The sale season is almost over and we had a lot of discount options (a lot), from Flipkart Big Billion Days to Amazon Great Indian Festival to what not. Throughout the sale, we were bombarded with advertisements of our favourite items, until you clicked on that 'Buy Now' option.
Sales are great because they allow us to finally purchase items that have been lingering in our carts for a while, often at a discount. However, here's the catch: if you're anything like me, you might end up overspending your monthly budget all at once, and it feels like there's no end to it.
However, if you've decided that now is the time to start saving money and avoid falling into the 'retail therapy' trap again,
Here are some tips to help you with that
1. Set a budget
The most important step is to determine how much you can afford to spend each month and stick to it.
- Allocate a portion of your income for savings and make it a non-negotiable expense.
- There are various rules of finance which are quite easy and you can follow.
- For instance, the most common one is the 20:30:50 law. Here's what it means: Invest or save at least 20% of your savings, spend 30% or less on your needs (impulse buying comes here) and use 50% for your basic expenses like your rent.
2. Create financial goals
Have specific, achievable financial goals in mind, such as building an emergency fund, saving for a vacation, or retirement (start thinking about it ASAP if you're in your late 20s).
This might motivate you to save rather than spend.
A creative way to save money is by doing the 100-envelope trend.
- Here's how you can do it: Make 100 envelopes, and mark them 1 to 100 each.
- Every week, take out two envelopes and fill up the money that shows up (you can choose your budget and fill up the envelope).
- Open up the envelope at the year's end and voila you have saved some money.
3. Pay yourself first
Have two accounts. When you receive your salary, transfer a set amount to your savings account before spending on anything else.
- Pro tip: don't add that account to your UPI wallets like GPay or Paytm. This will ensure that you prioritise saving over spending.
4. Track your spending
- We know it's hard to keep a detailed record of your expenses (sometimes we just can't look at our spending after a huge shopping therapy). But it is too important to identify areas where you can cut back, so don't shy away from looking at your bank statement every time you make a purchase.
- Many budgeting apps can help you with this, for instance: Jupiter, Gullak, Spenny, Fello, Wizely, Fi Money, and Jar.
5. Avoid impulse purchases
Now, here comes the hard part.
- Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it's a need or a want.
- One of the questions that has at times helped me from stopping myself from buying an item is, "Do I really need it?" Ask yourself that. If the answer is 'no', you know what to do.
6. Unsubscribe from retail emails
In the online world, you don't know have to be near a shopping mall to actually spend money.
- Retailers often send tempting offers via email, Instagram or other social media ads.
- So, unsubscribe or reduce your screen time during the sale season to decrease the temptation to shop during sales.
7. Shop with a list
- Make a shopping list before going to the store or shopping online.
- Stick to the list and avoid adding unnecessary items to your cart.
8. Limit credit card use
Credit cards can make it easy to overspend.
- Use cash or a debit card for everyday expenses to have a tangible sense of your money going out.
9. Automate savings
- Set up automatic transfers from your salary account to your savings account.
- This way, you save money before you even see it.
- Also remember, when you do shop, compare prices and look for discounts and coupons.
- You can also use price comparison tools and extensions to find the best deals.
Now, if nothing else works, do what Isla Fisher did to her cards in the movie Confession of a Shopaholic (check below).