Money Saving Habits Could Change Your Life!
I don’t exaggerate.
Learning good personal finance habits could completely turn your life around.
I would recommend going to look at the PersonalFinance sub-reddit on Reddit, and you’ll see how many people are there in sticky situations because of their poor financial habits.
I’ve laid out a few areas I recommend changing in your financial regime. You many not be guilty of all of these, or any. But I guarantee all of us have been guilty of at least one of them at some point in our lives.
Victim to Marketing Hype
I think my mentality towards corporate structure, being an accountant, was beneficial here. I have a financial background, and I have also ran my own business. Therefore, I fully understand and appreciate the marketing behind a business.
It is important to note the difference between a “product” and a “brand”.
Apple is a BRAND. The iPhone is a PRODUCT.
However, not all brands are equal. There are some brands which have the purpose of solving a problem, and are low cost. For example, in the UK, Lidl would be deemed a utilitarian brand in this sense.
On the other hand, other brands satisfy the need and greed of the human ego. The iPhone is a great example of this, along with all Apple products. Their products aren’t necessarily better than other brands’ products. However, due to their marketing and brand setup, people’s ego craves an iPhone, or an iMac.
In fact, many people would argue that ON PAPER, Apple Mac products are factually inferior to competitors.
Brands in which are ego driven, are defined as hedonistic brands.
The problem with Utilitarian Brands vs Hedonistic Brands is that while both fill the hole of practicality, only the hedonistic brand products will fill the hole opened by ego. Lower your ego, and money will be saved.
Do you really need an Apple Laptop? I used to think I did. I would confidently tell my friends that I preferred the interface, and it was faster than my old Windows machine, and it was more reliable etc etc…
Now, in hindsight, some of these statements are still true. My Apple Laptop is still going semi-strong 8 years since I purchased it. While a Windows machine generally goes downhill within a year.
However, I’ve since realised that if I take care of my Windows machine, they last longer, and I can upgrade them and so on.
I think the key in this instance is that Apple products are more user-friendly for people with zero technical ability. Is the extra £1,500 worth the ability to not have to google solutions to you problems? That decision is up to you…
Detaching yourself from the allure of a brand will no doubt save you money. Thinking logically will be helpful, but it is always easier said than done.
Some will find this easier than others. I think your social circle has a huge impact upon your ability to ‘detach from the brand’. If your social group regularly buy designer clothes…it may be hard to stop doing that yourself.
If I come across something online, I like to add it to my ‘Wish List’. This is because, it stops me from acting hastily upon a purchase.
I will keep an item in my Wish List for a few weeks. If I still want it after a few weeks and a bit of research, then I may buy it. However, more often than not, I will forget it is even there.
If an item isn’t still in your mind after a few weeks, it was not worth buying in the first place. This simple habit will save you a fortune.
I have an Amazon Wish List which probably has about 100 items which at one time or another I wanted to purchase. However, they’ve ended up in the Wish List graveyard of ideas which I forgot about buying.
You wouldn’t forget about buying food or water, would you? Anything that is not essential to your life will be quickly forgotten. If the luxury is important, you will continue to remember it.
I think this habit will link into all my other recommendations on this list, and it is the glue which will hold everything together.
I regularly look around Reddit on the PersonalFinance sub-reddit. The key similarity I find in people asking for advice on their struggles financially, is that they have a poor mentality towards money.
Many are crippled by Credit Card Debt, or they’ve decided to get a flashy BMW with high monthly payments.
The problem here is simply mentality.
They didn’t have the mental strength to realise they didn’t need that new $1000+ mobile phone, or they didn’t think about whether they could actually afford the BMW payments long term.
The moment you realise that financial freedom is worth the sacrifice of not having luxury products, is the moment your life will change for the better.
Not only this, but people who are financially savvy tend to actually have more money than the people who are showing off with their “things”.
One of the key factors in this mentality is the growth of ‘financing’ items.
This will obviously depend heavily on Geographical location. However, where I used to live, I would regularly bump into people who were driving flashy £30k cars, but were working jobs in which they were lucky to be paid £20k a year. Therefore, more often than not, the car was purchased on finance.
Any product you can think of, often has a finance option to purchase it these days.
While I don’t doubt that most people applying for these finance options CAN afford the monthly payments, it doesn’t mean it is good financial sense.
Financing allows people to feed that ego of owning luxury items, without actually having the capital to purchase it to begin with….and that’s a slippery slope. Once you start, you tend to continue, and that’s when it becomes a problem.
My recommendation would be to start investing in yourself and your mental psyche. Invest in books all about financial mentality and knowledge. You will soon start to reap the benefits!
Price Trackers (CamelCamelCamel)
I highly recommend CamelCamelCamel.
It isn’t the most glamorous website around, and it is pretty old fashioned looking. However, it allows me to keep a track of the current pricing of Amazon items.
I shop on Amazon a lot. I live on an island, and therefore Amazon is my only option for a lot of products.
If I see an item I really want, I’ll often put it into CamelCamelCamel, and then see what the historical price of the item is. Sometimes, ‘right now’ will be the cheapest it has ever been. Sometime it will be the opposite.
If I don’t want to spend what the price currently is, I’ll set up an alert on CamelCamelCamel to let me know when the product has hit a certain price point. It will be then that I decide to buy!
This has been a great little trick for saving a significant amount of money on items. I used this specifically to research components for my latest computer build, and it saved me around £250!
There are plenty of other options, so look around. You don’t have to stick to CamelCamelCamel. I believe some WishList sites actually offer to same service, but across many different eCommerce sites.
Thank you for reading up to this point, and I hope you’ve picked up a few good Money Saving Habits!
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss something with me, then please do not hesitate to comment down below, and I’ll answer anything you put forward.
Great list! Thanks for sharing.
My favourite trick I have used since I was little is a thing I call “the reverse test”
Let’s say I’m looking at buying a jacket that is $300.
I imagine what I would do, if I already owned that jacket, and somebody offered me $300 cash for it.
If hypothetical-jacket-owning-me would think “hell yeah I’ll take that $300! Here you go…” Then I don’t buy the jacket, because I clearly want the money more than the jacket.
If on the other hand hypothetical me says “actually you know what? I really like this jacket, you can keep your $300” then I buy it, because I clearly like it more than I want the money.
It’s a weird little psychological trick, but surprisingly effective at working out whether or not you actually want something or not…
Great tip! This is definitely something that I find myself doing sometimes.