Things that can seriously dent your bank account: Car maintenance, having a baby, moving home, moving home four times in one year… Yep newbie readers. That’s how I spent my 2015/16, and I’m still recovering financially.
As tough as it was at the time, I’ve learned a few things along the way. Being mindful about how I shop and harnessing the power of the internet is one of those things. So I thought I’d share a few of my shopping tips with you. No doubt the most frugal of you will already know these tips, and you might even have a few of your own! If so, share it in the comments below.
How I Afford the Things I Want on a Tight Budget.
“Duh, Captain Obvious”. I know, I know. It should be a given, but how many times have you been shopping, bought something in store and found it later online in a sale? So always have your phone handy to check online prices when something catches your eye. You never know, ask a sales assistant nicely and they might even give you the online price.
Shop All of the Sales at Once!
I enjoy being thrifty, but I love treating myself to a luxury item now and again. Shopping to a tight budget can mean missing out on brand names, but by shopping the sales and training your thrifty finger, you can become a pro at finding brand names at knocked down prices.
Just recently I found out about an ingenious website that rounds up all of the sales online and lists everything in one place. It’s called Love the Sales and they list sales from the likes of Made.com, Argos, Very, and a bunch of other big name retailers.
The site allows you to search by brand, by dress, shoe or bra size. I’m truly obsessed right now and have been stalking a few items from my tech wishlist. I’d love to see a mobile app from these guys so I could use when I’m out and about.
ALWAYS Use Cashback Sites
Both sites are easy to use. Just make an account, and then search the retailer you plan to shop with. Click on their link and shop as normal. Your purchase is then tracked and you’ll soon receive cash back.
If you want to save even more money use it in conjunction with sales purchases (although sometimes terms may state that you won’t get cashback on purchases made during sales, so always check).
Sick of it? Sell it!
As a way of keeping household items to a minimum, this is something I’ve done since The Great Purging, when I sold, gave away and binned everything I wasn’t using and didn’t need. I made a ton of money back, and no doubt if you look around your house, you could too.
The rule is; don’t buy anything until you’ve sold the old version. So for example, let’s say you bought the entire Moroccan Summer home accessory range from Next last year and now it’s dated and you’re sick of looking at it. Then, bundle it all up and sell the lot on eBay.
The money made can go towards something fresh that you actually enjoy looking at, and you wont be at risk of storing unwanted stuff and cluttering up your house, mind and life.
This is something I’ve had to learn to cultivate over the years. I can be incredibly patient with people, but when it comes to stuff; not so much. I’m a sucker for hype, and when something new was released I’d have to have it right away.
But there’s something to be said for waiting. “Patience is a virtue”. My Grandad always used to tell me. I had no idea what he meant, and to be honest I still don’t know what he expected a stroppy 5 year old to do with such wisdom. But he was right. It’s a great trait to have, especially when it comes to shopping.
Holding out on a purchase can save us hundreds of pounds. It gives time to check Gumtree and Ebay, wait for store sales, or use price tracking sites like CamelCamelCamel; an insightful website that tracks on a graph, the price history of any product listed on Amazon. It’s amazing how often retailers change their prices.
Are you shopping to a tight budget? If you have any money saving tips, let me know below.