Since I took up self-employment, I really do see money in a completely different light. Both my partner and I often assess things in hours – “Hmm, this food shop is half a day’s work” etc etc. Keeping in spirit with Gem’s “Wham Bam Jan Spending Ban” I too have banned myself from over indulging in the hope that I can get back on track after the Christmas spend.
Inspired by one of my fav bloggers “Miss Thrifty” I figured I’d share with you guys some of the things I do to save myself some money.
1. Save the empties
First off, how guilty are you of buying those adorable empty travel bottle sets? I hold my hand up to that one – pre self employment, anything I wanted, I bought. Most the time I’d throw the bottles away after I’d used them on holiday or at a festival, with the old “I’ll buy some more for next time”, same goes for air-beds and camping chairs – leaving them for the trash men because I couldn’t be bothered to carry them. Well, not any more!
This is one of many empty boxes – a recycled Birchbox package. Each time I use up a product, I wash out the container and store it. It means that I can “decant” moisturisers and body butters into smaller bottles to take away with me and it doesn’t really matter if I lose them. I also like to keep spray bottles so I can fill them with hair products and the really tiny ones can be used to use up some of those endless mini perfume samples.
2 a. Sell all the things
I acquired a lot of Body Shop products this year, which I am absolutely overjoyed about. Unfortunately The Body Shop tend to put a lot of soap in their gifts, so I sold these on eBay because I never use soap and as pretty as they looked with the rest of my hoard, they were gathering dust. I also scoured my drawers for some make-up items that I had bought and had no intention of using ever again – having only swatched them, they went to new homes.
2 b. Sell to buy
I know I’ve had a bit of a spending ban, well an ongoing spending ban that looks like it will creep it’s way into most of the year! One thing I really really wanted was a new pair of boots for on stage. This is both a want and a need, admittedly I can get by without new boots, however Dakesis pride ourselves on having a uniformed look and my trusty Wacken army boots are now starting to look a little sorry for themselves, not to mention how clunky they are when I’m trying to wield a 6 string bass. Alas, I chose three pairs of shoes that I have worn once and will never wear again on the understanding that if I sold these for the same amount as a new pair of boots, I could then buy them. Success! I sold my shoes, bought some new boots (which I am eagerly awaiting) and still had a little money left over.
3. Get rid of your loose change
I’ve known a few people to tell the cashier to keep the 1p or even throw coppers away! What a waste. Brains and I have a large bottle where every few weeks, we empty our purse and wallet out of all the loose change and chuck it in the bottom. We don’t notice it’s gone, in fact it means we don’t end up spending it on a whim. Last time we cashed in the bottle, we ended up with £117. So next time you think about sodding off before collecting that 3 pence – think again.
4. Reuse everything you can
I love my beauty boxes, but the best thing about them is being able to reuse the boxes. Instead of buying purpose built storage boxes for documents, I’ve reused Body Shop gift boxes, which look cute stacked on top of each other, and for my drawers I organise my stationary in the office using old Birchbox boxes. I even store my sewing and crafty bits in Glossybox’s. The possibilities are endless though – we often buy large jars of coffee (own brand naturally), but once they are finished with, a nice long soak and you can store biscuits, flour and sugar, if your feeling really crafty, you can decorate them to your hearts content. Who needs ikea? (Okay – I still need Ikea, but maybe not as much!)
5. Do you really need to throw that away?
Gift wrap, Christmas cards even old jiffy envelopes. I keep them all. The envelopes are great for sending out things that I’ve sold, I just carefully peel off the label with my details on and stick a label over the top. I also keep ribbons, long pieces of thread and buttons. You’d be surprised how handy they are for crafts.
So embrace your inner scrimper and save your pennies, you’ll be needing them for Christmas 2014!
Totally hellbent for a green bank balance