Spare us your salad recipes and colon cleanses - we're here to talk spending detoxes.
If you’re amidst the topical January reset, blending celery to try and counteract the seven servings of sticky date pudding you consumed over seven consecutive days, we are deeply sorry.
While fitness goals are running hot (pun intended), your waistline measurement isn’t going to get you any closer to a trip to Tokyo, a new car, festival tickets or your honeymoon.
January is the prime time to reinvent your spending habits and we’re here as your guardian angel to you keep on track to save towards your goals.
Since we have the easy way to save in the bag (here’s your cue to download Chip), we’re tackling the chronic spending habit you want to kick this year. We’re looking at you Mr/Ms Pret-baguette-Monday-to-Friday.
Just how prepared are you?
Be present, be mindful and enjoy the moment - we get it. But, preparing yourself for the year ahead is essential for setting yourself up for success.
We want you to go into your calendar right now (and by right now we mean upon finishing this article) and pin the days your rent and bills are due.
When does your gym membership come out? Log it. Include family and close friends' birthdays and holidays.
If it helps, pulling together a rough sum of your anticipated expenses per month and jotting it down will ensure you're not strapped for cash or caught off guard when the time comes to.
Spend it. Log it. Judge it.
Task two: swap out logging your every meal for your every spend for a week.
It can be as easy as looking at your bank account at the end of the day and jotting it down in the notes page of your phone.
This is also an opportunity to identify any subscriptions and routine payments you may have forgotten about, too.
7:56am: £1.50 bus to work.
12:11pm: £5.99 lunch from Farmstand.
12:15pm: £3.80 Holland and Barret.
12:22pm: £9.00 Antibiotics from Boots.
1:53pm: £4.99 Apple invoice for excess iCloud storage
7:58pm: £1.50 bus home.
7:11pm: £15.28 Sainsburys.
At the end of the seven days, audit your spending and highlight expenses that aren’t necessary and identify repeat offenders.
I have realised I need to stop buying exotic health drinks everyday under the false illusion they’re going to make my body a temple.
‘You have food at home’
We despised our parents for feeding us this line when we demanded a treat from the shop as a kid. Now we’re adults, we have to rely on our own personal discipline to tell us that we do not need to spend £11 on a bento box everyday.
As of Jan 2019, Brits were reported to have spent almost £700 a year on eating out. You literally could fly to New Zealand and back on that sum.
- Snack smart. £1.99 here and a 80p there don’t sound monumental in the grand scheme of things, but if you’re tapping your card on the daily, you’re left with a £20 outlay. Fruit, nuts, rice cakes, carrots and hummus (avoid the prepackaged as the markup is ridiculous). Generally, most packaged goods will cost you more.
- Meal prep. You do not need to be a gym junkie to get on-board. Sunday is a popular night to prepare a meal in bulk. You get busy during the week or are rushing in the morning so you don’t. The cost of meal prep for five days is roughly the same price as one bought lunch.
- BYO coffee cup. If you must buy your coffee out, bring a reusable coffee cup - it’ll often save you a few pennies.
And for the love of dim sum, pull back on the weekend brunches, midweek dinners and unnecessary food deliveries.
Drinking away your money
This is not an opportunity for us to scold you for not doing dry Jan. This is simply a soft reminder to reconsider quantity and frequency, ie don’t drink so darn much all the darn time.
Drinking often hinders your decision making skills, meaning you’re more likely to drop an unnecessary £10 on a big kebab on the way home.
If you wan't the secret antidote to sip and spending responsibly, read this blog this instant.
Exercise saying 'No'
Responsible spending is particularly hard for those vulnerable to peer pressure and continuously succumb to your fear of missing out.
As well as compromising your well-being, signing up for bottomless brunches, sports teams or trips abroad out of obligation rather than desire is sabotaging your future.
Do not feel guilty for putting yourself and your finances first. It may feel uncomfortable initially, but trust the process.
Hungry for more hacks to save you £££?
I’m not surprised if all you’re slurping down are those celery juices.
For more tips on being money savvy without appearing blatantly stingey, click here.