Avoid Guilty Pleasures and Save Money
With so much temptation all around us, saving money can seem like an impossible task. Shops, entertainment venues and millions of other companies are only too willing to separate us from our hard-earned cash. With the arrival of online shopping the temptation has become even stronger - you don't even need to leave the house to start spending! We can now buy more, for less, than previous generations could even have imagined.
The end of the 'cheap era'
The global economic downturn and subsequent recession has been a wake-up call for a country hooked on cheap credit. As easy access to loans, mortgages and credit cards has dried-up, attitudes to spending money have at last started to change. The rampant consumerism of the last few years has been replaced by a more responsible attitude to spending money. People are starting to question the social and environmental cost of producing goods that are sold for next to nothing and think about the problems that mass consumerism can cause.
Save to spend
With attitudes to money changing, more people are managing their money the way our grandparents generation did. This means saving up to buy something special every now and again, rather than paying for lots of cheap items on credit. Saving up to buy something you really want means thinking twice before you spend and make you feel less guilty about splashing out once in a while.
Look for real meaning
Whilst shopping can be fun, it isn't necessarily the most meaningful or satisfying leisure activity. Finding alternative ways to spend your time that don't involve spending money will help you save and feel better about yourself. Rather than spending Saturdays pacing the high street, why not join a new class or take the time to learn a new skill? Classes needn't cost a lot of money and can be a good way to meet new people as well as learn something new. Spending quality time with family and friends is another good alternative to shopping - go for a walk, invite someone round for dinner or rediscover free visitor attractions in your area.
Make money instead!
If you have a talent or a skill, why not put it to good use and start your own business? Your own hobbies and interests can be a great source of profitable business ideas. Whether you enjoy making cupcakes, building websites or writing articles for local publications, if you turn your talents to enterprise then you could actually make money rather than just spending it!
Once you are earning a little extra then you will be able to spend in moderation without feeling guilty. You could also decide to put some money away and invest for the future, a prudent idea in this economic climate. Simply learning the value of money and your time is the most valuable lesson of all and starting to build your own personal philosophy around this will help guide you to a healthy financial future.