Saving Money On Big Life Decisions
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As we get older, and the responsibility piles on, we can often find we are spending out left, right and centre. Money worries are a significant cause of stress, and with many people less able to save on a weekly or monthly basis, it pays to get smart about what you buy.
Weddings, new babies, moving house, decorating and buying a car are all heavy hitters in terms of big spending. So how do you spend less and still enjoy those things?
Here are a few tips for you!
If you have been dreaming of a perfect wedding, for years, you don’t need to cast that aside just yet. Think about what you non-negotiables are. What is it you have to have without question. Is it the dress? What about the cake? Flowers perhaps? Sometimes the pinch really comes when the guest list keeps getting longer and longer.
If something doesn’t make the non-negotiable list, then those are places that you can safely cut back. Not everyone wants to spend so much on flowers when a small wild bunch looks beautiful.
Call in favours from friends and family to help you decorate the venue yourself, and do other things in the early stages like:
- Design and print your own invitations, or create a free website for people to RSVP
- Hand make the favours
- Skip the DJ and create your own playlist, and use a simple Sono style speaker
- Put a down payment on your dress as early as possible, so that you won’t need to pay too much of a lump sum later on.
- Same with the venue
- Always get insurance for your wedding. That way, if something does go wrong, you won’t lose a penny.
It is easy to get caught up in color schemes and taffeta, but try to remember that a wedding is about you and the person you love. The rest is just the trimmings.
Buying a new car is out of most peoples reach. You can, of course, opt to go down the finance route, and that does come with a lot of perks. But in the end, you are still going to be spending a premium for those four wheels. Before you start working out what % deal you can get, consider buying a used car instead.
They have a few miles on the clock, sure, but they have also (in most cases) been well looked after. New cars do have that ‘new car smell’, but a second-hand vehicle has a whole personality of its own. They’re usually cheap enough to buy outright, you are free to haggle on the price if you want it even, and depending on the age they are cheaper to insure.
When you make the decision to buy a used car, don’t just buy the first one you see. If you have the time to visit a few and fit in some test drives, then try to do that. You’ll quickly learn if a car is for you or not. If you aren’t very great with cars, then try to bring someone along with you who is. They will be able to do some checks on the overall health of the vehicle and guide you n the right direction in terms of price.
If you aren’t moving too far, then you have the luxury of calling in friends and family, hiring a van and doing most of the leg work yourself. When you are thinking about moving out of state or even to a new country, the logistics get a bit trickier.
The best place to start is by having a good clear out. Get rid of things you don’t love, need, or use. That might be a lot more than you think. Starting with your clothing works really well. If you need the inspiration to get your clothing sorted, or the rest of the house for that matter, then check out Marie Kondo. She has excellent tips about how to really clear your space of clutter. Donate what is good enough to be used again, sell what you can, and try to streamline what you’re taking.
Consider hiring a moving van yourself. It’s a lot cheaper than having a whole moving team doing it for you. And, while yes, you’ll need to do the heavy work yourself – you’re going to be saving big bucks. The size of van will obviously depend on what you are bringing with you, so really give everything a lot of thought.
Before you rush out to the DIY store, start cleaning and getting rid of stuff too. Much like moving, it will make the whole thing much smoother. Once you have gotten rid of the clutter, and given the place an excellent clean, consider this – do you want to redecorate, or do you just want a fresh feel?
Paint isn’t too expensive, and if you then focus on moving the furniture around instead of replacing things, you’ll get a ‘new’ looking space at a fraction of the cost. If you want to pick up smaller items, like vases, candles holders and even pieces of art for the walls, they are also cheap alternatives to a full redecorating project.
30 Day Rule
Unless you have to buy something immediately, start putting yourself on a timer. If you see something you want, instead of instantly buying it, make yourself wait 30 days. Then, if you still really want the item at the end of those 30 days go and get it. Often we make hasty decisions when it comes to making purchases. During the 30 day wait, you will think about your finances more, and do you really need it? More often than not, we won’t go back a month after to get something. Impulse buying always costs more in the long run. From dresses, you’re ‘saving’ and never wear, to the coffee machine that ends up gathering dust on the side.
Always give your finances the once over before making big decisions, and give yourself plenty of time to find alternatives too.
Tia, and TipsfromTia.com is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.