Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to stop spending

Yesterday we walked past Angus and Robertson bookstore on the way to do our groceries. Usually I don’t go in there because they are twice as expensive as getting books online. Yesterday they had 50% off signs up everywhere. I am a sucker for cheap books.

So I popped in looking for 1 book I really wanted (which it turns out they did not have) but then I proceeded to look at other books there. I found heaps I would love, all at 50%.  I would love them, but I don’t need them and realistically there are plenty of other things I would rather spend my money on at the moment.

I do feel sorry for Angus and Robertson and the situation they are in. I feel sorry for the staff (although yesterday they really could have cared less about the 5 people in the store. Instead of helping they sat at the counter colouring with no hi, how are you? Can I help you? Then when I went up to them and asked about the book I was after, the body language was clear – How dare I interrupt!) BUT when their books are already twice the price of Amazon or Book Depository, 50% = the price I would pay online.

So I stopped looking and left.

It’s not a bargain if you don’t need it!!

I had no intention of buying any other books so there was no reason for me to keep looking. It is amazing though how most of us see that SALE sign and go for it. Its a bargain right? Most of the books I loved were $50 - $60 ea, so down to $25 - $30. I could have bought 5 and saved up to $150!!!

Correction. I would have spent $150.

So how do we avoid these ‘bargains’. The first step would be recognising when we are being sold to and it happens more often than you think! (Thanks Michael Bay, you record holder you, most amount of brand sponsorship in a movie!) There is an awesome post about how we are marketed to here.

As well as recognising when we are being sold to you can set up a cash budget. So leave your cards at home, take only the cash you have allocated and stick to a menu plan and shopping list.

Allow yourself some sanity money in your budget to enable the occasional splurge.

Have goals. They don’t need to be huge, just starting with something small, such as saving 10% of each pay for 1 month, then build your goals from there.

And lastly, avoid the shops. If you have a menu plan for a week or more, don’t go back to the shops. Buy what you need in one hit, then just don’t go back. The more often you are there the more likely you are to spend money. Don’t use shopping as a hobby. Buy what you need, as you need it and have the money for it, then leave the shops. Do not spend more time there than necessary.

I know these are easier said than done, but they really will help. You’ll be able to say I saved $150! And actually have saved it by not spending and have it in the bank!


  1. You are so right, they really try to suck you in so you spend your money on things you don't need, and if you don't have the money they try to convince you to use your credit card (or they will organise one for you).

    Often we dont' know the product even existed until we see the ad on Tv or in the junk mail, so glad we don't get junk mail. Suddenly we need it, a product that five minutes before we didnt know about.

  2. I really enjoyed this post. You've made some very good points and I've saved this for future reading.

  3. Yes your right I laugh a little to myself when friends say oooh look at these designer jeans I got it on sale i saved $150 dollars... and im thinking yes but you still SPENT $200! On jeans!


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