Life is very expensive right now and sadly costs might just keep rising. We’re all looking to cut costs and as a result can feel bad about spending. Here’s some tips on how you can spend guilt free.
Guilt often comes when you bury your head in the sand and don’t address your spending and finances in general. Don’t be scared to look at your bank balance. Knowing what you’ve got to work with is the first – and most important – step.
But, there’s lots of other ways to help you spend guilt free. This most will detail some of my favourite ways.
This post will cover:
- Set a budget
- Separate your spending money and your bills
- Plan in advance
- Be kind to yourself
Set a budget
Firstly, you need to set a budget. This doesn’t have to be complicated at all. At its most basic, you just need to know how much money you have coming in and your fixed outgoings – think rent, bills, subscriptions etc.
Once you’ve established how much you have to spend, add in a rough estimate of your food and transport costs.
If you can, also add in the amount you want to save and/or invest each month.
Take all your expenses away from your income and then you’ll know how much you have left to spend each month.
Separate your spending money and your bills
If you find you are spending the money you need to pay for essentials too early, this may be the tip for you.
I personally use two different accounts to do this, but you can do it however works best for you.
At the start of each month, I transfer a set amount into my Chase account. This is my ‘spending money’ for the month. Essentially, I can’t spend any more because the account will hit zero.
My bills and fixed expenses all come out of my Santander account. I calculate how much these come to each month and make sure there is enough left in the account before I transfer to my ‘spending’ account, as well as my savings and investments.
Having two separate accounts means I am not tempted to dip into one if the other is getting low or I fancy spending more one month.
It also means I know I can spend the money in my Chase account guilt free, if I want and/or need to.
Plan in advance
Being organised can help you spend guilt free.
If you know you have a big event or expense coming up, plan ahead. Don’t leave it to the last minute and splash out.
You can use ‘sinking funds’ to manage this. Essentially, you create a savings pot for a specific event – say a birthday or a holiday. Then, you put a set amount in each month, so by the time you come to pay for it you already have the money ready to go.
Staying organised and aware of what expenses you have coming up, can stop you panicking and overspending.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be all or nothing. And you don’t have to sacrifice everything you enjoy to save money.
Try compromising with yourself to allow for some guilt free spending. For example, if you go to the office three days a week and currently buy lunch every day, try just buying lunch one day a week and bringing food from home the other two days.
This way, you still get to go to your favourite lunch spot, but only spend a third of what you were spending previously.
The same can be true for nights out. You don’t have to stay at home every weekend to spend money. But maybe going out every Friday and Saturday night isn’t particularly budget friendly. Instead, could you go out one night and stay at home the other?
Be kind to yourself
Finally, the most important thing is to be kind to yourself.
The fact that you’re thinking about cutting your expenses, means you’re creating the habits to improve your financial situation and reach your goals.
All spending should be guilt free. Removing the emotions from your finances can help you spend more mindfully and make more rational decisions.
Take it one step at a time and be kind to yourself as you go.
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Did you know I offer freelance writing services and personal finance workshops and talks for schools, workplaces and organisations? I also regularly feature in the media. Get in touch via email@example.com or reach out on Twitter @Katie20Percent if you’d like to find out more.
If you found this post on how to spend guilt free interesting and/or useful please share it on social media or with your friends. How do you feel about spending? Are you prone to feeling guilty after making a big purchase or can you remove your emotions from your spending? Comment your thoughts below, I’d love to hear from you!
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