Five thrifty tips designed to help reset your spending in 2018

Could paying for purchases with cash instead of credit or debit card cut your spending? Photo: PA

Could paying for purchases with cash instead of credit or debit card cut your spending? Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Most of us have eaten more than is wise and many of us have done the same when it comes to spending in the last few weeks.

So, as January gets under way and with it the annual ritual of making resolutions for how we plan (or hope) to live in the year ahead, now is the perfect time to set some thrifty goals.

I’ve come up with five suggestions to reset your spending agenda for the next few months. Here they are:

1. Develop strategies to resist pester power. As any parent will know, pester power has a way of wearing you down and striking a killer blow when you’re at your most vulnerable. Try boosting your defences by not getting into negotiations/arguments. Luring you into a discussion about why they can’t have the thing they so desire is part of their strategy. Don’t give explanations. Just say no; make yourself physically or mentally absent when the whining/psychological manipulation starts. It’s worth a try…

2. Pay cash for purchases rather than using a credit/debit card. The thinking on this one goes that having cash leave your hand feels a lot more painful than flashing the plastic. Apparently, it’s been proven to cut spending by as much as 40% less. Give it a go by withdrawing a set amount of money each week to pay for variable spending.

3. Take a pack-up to work instead of buying sandwiches. This is something I do nearly all the time nowadays but it’s still worth reminding yourself just how much money you can waste buying lunch/takeaway coffee on a regular basis.

4. Do a financial health check. Go through your direct debits and standing orders – are there any you can do without or get cheaper elsewhere?

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5. Get outside and reconnect with nature. Walk short distances instead of driving, get out into green or open spaces to go rambling/hiking/cycling or nature watching. It’s low cost, good for physical and mental health and generally cost-free. Also, all those hours spent in the great outdoors will keep you away from the lure of the shops and allow you to be something other than a mere consumer, if only for a little while.

Email your thrifty resolutions here.

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