If you find yourself experiencing financial dry spells before payday, you might find these three easy saving tips handy.
If you live in Ireland in this day in age you'll probably be finding it very hard to save. If you live in Dublin on a normal person's salary, you'll find it very, very hard. Don't get me started on if you're underpaid. It's not worth mentioning people on "above average" salaries because they're the only ones who can have a social life in Ireland in this day and age.
Assume we are all being paid reasonably well. Well enough to pay rent and bills and eat three times a day and watch a couple of hours of Netflix at night maybe with a glass of wine in hand. Throw in a night at the cinema once in a while and dinner in a nice place sometimes. That should be an average life. That shouldn't be too much to ask. And yet...
That dry spell before payday is not a new phenomenon. Before everything got too expensive, even during the Celtic Tiger times, that time of the month was for eating beans on toast and wearing your coat indoors instead of putting on the heat.
If you find it impossible to save, maybe these three tips will help.
First of all, know exactly how much money you have left to spend. Don't go near your credit card. In fact, give up your credit card if you're constantly finding yourself in financial binds. An extremely easy way to keep track of what you're spending is to take out the cash you need and to only spend that. It's simple, but effective.
Don't penalise yourself
It's worse to feel bad about what you can't do because you don't have the money to do it. Try to have as positive view as possible and remember that you can still 'treat yourself' without spending a penny. Have a 'mindful me evening' with a bath, a book (or a colouring book), some soothing music and a cup of herbal tea. It's pretty much free and you're looking after yourself in a nice way. Take a nice long walk or run or cycle beforehand to rustle up those endorphins. Non-spendy bliss!
When you repeatedly find yourself out of pocket at the end of the month, with no payrise or rent decrease in sight, it may be time to reassess some things you spend money on that you may take for granted. Think about how much you spend on booze ('just one more' in the pub does no one any favours), or magazines, or a gym membership.
You could also think about how to make some extra cash. Do you have a heap of clothes you don't wear anymore? Set up an eBay account.
How do you save money? Do you have any tricks to share so we can still have a life during the financial dry patch?