It’s inevitable for us most of us mere mortals to fall into hard financial times on occasion. With the economy, unemployment rates and rising tuition fees against us – it’s very likely that, at some point, you will have to cut back on spending.
However, cutting back isn’t all eating beans on toast by yourself, staring at a wall and dreaming of better days. Research has concluded that past an annual income of around £48,000, money ceases to make people any happier. Saving money has the potential to put this lesson into practice – and teach you how you don’t have to depend on your bank balance to determine your happiness. Cutting back on your spending can bring you much more than extra money:
1. Appreciating the small things
Not only will you treasure the little luxuries that you do allow yourself to buy, you’ll also learn to appreciate the things that you don’t need money to enjoy. Walks with friends, a simple bubble bath and quality time with your loved ones will seem extra special without money to distract you.
2. Learning how to budget
Spending less – it sounds easy, doesn’t it? Until you’ve put it into practice, however, you won’t be able to appreciate how difficult it can be. The silver lining is that the more difficult saving is – the more you’ll learn from it and be better with money in the future.
3. Opening your horizons
Saving could mean making some changes – switching to cheaper food, for instance. It could unite you with something new that, once experienced, you wonder how you ever lived without.
4. Enjoying the alternative
If your new budget doesn’t allow for fortnightly trips to your favourite clothes shops, you may take solace in your sewing kit. Learning to come up with new outfits without spending to refresh your wardrobe may unleash an inner creativity you didn’t realise you had.
Also, meals out with friends may have to be substituted for nights in. Fear not, this will save your savings account as well as turning you into a culinary genius.
5. Changing your perspective
Without as much disposable income, you will gain a sense of empathy for those less financially fortunate than yourself. Having to spend your time not spending will be humbling, not to mention character building.
If you previously considered shopping as a sport, time will undoubtedly be in abundance. You can use this time to be more productive, volunteer or actually use and wear the things you’ve previously bought and stuffed at the back of your wardrobe, back in the days of frivolous frittering.
6. Having self control
Walking past a clothes sale, remove the expensive wine from your trolley or turning down an expensive night out can be difficult. Saving is exercising your self-control, and once you’ve mastered that, the world is your oyster. Self-control is one of the main contributing factors to success.