The truth is: Right now, more money goes out than comes in. If I continue with this spending pattern, I’ll get into trouble in a few months.
I used to be a big spender. I bought everything I wanted and more. I came a long way since then, but although my spending got a lot less, I still spent too much.
The first step I took on my way to a spending lock-down was to write down how much money is coming in every month and how much money is going out on fixed charges (in my case: rent, health insurance and some other insurances).
To clarify how I made my plan; here is a fictional plan (other amounts of money, but the same system):
So, as you can see, there’s € 200,00 left to buy groceries, benzine and other stuff (like clothing, pre-paid cards for my mobile phone, gifts and savings).
The reason I included savings, is because I’m a strong believer of saving money. It happened to me a lot of times when I suddenly got a big expense to pay for. Luckily, I always had my savings to pay those bills with. So even when you don’t have a lot of money, try to see if you can save any, even when it’s just € 10,00).
As you can see, I don’t spend much on benzine. I don’t own a car, I can’t afford one, but because I live in the middle of nowhere, I do own a scooter. I also don’t spend that much on groceries. I only have to buy groceries for myself and for my two cats. I don’t have an expensive phone subscription and I would highly recommend to save as much on phone costs as you possibly can. For those people wondering what ‘Health allowence’ means: When you live in the Netherlands, you get money from the government to pay some of you health insurance with. How much money you get depends on how much money you make.
One of the best tips I can give might be: Use what you have.
I have a ton of beauty products lying around the house, not to mention all the unread books that are collecting dust on the shelves. I have a lot of candles and incense, but I keep buying new ones. My drawer just barely closes, because of the amount of clothes housed in there, but still I come home with new tops and jeans.
To save money, make a commitment to yourself not to buy stuff you already have for a certain amount of time (in my case; untill I run out). In my case those things would be:
- Beauty products (make-up, crèmes, body lotion, douche gel etc.)
- Books (oh, the agony …)
- Candles and incense
- Clothing (I save up money for clothing for when I really NEED something, so not for when I WANT something)
So start with making a list of what comes in and what goes out. Set certain amounts of money for things like groceries, phone costs, clothing etc. Try to see if you can save some money on some things. For instance, I’ve contacted my insurance company to see if I can get another kind of insurance on my scooter, which will save me some money.
And remember: True happiness is free.