How to be money wise

If you had told my twenty-something year old self that one day, I would be sharing tips on how to save money, I'd have laughed in your face...and snorted. Yes, it's that funny.

You see, when I was fresh out of uni, after I secured my first real job, I treated myself to lots of things, like a new car, new clothes, new shoes, and as I was sick of years of student living, I said goodbye to crates and splurged on new furniture and home appliances. I ended up accumulating a mountain of debt and spent the most part of my late twenties paying it off.

But having learnt the hard way meant I became very, very good with money. These days, I find myself turning back to my thrifty ways to stretch my savings just in case I decide not to return to work. Today, I'd like to share some of my money saving tips with you...
1. Get rid of debt. The first thing I did to get out of debt was to switch to a low interest balance transfer card. I made sure that 80% of every pay check I got went towards my credit card debt, saved 10% for rainy days and lived off a meager 10%. Once the debt was paid off, I made sure pay the balance in full every month. No exceptions.

2. Cook more, eat out less. The best thing about doing this is I developed a love for cooking and baking in the process! These days, even though Stu and I do enjoy dining out, we limit it to once a week. And because we eat out less, we actually enjoy it more.

3. Unsubscribe to mailing lists. When I was paying off my debts, the last thing I needed to know was that my favourite brand was on sale...or that their new season collection is out, or that I could take a further 20% off already reduced items. So agonising! To remove temptations, I unsubscribed to all such mailing lists and resisted signing up to more. Reduces spam to my inbox too.

4. Make shopping lists. Every fortnight, I sit down and plan my meals for the next 14 days and make a list of everything I need. Then I shop with that list and ONLY buy the things on that list. That way I can buy in bulk and save, as well as stick to my budget.

5. Go for quality, not quantity. When I was younger, I used to buy shoes and clothes every other day. They were all "on trend" items that were affordable that I liked but didn't absolutely love. These days, when I shop, I go for quality items that I know I would wear again and again for years to come. Instead of buying ten pairs of cheap shoes, I rather splurge on one expensive, good quality pair in a classic style. Even though it costs more to buy, I find it tends to last much longer and in the long run, provides far greater value.

Do you have any money-saving tips to share too?

33 Responses to How to be money wise

Loz said...

I think you've nailed it... I am now the biggest scrooge - four little kids doesn't leave too much extra for wasting. When you pick something up in-store, chuck a few laps around the store thinking about whether or not you really 'need' it before heading to the registers :)

Carmen ShuGar said...

I really needed to read this right about now. We've spent so much money prepping for ShuGar Boy's arrival and also nesting projects. I admit I think I went a little overboard and now we need to tighten our belts. My tip would be to put a certain amount into separate savings bank accounts every month. We were doing that and it really helped. For example, we have a baby account, a travel account, a house account, and an emergency account. We do not have ATM access to these accounts and they are solely online. This helps us just do deposits and not withdrawals. Must get back to that once we pay off our debt with baby stuff.

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

These are great tips. I was always super thrifty since we weren't well off when I was growing up. Packing lunch for myself and my husband saves alot of $ since those costs can add up quickly and it's healthier too :)

Rowena @ rolala loves

Hi! I am LiLi! said...

These are all true. I do not buy clothing items that are trendy, but the classic styles.

Samantha Heather said...

Great tips Trish! I vowed this year to spend more on quality and less on quantity. I was one of those girls that bought 5 cheap dresses over 1 expensive one and what do you know, they ended up not being worn or forgotten about. Quality is definitely something I am trying to invest more into!

Anouka said...

I can only agree with your advice! I would only add: It doesn't matter how much you make; what matters is how much you save.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

YES! So with you on #2.

Vanisha @ A Life Un-Styled said...

My husband and I were very fortunate to never have got into debt as individuals and now as a couple. We have a credit card that we use only due to the ease it provides during travel and for making bookings. We never have anything owing on it. We purchased land to build our dream home on in cash a few years ago and it was absolutely empowering. We live a happy and comfortable lifestyle and treat 'saving' or 'putting money away' as part of our daily lives, not as something you do once in a while or when you can. When I give talks to young women especially, I love including aspects of financial independence in there too. It's so important. You offer some really sound tips Trish.

burntfeather said...

I love this - I think making staying out of your dept your number one priority is super important and eating in definitely saves some coin! I still can't do the expensive shoe thing, I should because my cheap shoes fall apart in two seconds :P

Jemma@jemmaolson@gmail.com said...

Being savvy with money is a top priority for us too-these are great tips!
Jemma

Karen said...

Fantastic tips! Paying off the credit card in full every month is crucial as you don't want those interest rates getting the best of you! Cooking at home definitely saves so much more money than eating out, is more healthier and much more fun! I've also been finding myself buying less clothes, and paying a little more for something with better quality that I can wear more often :)

Jane said...

great post! i was the same. when i got my first job which paid so little because i was working in a really small non-profit i still wanted to wear zara clothes and get stuff from benettons. :) but now i do a lot of things that you listed. the getting rid of debt for sure. and making lists and buying only what i need. i don't do the unsubscribe from mailing list (although i should because i hate clutter, including email clutter) but i do put things on wish lists and look back on it several weeks later to see if i still need it or want it. it's saved me from a lot of impulse buys!

rooth said...

The tip on unsubscribing from mailing lists? So good, especially since I do practically all of my shopping online

oomph. said...

yep, i bring home lunch to work as much as possible and i stopped getting my morning starbucks. daily food and drinks really add up!

Czarina Mae said...

Better keep this post in mind once I graduate. I'm afraid I'm gonna need these reminders a lot! Especially number 2. Even now, I definitely should start making my own meals more instead of always eating out. It doesn't only help to save money, it can help me avoid all those nasty fast food restaurants out there too!

JoaNNa said...

great tips! I especially love no.3 as I know how tempting it can get when you see those "50% off" promotions. I was pretty thrifty when I was a student too and now I'm in the phase of spending whatever I want with my own money. Still under control though, but I'm currently addicted to online shopping so thank you for these!

Ananka said...

Great advice!

I don't have any credit cards, I just wouldn't trust myself with them!

CQUEK said...

cook more at home.. totally agreed.

toastandgrits.com said...

I clearly can use these tips because I have a saving problem! Thanks...have a great week.
xoxo, Ty
http://www.toastandgrits.com

Froso M. said...

I have to get rid of these mailing lists as well! I've made two -unecessary- Asos orders over the past month (silly me).

Your blog is so relaxing to the eye!
I'd be very happy to see you in my blog sometime soon.

xoxo,
Froso
Style Nirvana

jamie @ [kreyv] said...

These are great tips! We have a lot (and I mean a lot) of medical school debt that I can't wait to pay off. But, I do think education debt is better than other debt. I think you pretty much summed up great rules to live by. I would just add live within or below your means, and don't buy it if you can't afford it. We never buy anything on credit. We save for it.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Trishie,

All great tips you have shared here, thank you.
My husband and I always plan a menu for what we are going to have for the next week meals and then only buy the food from the list.
Before I used to have a freezer stacked with meat and a lot of money tied up.
Happy Thursday
hugs
Carolyn

LeeLee said...

Great tips.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

These are great tips! I'm making an effort to eat more at home.

Jessica said...

These are great tips. I have started buckling down a lot. I really want to work myself out of all of this student loan debt.

Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

Jessica said...

These are great tips. I have started buckling down a lot. I really want to work myself out of all of this student loan debt.

Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

Rose said...

Just hop over from Shirley's luxury haven site and she also having shopping tips.

When I were just out from college and had my 1st job, I also splurge on things that I wanted that time. Haha. Never ask money saving tips from 20-something lady! Lol.

azurachan said...

Great tips! Yeah I was like you too. I stsrted to feel the awareness of saving when I'm at the late 20s. lol. It's still not too late, isn't it. hehe.

Arni @ Travel Gourmande said...

Very helpful tips. Spot on. Cutting the credit card years ago was the best thing I ever did for myself. Though keeping one for the family in case of emergency use only, especially while traveling. Living within our means and being able to save for a rainy day is my aim even if I don't have the fancy stuff or the latest gadgets as long as we treat ourselves to something we love and that makes us happy from time to time.

trishie said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one!!!

trishie said...

How wonderful it must be to purchase your own piece of land with cash, Vanisha!! Wow I'm so impressed

trishie said...

Waiting several weeks before purchasing is definitely a good idea, Jane! I do so love looking at your wish lists on your blog though!

trishie said...

I used to be addicted to online shopping too, Joanna. And unsubscriving to mailing lists really did help me!