine you work in whatever the modern-day equivalent is of an old western-style bar with the swinging wooden double doors, and that your spurs rattle with your every cowboy-booted step. Badass, is what I'm saying.

Dicey

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2014, 07:38:00 AM »
Here's an odd tip that works for me. Use paper and pencil or your smartphone. I don't do this all the time, just when I need a little encouragement. Write down anything you buy that's not food. Then review it on a regular basis. When you're in a line, on hold, waiting for a Dr. appt, wherever/whenever. Reminding myself that I just bought a new X (even if it was thrifted) is a huge help. It really helps quiet the "I need...something" voice in my head.

I second the no-spend month. I did it at least 10x when I was single and chasing FI. I always chose February because it's the shortest month. I took a super-strict path and even included food. The only money that I could spend (fresh veg) was money that did not come from my paycheck, typically under $50. This was usually payback from a gift I'd split with a sibling at Christmas, or rebates/refunds. Also, I did not stock up in anticipation of the fast. It made me mindful of every penny I spent and cleared out the backlog in the freezer/fridge/pantry. It was difficult, but incredibly empowering. I also re-read The Tightwad Gazette during the month for inspiration.

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CU Tiger

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2014, 07:39:16 AM »
It took many years for "bargain shopping" for clothes to realize that I save a lot more money if I don't go shopping.  Stop visiting malls as recreation.  Delete shopping sites from your bookmarks.

THIS! I used to go to malls for something to do when I was bored. When I stopped that, my spending went down.

We used to hang out at Borders or B&N. That meant spending on a coffee drink, a cookie, and usually, some books. Now we go to the library. We can still hang out...but it is a lot cheaper!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 08:55:41 PM by CU Tiger »
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TrulyStashin

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2014, 07:48:38 AM »
Great tips on here!  I have used most of them to cure myself of spendy ways.  Oh my did I love to shop!  Boots....  boots are my downfall.

[shakes head]  Anyway..... I am now cured and it took about a year of Mustachian living to clear the fog out of my head.  I used many of the tips on here but there were still moments when I found myself at www.truly'sfavoritestoresite.com and my cart was full of stuff.   I FORCED myself to get up and walk away.  I'd go take a walk, or play with the dog or whatever.  I didn't go back to the computer until I was ready to just close that window -- leaving all the stuff in my cart -- and sleep on it.  If I really truly needed that stuff, it would still be in my online cart tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'd spend some time reviewing my financial plan and looking at my goals.  I'd refocus on what I REALLY wanted out of life.

The next day, sanity was restored and I didn't want the stuff that I was panting over the day before. Victory is mine!   
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ltt

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2014, 07:50:52 AM »
Thanks. I like all the start small tips. I find meal planning for an entire week daunting so a couple days at a time is a good idea.

Also the idea of having a no spending day and then week and then month. Small steps.

Definitely do this in regards to the meal planning.  I also found that shopping for an entire's weeks worth of meals was just going to waste, as we would get to the fourth day out or so, and I wasn't in the mood to make what I had bought, or we had somewhere to be, so I was wasting food, so I stopped doing that.  Much easier to deal with today and tomorrow. 

Bob W

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2014, 08:47:55 AM »
Sounds like you need some Dave Ramsey 101. 

At the beginning of the month make a written budget of everything.   Then spend $1 on some envelopes.  Put an amount of cash into each envelope and that is what you get to spend that month.

If you are using plastic or digital money you will save something like 25-30% just by switching to cash. (that is why Mcdonalds loves plastic as the average sale is 30% more)

Then as the months progress you can cut and dice and be at a 50% savings rate in no time while enjoying a higher quality of life spending money in a thoughtful and purposeful manner.

At least that is the theory!
Better living through math.

damize

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2014, 09:48:16 AM »
So, I've completely avoided all ecommerce sites since deciding to curb my own spending habit.  I used to be subscribed to Kenneth Cole, Macy's, etc, but dropped them all when I decided to cure the credit cards.

As for meal planning, something I also struggle with, I subscribed to emeals http://emeals.com/. Less than $5 a month, and I've chosen the low carb option.  I'm cooking more, and I like what I cook (for the most part).  Fresh, real food, and more veggies than I used to eat by far.  Since I'm single, the menu for two provides dinner and next day's lunch...lots of upside.

However, I will say, following this menu means I can't take advantage of sales or bulk purchase. Which means costs for groceries are higher.  My little town doesn't have most of the savings options larger cities have, only two grocery stores and no Costco. 

Unique User

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2014, 10:29:11 AM »
Hi:

Meal planning:

1.  Start with how much money you are allocating not what you "feel like" having.  You may be "in the mood" for asparagus but it is November and you are a damned fool if you walk past 19 cent/lb. cabbage to pay $3/lb. for shipped in asparagus that tastes like cardboard anyway because it was picked so long ago.

2.  Sit down with the grocery fliers and look at the loss leaders.

3.  Think about what you already have that would go well with those loss leaders that your family likes.  Last week the last of the season's sweet onions showed up cheap at Grocery Outlet.  I bought a 5lb. bag because they go well chopped on bourbon chicken, mixed into coleslaw (it's cabbage season) and made into French Onion Soup with the beef broth I have in the freezer.

4.  If the loss leader is something popular at your house buy extra and freeze it.  I am just now using up the last tray of chicken parts that I bought on sale during grilling season.
 
5.  When you make the dish, make enough for two meals or more and freeze the extra.  I know we like Bourbon Chicken so the last time I made Bourbon Sauce I made three pints and froze two.  I will be thawing one out to use with the above chicken legs. Normally I would top them with chopped green onion but green onions are expensive and sweet onions are cheap so it will be chopped sweet onion.  I will serve the whole thing on rice that I buy in bulk at WINCO

Unless you are a vegetarian, I'd add in, look at marked down meat.  I just bought three 35 cent a pound turkeys yesterday.  I'll take one out a month and either roast or cut it down and cook various ways.  Just about all the meat we eat is either 50% or more marked down meat or extreme sale meats.  I then plan meals around what we have and what is on sale that week. 

Meggslynn

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2014, 10:40:49 AM »
Sounds like you need some Dave Ramsey 101. 

At the beginning of the month make a written budget of everything.   Then spend $1 on some envelopes.  Put an amount of cash into each envelope and that is what you get to spend that month.

If you are using plastic or digital money you will save something like 25-30% just by switching to cash. (that is why Mcdonalds loves plastic as the average sale is 30% more)

Then as the months progress you can cut and dice and be at a 50% savings rate in no time while enjoying a higher quality of life spending money in a thoughtful and purposeful manner.

At least that is the theory!

Sounds like Gail VazOxlade (She is Canada's celebrity financial "guru"). I think this is a good idea as my husband is taking a job closer to home and the first three months are going to be a reduced salary.

horsepoor

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2014, 12:42:50 PM »
Yes, unsubscribing from all the marketing emails makes a huge difference.

Also, defer purchases.  Instead of thinking, "I need X" and going and buying it, wait at least a few days, and you might even forget you needed it, or remember something you already have that will work instead, or if you still need it, find it for a better price, etc.  Ask yourself whether the thing is fulfilling a real need, or if it's reallyl

For cooking, when things are getting down to scraps in the fridge, I like to just get really creative and start throwing stuff together.  Watch some episodes of "Chopped" if you need inspiration.  Take an inventory of what you already have before you go grocery shopping, then get online and check the circulars for what's on sale, and then fill out your shopping list based on those ingredients.  Stick to your list; don't go to the store to "get food" with no plan.

Keeping a pantry of your staples is also a good idea because it cuts down on excess trips to the store, which are all opportunities for impulse purchases.  The trick is to not over-buy or get stuff you don't eat regularly.  If it hasn't been posted already, this is the MMM post on grocery shopping.  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/08/23/grocery-shopping-with-your-middle-finger/

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2014, 01:03:12 PM »
One of my favorite tips is to make a list on your phone or on paper where you put down items you want - wait at least a week before pulling the trigger.  Nine times out of ten, I end up deleting the item before buying.  Staying away from malls and unsubscribing from emails is definitely a great tip also.

Another thing - when you take recreational shopping (or any bad habit really) out of your life, you need to find something, anything that doesn't require money to replace that hobby.  Otherwise you will feel the gap and feel deprived.  Take up a new hobby or exercise program to fill the time.  Your body is going to crave the dopamine rush that shopping has given you in the past. 

resy

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2014, 01:19:19 PM »
To start you off I'd suggest to keep on rotation your favorite dishes to make. For example, I always have ingredients in my house to make mexican rice, soup, and spaguetti. You will expand as you become comfortable and well acquanted with new recipies. It takes time.
As for the clothing, etc I'd say just do it...or in this case, just don't do it. Buy only essentials for a week, question each purchase and ask yourself if there isban alternative/if it is really needed. Then 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and pretty soon you have a habit.
Good luck!

RetiredAt63

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2014, 05:45:12 PM »
Gail uses jars instead of envelopes, but otherwise yes.  She is our celebrity financial guru for a reason, she is compassionate but tough. Really tough.  Watching her go through a couple's last 6 months of spending, after touring their house and seeing all the "stuff", is a real eye-opener.

So here is my plug for her:
http://www.slice.ca/til-debt-do-us-part/
http://gailvazoxlade.com/blog/

Sounds like Gail VazOxlade (She is Canada's celebrity financial "guru").
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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2014, 08:54:35 PM »
I meal plan and shop accordingly once a month.  The 30/31 meals I plan are easy meals..i can't be bothered spending over 30-45mins in the kitchen.  More often than not, dinner takes me about 15mins.  I get no enjoyment/pleasure from cooking.  But we love to eat good food. I allocate $360 per month for food and put it in a 'food' envelope (this is for a baby on formula, nappies & 2 adults).  All leftover money from the one big per month shop is put back into the envelope and used throughout that month to replenish milk, bread, fruit and vege.  I shop at Aldi for about 90% of our things.  The only reason this meal planning has worked is because of my motivation to do it and the fact that the meals to cook are not labour intensive. Otherwise, it would be out the window in a second.

Re shopping, I just avoid the on line sites and the shopping malls themselves.  Makes it so much easier when tempation is not looking you in the face!  I can shop til I drop but now that we have a budget and big financial goals, it makes it so much easier to avoid spending on clothes etc.  Especially when you see your hard earned $ working for you every single day, by paying down debts and increasing savings.  Now that's happiness that no shirt or dress could buy me!! plus, at the end of the day, when I really really really want clothes, I tell myself that I have so many wonderful things in my wardrobe that are crying out to be worn.  And I always ask family members for gift certificates for my favourite shops at xmas and birthdays.

So my advice would be to put things into perspective.  Work out your goals, what you really value in life and what really matters to you.  And have a plan of action.  It may take a few months to get it just right.  But it'll be worth it.  Then, it's so much easier to curb you're spending and increase you're happiness by getting so much more value in your life by focusing on the things that are really the most important to you.  At the end of the day, clothes and on line shopping are right near the bottom of my value list, even though once they were at top.  Family and life is what matters.

Good luck!

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2014, 03:48:12 PM »
For clothes, etc that you want - make a list (on paper - don't add it to the shopping cart). Then sit on it for a while. Do you still want it? Need it? If so, ok. If not, remove it. And do not go to the dangerous stores/locations, you know what those are.

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2014, 06:56:51 PM »

[/quote]

I imagine you work in whatever the modern-day equivalent is of an old western-style bar with the swinging wooden double doors, and that your spurs rattle with your every cowboy-booted step. Badass, is what I'm saying.
[/quote]





;-0  Um....thanx?

(Not at the moment. But I'm only nice to a point: pass that, and all bets are off. I have been held at gunpoint a few times...the last time I just laughed, which confused the guy.)

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2014, 10:00:59 PM »
I've always been good at spending money. Started to try being frugal in 2009. I've made a lot of progress since then but still have a ways to go. Here are some things that helped me:

Left my wallet at home every day. I ended up keeping a $20 in my car after a while because sometimes I would keep forgetting to put it in my car when I needed gas!  This was HUGE for me because I used to go to the store after work almost everyday for "one thing" I knew I needed and anything else that upon seeing it "reminded" me that I needed that too. I seriously wasted so much money in college on random crap from walmart. :( Leaving my wallet home broke the habit of going anywhere after work since I would need to go home for my wallet first. I now have my wallet with me always like a normal person because the shop after work habit is gone.

For online purchases: avoid the sites as best you can. If you can't, then put stuff in a cart and wait until the next day. I only struggle with this occasionally. I still don't end up using things as much as I originally thought I would, so when something looks particularly shiny to me I think to myself of all the things I bought that ended up just wasting my money instead of moving me closer to debt-payoff.

Clothes: I'm currently on a moratorium for clothes-shopping. I recently worked part-time at a retailer at the mall. I always avoided going to any other stores or going to the food court (except maybe twice) but I wasn't immune to the actual store itself. I actually did quite well for the first month and a half. Hardly bought anything. Now however, i'm pretty sure that most of the money I made there went right back into the store. :( I always felt like I "needed" more things. I have more clothes than I need, but can't bring myself to get rid of any yet. But I'm definitely not buying any more. I'm thinking to make 2015 a no-clothes-buying year (except for emergencies. And maybe some wool socks.)

And ditto on the suggestions for a day or week at a time without shopping. It feels amazing at the end of it all. Especially if you top of the week with a look at the bank account!

frugal-gal

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2014, 11:09:17 PM »
If I am about to buy something, I try to imagine if it will make me happier or how I will feel when the novelty wears off.

ncornilsen

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2014, 08:03:27 AM »
In a word: Automation. Automatic contributions to your investment accounts, sinking funds for larger purchases/known recurring expenses. Make the money go where it needs to go before you see it sitting in the checking account. My monthly balance on my checking account goes between 250 and 0 dollars in the course of a month, but my investment accounts are paid first.

I'm always used to not having much free cash laying around... having grown up poor. The biggest thing that helped me when building my frugal muscles was making sure I didn't have the money sitting there accessible. After two years, I've got $4500 sitting in my savings account that I rarely think about plundering.


HipGnosis

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2014, 08:47:56 AM »
I'm a firm believer in finding (and doing) what works for you.

For me (a long time frugalist)
I never buy something as soon as I find it - unless it's something I'm shopping for because I NEED it ASAP.   My Amazon Wishlist has multiple sub-folders with pages of items in most of them.
Before I buy something, I ask myself what happened to the last item I bought in the same category.  I use to buy myself entertainment-toys for Christmas.  I found they usually either broke or I became bored with them in a couple months, so I stopped buying them (mostly).

I use to ask myself how long it took me to save the cost (and shipping) of something.  I don't do that anymore because I now live on about 45% of my income.

Meal planning is based on a couple go-to meals that change over time.  My current favorite is home made 'pork n beans' that's mostly tomatoes.  It starts with dried beans and roasting the tomatoes.   The pork is a 'store value brand' breakfast sausage.
The rest is based on eggs and the loss-leaders of the stores weekly sale flyer.




hunniebun

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2014, 10:03:42 AM »
I have really enjoyed all the suggestions on this thread too! I really like the idea of only planning for 3-4 days of meals at a time. It means more grocery shopping, but when I try to plan for longer 1-2 weeks I find that I don't want to make what I planned for, and foods gets wasted. My family is also firm against food that has been frozen, no one likes the batch cooking I have tried (they like it fresh, but not after it has been frozen).  I have never really thought that shopping more often might help reduce waste/costs! I think I am going to try this!  I also have a separate account for all those store emails/ads. If I am going shopping for something, I go to that account and see if there is a coupon or sale email from them for the week.  So I don't have to see the ads all the time, but I also don't miss out of saving 40% off on a coupon for something I 'need' (mostly kids clothing).
I also like the idea of making a list of wants and then waiting 10/20 days to see if you still want it.  I find that if I can resist that initial urge to buy it and few days go by, I don't really want it after all.  I am totally an impulse shopping that marketers love!!

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2014, 10:26:57 AM »
Good suggestions y'all!

I always try to sleep on a purchasing decision for a few days before pulling the trigger. I also try to think about how whatever it is I want to buy will add to the clutter in my house and whether it will be more of a pain in the ass to use, maintain, clean, store, etc. than it's worth. And will it end up in the landfill one day and how soon? (That makes me feel guilty). A lot of times it's the clutter/landfill issue that makes me decide against a purchase. Once you've put in enough time trying to be frugal, I think you really develop a self-awareness that helps you keep doing it and do it better. You ask yourself, why do I want that thing that I don't even need by any stretch of the imagination? How can I be happy and even better off without it? It still doesn't always work for me, but it works most of the time. And there's a certain relief in not adding more stuff to my already too big pile of stuff.

I'm getting pretty good at bringing my own lunch to work--that was something that took me years to get good at. I would forget, get lazy, etc. Now, I hate spending the $5-10 I would spend on lunch so much that most of the time I remember to bring something. I cook more intentionally at home, too, which makes it easier to bring leftovers to the office. I think it also helps to start viewing food as nourishment rather than entertainment. Still working on that one...


justajane

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2014, 10:31:01 AM »
For everything you buy especially clothing, only bring one piece if you are willing to give away another piece, otherwise, you really don't need it.

I've never understood this advice. This is a good suggestion for reducing clutter but is not ultimately frugal. I would say if you can give something useable away, then you probably shouldn't buy the new thing. That's the more frugal option - to wear out what you currently have until your closet is bare enough to need to buy more without giving away perfectly usable things. 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 10:49:24 AM by justajane »

pbkmaine

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Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2014, 10:41:19 AM »
I have some friends who love to go shopping, so now we go thrifting together. I set a limit for myself - say $10. We take lunch and snacks and eat in the car or at a picnic area. We have lots of fun and many times don't buy anything at all. The key is to have the same standards in a thrift store that you would have in Nordstrom's. High quality, classic look, perfect fit. There may only be one item in a whole day that fits the standards. The fun is trying to find it. I also enjoy finding "the perfect thing" for my friends to try on.

eudaimonia

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2014, 10:58:03 AM »
Lots of good techniques for saving money and avoiding consumerism in this thread.

However, for myself I knew all the right things to do but never did them. This may not be the OPs problem but it was mine.

So what changed? I made a decision that I was sick of living paycheck to paycheck. I was sick of not having the money needed to retire early. I was tired of getting beat by my own poor financial decisions and by my lack of accountability.

That may sound like a simple thing but the techniques/tips described above (and elsewhere) are a lot easier to implement when you make the decision that you will do whatever it takes to get your financial house in order.

With that one decision my wife and I were able to turn things around and have gone from saving nothing (technically being the hole) to saving 60% of our take home paychecks this year.

Rosewhipped

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2014, 11:04:07 AM »
I'll sign up for emails from places that I love to go out to eat and places that I've bought clothing before that i either loved or fit well or was well made.  Or even places i don't often go but might like to once in a while. So sign up for all the email marketing nonsense BUT use an email just for that junk.  I have gmail but made a separate hotmail account with a name like Rosewhippedsaves or something easy to remember.  It makes it super easy to give at stores since it is just your name and the word saves.  Then you won't have any promotional junk or advertisements in your real email tempting you. I ONLY check this email if i am looking for a coupon somewhere specific.  Deciding to go out to eat? Let's see where we have a coupon for or who is having a new menu promotion.  Same thing. 

It might not work for everyone, but it works for me.  Knowing the offers are there but not seeing them helps me realize it's not something i need.  If i cannot think of something I need then I never look at the offers anyway. 

Avoiding stores is helpful too.  Target is my weakness.   I used to always walk around the whole store just looking and end up with a bunch of junk.  Usually I was able to stop and evaluate everything in my cart and put a lot of it back (if you start mentally adding your bill up this works too).  Also I would be big on returns in the past.  I would get home, come to my senses and return some stuff before the end of the week.

Inkedup

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Re: Need tips from those aren't naturally frugal to curb my spendy ways
« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2014, 11:22:08 AM »
All cataloges go into the recycling bin. The only thing I look at is the toll-free number on the back so I can call the company and request to be removed from the mailing list.