My holiday shopping funds are holding up, pretty well. Since aimlessly looking around for perfect gifts makes impulse spending more likely, I’ve mad a list of the exact gifts I want for each person on my list. I spend no more than an hour locating each gift. Since I have all of my promotional emails in their own folder, I choose the store most likely to have the gift I seek. If that store doesn’t have what I seek, I buy a similar item. Gifts will be small, but meaningful.
I’m also calculating how much I can spend at each store. My balances cannot go over a fixed amount, which is much less than my credit limit. I can still pay my balances in no more than 6 months, but can pay at least one balance in full before that much time passes. Things are working quite well, so far. My holiday gift giving will not force me to juggle between food and credit card payments!
I found a great article on alternative gift giving, and may propose one of the suggestions to friends, next year. In my drive to live a more frugal life, I’m sharpening my baking skills. I’m considering a Mincemeat Tart recipe for next year’s gifting. I’ll practice it, then wrap a piece for each friend. Since they aren’t great bakers, they’ll love the treat.
Being single and saving money seem poles apart right. However one can save more while being single. You have less liabilities to take care and can save much more. These savings will augur well for your future life.
Saving Tips for a single girl
There are certain easy actions which will help you build up a corpus for the future.
- Start cooking – Ordering pizza every night is not good for physical and financial health. It eats away at you pocket. Start cooking and eat healthy food made by your own hands. It will be difficult to start but believe me the results are amazing.
- Shop once in a month – Try to be disciplined while shopping. Shopping is exciting but also costs. So, shop for essentials every month rather than stop buying. Carry on the window shopping instead.
- Set saving targets – When you receive paycheck, set some amount aside as an emergency fund. It will help you save more than not having a plan at all.
- Reward yourself on reaching saving goals – This acts as a motivation to keep on saving. Set a goal and once you achieve it, reward yourself with a nice outing. This is really good technique.
- Have a piggy bank – Collect the smaller notes and coins. The change that you get after buying should go in this. You will be amazed by the amount you can have at the end of the month. Otherwise the change just strays.
- Schedule holidays – Once you plan your holidays in advance you can get cheaper hotels and airline tickets. So save while you enjoy.
I have been trying to make both ends meet for the past six months. Imagine what I missed!! The good old New Year resolution. By the time I remembered, it was already February. But I went ahead and made it!
Not being careless I made a point to be disciplines and write it down in my diary. A few things I need to correct from past year. I have a proper list of them, and they are not idealistic but practical.
- Will stop Lying about making changes – I will make the changes rather than just lying that I will make the changes.
- Say Thank You – I had erred on this front. I will say Thank You to everybody who helped me.
- Stop Procrastinating – I am in the habit of leaving it to tomorrow. This habit has to go this year. My life depends on it.
- Regular Exercise – The laziness has to go. Motivating myself to workout daily is one of the important resolution this year.
- Complete the incomplete – Revisit the promises I made last year and try to complete most.
- Quit Smoking – This is the one I make every year. This year I have to kick out this habit.
- Be Debt Free – Try and pay off all the debt left.
- Get the iPhone 6(indulge) – I have been saving for it the past two months. Surely this one will be done.
- Learn French – This has been on my mind. I will make sure I learn it this time on.
These are my resolutions for the whole year. I hope I make the most of them by December.
I have a personal experience of Credit cards. I knew more about credit card brands rather than the denomination of currency notes. And Yes I landed in a debt soup. Inadvertently you pay more while using credit cards.
Why am I telling you? Well I have learnt the hard way and want to share my knowledge. They lure you into a trap. The luring methods are cash back bonus and reward points. If you miss one payment your credit suffers. So, avoid use of credit cards.
Credit Card and Currency Notes
Let us understand with an example. It will give more clarity. You are out shopping for clothes. You have 200 Euros with you. That is your budget and no credit card. So whatever you buy is within the 200 Euros cash with you. Even if you like a dress that is more than 200 Euros, you cannot buy it. Now let’s explore another possibility. You have a credit card and you like a dress which is 300 Euros, much above your budget. But you will think, hey I need to pay later so let me buy it. That is the trap. Here you have spent 100 Euros more than your budget. Surely you have to balance it somewhere else. If you do not balance you will end up paying more on interest too. A recent study at MIT confirmed that people spend more with credit cards than cash. The overspending you do with credit card eats away at your savings. The seller will want you to use credit card, as there are benefits for the seller. Do not play into the hands of the marketer. Go without a credit card and instead use cash. Ferratum gives great advice with easy loans for freedom from debt. So be aware and avoid the debt burden if you can. I want you to avoid the mistakes I did.
I am such a happy lady; I have at last paid for my holiday to Greece – 2 whole weeks of nothing but sun, sea and sand… And a few drinks of course. I am going with a friend to an all inclusive resort and now it is all paid for. The holiday includes transfers to and from the hotel and drinks up to midnight. I am so glad we checked about that as some hotels stop the inclusive alcohol drinks as early as 9pm!!! Shocking, we paid slightly more to go to a larger resort hotel with a lot more inclusive amenities. Always worth checking what you is and isn’t included; like sun beds and parasols or spa facilities, indoor pools if going outside of season. If they are extras your holiday budget will go out the window. I have made sure we are both fully insured; I looked around for the best comprehensive deal, especially re health. Glad I read this article as my home insurance covers my personal belongings away from home so I saved on baggage insurance. As will certainly need some cash I looked at what using my debit card would cost then decided that for me a pre paid card would be the better option – reduces my impulse buys if I have a limited budget and in an emergency I have arranged with my back to transfer further funds.
I recently read an article that said single women are generally more cautious spenders than men. Note the word generally because I don’t think that is a reflection of my spending habits. I am not stupid, I hold a responsible job as a manager, I don’t regard myself as having an extravagant lifestyle so why am I always struggling by the end on the month?
To answer myself, I am aware I am a bit of an impulse shopper; I shop online a lot as work hours keep me away from shopping in town. It is so easy just to pop into a virtual shop and pick something up. I am sure there are 100’s of women just like me. So I thought I would share how I am trying to change, well curb my impulse shopping habits.
- I now have a folder that all my store emails go into direct, rather than my inbox, to curb my “I’ll just take a look’ syndrome.
- I only look in the folder once every 2 weeks, I am aiming for once a month, and then I delete any that doesn’t have special offers unopened.
- Sometimes stores will send out 2 or 3 emails in a month with ever increasing offers of discounts so worth waiting for the highest.
- I don’t shop online during work hours anymore – I wouldn’t go out to the shops then and this eliminates the “don’t think and buy” element of my shopping as I purchase quickly when I am suppose to working…
- I have put a time limited on myself for online shopping – I use my kitchen timer!!
- As all the shopping is done via my credit card I have decided the amount I have to spend each month. Now I have done this before and ignored it when splurging on a “must have’ hopefully with the above aids I can avoid that situation.
- If I go shopping I only take my credit card with me if I know I am going to purchase something – cant buy if no money. Simple but I am finding it does work. Note to self: Have to make sure I have petrol in the car before I leave home.
- I am paying off all my store cards and then they are going – currently they are in a drawer rather than my wallet now. I will then only use my current credit card which I change regularly to get the best interest rates. More on that in later posts.