04/01/2015

Ten tips to help you survive a spending ban

This year I'm attempting the much dreaded 100 day spending ban. 100 days of not buying beauty products and a massive decrease in frivolous spending can be tricky for the best of us, and after a few attempts over previous years, I've come up with a few tips to help make sticking to your spending ban that little bit easier.

spending ban survival tips

1. Delete marketing emails without opening them. January is sale time and that means lots of promotional emails with special offers that can seem very tempting. Delete them without even opening them - if you don't see the offer, you'll be much less tempted to make an impulse purchase for something you didn't know you even wanted until that moment!

2. Take your own lunch to work. Buying food out and about can end up costing a fortune. I work in the centre of London so I'm faced with dozens of delicious options every day, but this has not only lead to me spending at least £5 a day on lunch, it's also helped contribute to an increase in the size of my bum! Preparing your lunches in advance will not only save lots of cash, but also makes it easier not to be tempted into buying lots of cake.

3. Try to buy essentials with your weekly food shop. A quick trip to Boots for toothpaste can easily lead to a sneaky nail polish purchase, so I try to top up on things like deodorant, toothpaste and shower gel when I do my food shopping as I'm much less likely to get distracted by makeup.

4. If you like eating out but are trying to cut back, keep your eyes peeled for special offers on website like Money Saving Expert for 2 for 1s or extra money off. I have a Tastecard, which means I can get 2 for 1 or 50% off at lots of restaurants (like Pizza Express, Strada and local companies), which means it's still possible to have a treat without breaking the bank. They usually run a 30 day free trial, so it's worth testing out!

5. Get a savings pot. For me, one of the most motivational things I can do during a spending ban is see how much money I'm actually saving. I keep a special piggy bank and for every purchase I *almost* make, but don't (e.g. that lovely lipstick I spent 10 minutes swatching in MAC), I put the money in the piggy bank and at the end of the spending ban, count it all up and use a little bit to give myself a treat.

6. Find free or cheap activities to do. Let's face it, we all love a bit of a weekend shopping session, whether it's in stores or online. But when I'm on a spending ban, this isn't really an option, so I try to make the most of free activities near me that I can do with friends and family instead. Why not take a photography walk with a blogger buddy, or check out local museums (many of which are free), parks or council run activities.

7. Do it with a friend. Reducing your spending is a lot easier when you have someone doing it with you. It might mean teaming up with your boyfriend as spending ban buddies or even an online friend, but having someone there who can motivate you when you're close to making an off-plan purchase is a real life saver.

8. Sleep on it. I'm the first one to hold my hand up and say I'm an impulse purchaser and there are a lot of things I see that I decide I have to have right there and then. If I spot something I love the look of, I now make sure I sleep on it and see how I feel in the morning. The chances are that the initial burst of excitement will have died down a bit and you can look at things more objectively.

9. Write it down. Why not make a list of all the things you've been lusting over during your spending ban and once it's over, look back over it and see which ones you're still desperate to have. If you've been trying out my 'piggy bank' way of saving, chances are you'll be able to treat yourself to at least one of them; however I bet that at least 50% have lost their appeal.

10. Use cash. It's far too easy to spend on a card without it feeling like 'real' money. Put a set amount of cash in your purse for the week and stick to it. You'll be much less inclined to spend it when you see the amount disappearing!

And if you really need something, don't beat yourself up. See if you're able to get it cheaper online, or find a discount code from somewhere - the few pounds you might save can always go into your spending ban piggy bank for a rainy day!

What are your top tips for surviving a spending ban?
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21 comments

  1. This is a really helpful post! If i'm on a spending ban/cutting back, but I am eating out, I always look out for which place has 50% off on that day. There's tonnes of places in January! I agree with you on the paying with cash part as well - I find I spend far less when i'm using cash only so I try to leave my card at home x

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    1. I think the restaurant vouchers make such a big difference - it's nice to eat out as a treat, especially when it's half the normal cost! x

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  2. I have one tip I'm sticking by.... Don't leave the house. Personally, for me it's the best tip ;-) hahaha. No, I really agree with some of these and I will defo be taking note! Although I'm not on a 'spending ban' I'm banning myself from spending so...
    x x | daisydaisyxxo

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    1. Ha ha, I think some days that might be the best answer! x

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  3. Great guide definitely helps a lot! Have to enter the spending ban mode next month or so! haha :) xx

    Mary Bloomy

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  4. Great tips!!
    http://whattaylorbuys.blogspot.co.uk/

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  5. So many great tips! I've been deleting emails since November and although I feel I have been missing out on serious sales items, I feel better for it!
    I'm going to attempt 100 days no spending as I feel totally ashamed of the amount of makeup and skincare I have that I completely forgot about!

    Tamsyn-Elizabeth
    Peach Pow XO

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    1. I think deleting them definitely makes a difference. Good luck with the 100 days - I'm doing the same! x

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  6. Good luck! I'm on spending ban for January and the a beautiful world sale is on Friday cries x

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  7. I need to be on a spending ban... I also need to use things up before opening something new x

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    1. The new thing always seem so much more interesting though... ;)

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  8. I've had to impose a spending ban too! :( Some really great tips here! I've started picking up an item I like and walk around the shop with it keep looking at it and then put it down, if I get anxious about someone else going near it I know I want it! haha, if I don't mind then I leave it! Or I get it and have a think at home and return it if I'm not happy!
    http://thegirlwiththestrawberrytattoo.blogspot.co.uk

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  9. Spending bans are so hard! Thanks for all the tips, I'll be trying to remember these for next couple of months.

    Becca xx
    http://dashofcheeky.blogspot.co.uk/

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  10. Spending bans are so difficult, but these tips are FABULOUS! Thanks for sharing! I'll be sure to keep this in mind since I am cutting back!
    <3 Pauline, ­­Addicted to Makeup

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  12. I made a typo in my comment and then it failed to copy and paste! Any way! I've been unsubscribing to emails since Christmas. Some are too frequent that it felt like harassment! I delete the beauty ones that say "we miss you! Here's 20% off" - I can never get the discount off the things I really want as it only seems to apply to limited items. I can't say I've been very good this month, Kat...temporarily working at Heathrow and wandering around Duty Free has been my downfall. I'm just grateful the shades of the Nars audacious lipsticks were out of stock at terminal 5. They're £20! Usually £24? Xxx

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  13. I LOVE the idea of putting away the money you almost spend. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Such good tips....delete emails without opening is so true!!

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