Two ways I save money

A couple of people responded to yesterday’s post saying that writing about saving money once in a while is not a bad idea at all, so here is a post with two ideas that have helped me save some money this year.

Sticking to my new year resolution

At the beginning of the year I made a resolution that I will not buy anything on impulse, and so far I’ve stuck to it without exception.

This turned out to be easier than I thought it would, and all you need is a mental check that tells you to wait a while before you make the purchase. I used to pick up quite a few things on impulse and used to subscribe to a lot of magazines, newsletters and newspapers whenever they offered a discount but I’ve let most of them expire now, and have only continued with two or three subscriptions.

I think after the third or fourth month, it just became a habit where every time I looked at something shiny and felt like buying it, I immediately checked myself and waited a few more weeks to see if I still remembered the thing or not.

The latest example of this is Bose headphones. While driving with a friend one day, he put on a song at a high volume and it sounded much better than what I’m used to on my headphones. Then I came home and stumbled upon an ad for Bose headphones and the “must have it!” impulse hit me there and then. But as is habit, I’m still waiting to see if I’ll still want them after a month or so.

If you can control your impulse purchases you can cut through a lot of clutter and save some money as well. If you haven’t ever given thought to this then I would say that this is something definitely worth trying.

Buying Fridge Magnets

My wife and I travel a fair bit and somehow you’re most susceptible to buying crap when you are on a holiday. You feel that since you’re on a holiday it is okay to splurge a little and you end up with all sorts of junk that you will never need or didn’t even want that much in the first place. I have dream catchers that aren’t catching any dreams, cigars that I’m never going to smoke, and hats that I most certainly will never wear which remind me of this every day.

Then sometime last year we invited a few friends over for dinner and one of them commented on the fridge magnets that we had collected over the years and from then on we decided to buy only magnets for souvenirs. They are cheap, you can buy a few of them, are usually shiny and satisfy the need to bring something back on the holidays.

If you have felt that you fall prey to shopping sprees on holidays try buying something that you get everywhere and is inexpensive.

I have to say that I firmly believe that this will only work when you buy something that can be shown off. The magnets themselves may be cheap, but they tell a story of how many places we have visited and as vain as that may sound, I think that’s what makes it work.

These are two things that have definitely helped me save money and cutting clutter without compromising on anything at all and I think they are easy enough to try even if you feel you don’t spend that much on impulse purchases or holiday shopping.

Do you have some ideas you want to share?