Tag: Frugal living

12-extreme-frugal-tips

12 Extreme Frugality Tips – Simple Guide!

Today I will discussing extreme frugality and everything about the practice.

When your finances are in a deep decline, going all out for extreme frugality can help you stay on budget.

You can find plenty of advice about how to be frugal and how to save money. But advice on extreme frugality with the emphasis on extremely cheap living can be harder to find.

Sometimes saving money like other people do is just not enough.

If you’ve tried all the mainstream frugal tips but your finances are still not going in the right direction then perhaps it’s time to look at what extremely frugal people do.

Maybe you’ve just lost your job or maybe you’ve had your light-bulb moment and are determined to learn how to pay off debt fast as possible.

There are ways to ramp up your money saving attempts if you are prepared to go where others fear to tread.

 

 

What is extreme frugality?

Extreme frugality is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of sticking to the usual money-saving tips like everyone else, extremely frugal people find ways to save money that most people would never even consider.

In fact, even if you think you live an extremely frugal life, you’re probably not taking it anywhere near as far as some of the extreme frugal living tips below go.

So, the question becomes:

Why would anyone live such an extremely frugal life anyway? Well, I think there are two main reasons:

  1. They like to be resourceful
  2. They need to in order to survive

If you’re person #1 and you learned how to live super frugally just because you love being resourceful, keep doing you! As long as you’re happy, who cares what anyone else thinks.

However, if you’re person #3 and you’ve learned how to be extremely frugal just to get by (but you’re completely miserable), keep on reading until the end of the post. I’ll talk about how you can escape the extreme frugality life for good.

But first, let’s get into some of these tips to see what extreme frugal living is really about.

Warning though, some of these are crazy!

 

12 Extreme Frugality Tips

Live in your car

This is another one that is pretty common and not too extreme. It also has the potential to save you the most money as you won’t have to pay rent! Just shower at the local gym and you’re good to go.

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If you want to really embrace car living, join the RV Life movement and live in a small RV or van. It’ll be a lot better than living in a coupe. There’s actually a skateboarder I follow on Instagram that lives in a refurbished ambulance which I think is pretty cool.

You could also potentially turn this into a side gig (if you wanted to) by starting a blog. People love reading about RV extreme frugal living. I’ve seen some RV bloggers making over $100,000/month (not a typo).

 

Raise your own farm animals

We all know hunting is a good way to supply meat in the freezer for months. You can buy a young calf and have a farmer raise it, and you can triple your investment and eat good, quality grass-fed beef for months off of that single purchase.

Likewise, I know someone who has a chicken farm and raise hens for eggs!

You’ll definitely need a deep freeze for storage, and Amazon Prime has several options to choose from with free shipping (especially handy if you don’t have access to a van)!

 

Eat out of date food

In day’s gone past the money mantra was waste not, want not.

If food has a small amount of mould on it, does it mean all of that food is now inedible and off?

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If you want to reach the heights of extreme frugality then using mouldy food can definitely help you save money.

I account my cast iron stomach (no food poisoning for me) with having been given food that had the mould cut off when I was a child.

My Mother’s response to our disgust at this practice was to point out the premium people pay for blue cheeses like Stilton – mouldy cheese!

 

Dumpster living

This one is actually quite popular.

Basically, people will go to grocery stores to find tossed out food and they’ll take it home for themselves. I’ve seen people get some pretty good hauls doing this too:

Honestly, it’s mind-blowing how much fresh food gets thrown out every day. I’ve seen it myself too, I have friends that work in grocery stores, and they have told me they’re constantly told to throw out perfectly fine food just because it was past its date.

Oh, and it’s not just food either. I’ve also seen people have some pretty good finds dumpster diving at electronics stores! My girlfriend told me people do it at makeup stores too.

 

Shower less often

Filling the tub is a no-no when you’re practicing extreme frugality. You’ve got to take showers only and limit to once every few days (at most). Been to the gym? Apologise to your significant other for me!

Do you stink? No problem! Take a sponge bath!

Yes, I’m cringing as I’m writing this, but there are people who practice this method of frugality. I will admit I take 2 showers a day, this sounds like an absolute nightmare to me!

 

Road kill

Another example of extreme frugality food is to eat the road kill you may come across on your travels.

In the UK it is widely accepted that if you accidentally run over an animal you cannot pick it up as road kill. However, the person behind you can.

I have no idea whether this is an urban myth or buried in some law. But what I do know is there are people who supplement their protein intake with road kill.

Not my thing, but there are people out there that do!

 

Flush less

This is a pretty common one. There’s an old saying that goes something like, if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down. That’s the soft version.

The real hardcore people treat their toilet like an outhouse and at most flush once a day. Doesn’t matter if it’s brown, yellow, chunky or soft.

Errrgggggh.

 

Take cold showers

For me, this one isn’t actually that extreme. I actually take cold showers just for the benefits but it’s also a good way to save money as you won’t have to heat any water.

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After doing it for a while, you actually get used to the cold pretty fast. It will surely wake you up in the morning too, so maybe you’ll save some money on coffee as well.

You could also just shower less to save money, that would be pretty extreme.

 

Stop shaving!

Beards are very much in fashion these days so no shaving for men is not difficult to achieve.

Nor is it extreme. You won’t seem different from many others around you, indeed you’ll blend right in.

But how about no shaving, waxing or hair removal for women? Are you willing to be more extreme with your personal care in order save money?

 

Don’t wash off you makeup

Another way to save money for women (or men if you’re into that kind of thing!) is to not wash makeup off your face.

Sound crazy?

Makeup is expensive and wearing it every day will make your supply go down super-fast.

Instead of washing your makeup off your face at the end of the day, just skip it, so you can stretch your makeup wear a bit further.

This one sounds pretty crazy but it’s a way to keep your makeup longer and people really do this!

 

Live in a Storage Unit

Similar to living in a car, living in a storage unit is another extremely frugal way to save money on rent.

I saw a video from a guy who did this and he actually had a pretty decent setup in his locker. He had running water, electricity, a bed, a TV, and more.

The only problem is that living in a storage unit is illegal, and the guy in the video ended up getting kicked out after 2 months!

 

Collect and reuse grey water

There are plenty of typically normal ways to save money on your water bill.

But how about reusing your bath water to flush your loo?

Or using water from your washing machine to water your plants?

When you are going all out to learn how to be as frugal as possible, reusing your grey water makes financial sense.

 

 

12 extreme frugality tips – Final thought

Even if you could follow some of the extreme saving tips above, how long could it really last? Some of them are just so extreme that I don’t know how you couldn’t get burnt out eventually.

By adopting these extreme frugal living tips, you can hang with the cheapest of the cheap. But at what cost? There are many other ways to live frugally without sacrificing your quality of life.

I can see why some people resort to the extreme frugality tips above. It’s resourceful, it can help the environment, and the savings are there. If you’re doing any of the things above because you actually want to and they work for you, then I see no problem with that. You do you.

Now I want to hear from you and your opinions on extreme frugal living

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Frugal Living board for later!

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FINANCIAL-HABITS

10 Financial Habits of The Wealthy – Simple Guide to Achieving Financial Freedom

Your financial habits play a huge role in your current financial situation and your future financial stability. There are plenty of people who are making six figures a year and they’re drowning in debt, living payday to payday.

On the flipside, I know people who are making less than half that but, due to good financial habits, are financially stable and have a bright financial future ahead of them.

Over the past few years, I have adopted many good financial habits that have put me on the path to financial freedom. I’m getting close to being debt-free, investing for my future, and saving for my retirement.

I’ve never received an inheritance, annuity, monetary gifts from relatives, etc. And I don’t earn a massive salary. I’m in that position due to dropping bad financial habits and adopting good ones.

Here are 10 financial habits that I recommend you start implementing. Trust me, they will change your life!

 

 

Stick to a budget

Budgeting is the first and foremost step to help you keep your finances in check. Always have a specific amount set aside for the expenses that you need to incur during the month and try to stick to those expenses.

At the end of the month, revisit all your actual expenses and compare it to the budget. This will help you recognise the areas where you might be spending more than you need to and you can then take necessary measures to prevent the same from happening in future.

It’s important to review your budget every now and then to make way for the changes in your financial habits.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to create a budget, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Set financial goals 

One of the most important financial habits is simply to set financial goals and spend a little bit of time reviewing them every day.

Write them down and be as specific as possible. For example, if one of your financial goals is to buy a house, what are some of the things you want in a house?

How much does that house cost? Where is it located? Be as specific as you can with each of your financial goals and review them every day.

Related posts:

Would you like to know how to set SMART financial goals, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Pay yourself first

You’ve probably heard this before, but if you’re like me, you might not really know what it means. Basically, this just means that instead of spending your money and saving what’s left, you decide to save money upfront and spend what is left.

How many times do you actually save any money if you save what’s left after spending? Whether you’re saving your emergency fund, for a large purchase, or investing in your retirement account, make sure you’re including it in your budget and moving that money first!

 

Don’t spend more than you earn

This might sound like a “duh” habit, but the facts are that a LOT of us spend more than what we earn. Putting purchases on a credit card and then saying “I’ll pay it off when I get the money” is a perfect example of this.

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Part of the problem is that as a society, we’ve developed a need it now mentality. Instead of saving up for something we want and then paying cash for it, we want instant gratification, so we just swipe our credit card instead.

Avoid doing this and you’re already ten steps ahead.

Related posts:

Would like to learn more about how implementing a money mindset can help you achieve financial freedom and live a happier life? Then the post below:

 

 

Use every method to save

We live in a world where we can’t avoid spending some money, we need to buy things like food and clothes just to survive. That’s why you need to learn some awesome ways that you can save money when buying things, especially online.

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For example, any time I am making an online purchase I use Honey, Quidco or Topcashback.

This is a free service that gives you cash back on stores like Amazon and thousands more that you already shop from. You’ll get a quarterly payment based on money you spent that you can use toward savings or investing.

There are even crazier ways you can try to save money that we can learn from our grandparents and other generations, see the below posts relevant to Frugal Living for those.

 

 

Have multiple income streams

In a study, it was found that 65% of self-made millionaires had 3 or more income streams. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to aim to be a millionaire or that all people who are debt free are millionaires. It means that of those who have a significant amount of money (and one would hope are those who manage their money well), almost two-thirds of them have multiple income streams.

So, what does this mean? Save money, budget

An income stream is a way for you to earn money. For example, when you work your job you get paid a salary and therefore that is one income stream. If you have two jobs, you have two income streams.

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Generally speaking, one income stream doesn’t rely on another and therefore if one income stream is taken out of the mix, then you have other sources of income to keep you going.

Things like investment properties, shares or second jobs are all common income streams.

So, what does this mean for you?

If you want to pay your debt down fast and live a debt-free lifestyle, find different income streams you can add to your overall wealth.

Related posts:

Interested in earning some extra cash through a side hustle? Then see the posts below:

 

 

Don’t impulse shop

Impulse shopping on a regular basis isn’t the best money habit you can have. Not only does it potentially lose you a lot of money, but it also makes you buy a lot of stuff which you probably don’t even need.

I’m not saying that going shopping once in a while is going to completely mess up your finances. However, there is a smart way to shop that is going to be more effective than impulse shopping.

A simple way to shop with a purpose is to have a shopping goal. Before you go out, make a list of the things you need to buy, and stick to that list.

If you feel like you really want something that isn’t on your list, tell yourself that if you still want it the next day, you will come back for it. Chances are, you will not really feel like going back to get it. That will tell you that you didn’t really want that item in the first place.

 

Create an emergency fund

I read somewhere that most in the people in UK don’t even have £300 tucked away for emergencies.

And I’m not going to lie. For a long time, I didn’t have it either. It wasn’t until I actually had an emergency that I realised how important having an emergency fund is.

If you are in the same boat I was in, it is never too late to start. Make saving for an emergency fund a priority, and put as much in it as you can. £300 is a good start and eventually, move up to £1000.

If things ever go wrong, you will be glad you planned for a rainy day.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to create a emergency fund, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Automate your finances

You should never have to worry about paying your bills on time because people who manage their money well automate their finances so they don’t even have to think about it.

Create a bills account, ensure there’s enough money in there and have your bills deducted from this account. This means you aren’t mixing your spending money with your bills money and you have money waiting for upcoming expenses.

 

Save up for big purchases

Whether you want to buy a TV, remodel your kitchen, or even put a down payment on a house, it will always be less stressful to save up the cash.

Financing for so many things is surprisingly easy, especially from retail stores. However, not only will you not have that purchase following you for months, but you can often get a better deal if you can pay cash upfront.

This is especially true for things like cars and furniture. And honestly, if you can’t save up and pay cash for something, then you really can’t afford it!

 

10 financial habits of the wealthy – Final thought

Personal finance doesn’t have to be scary; it can be simple if you just take it one step at a time.

Money can’t buy you happiness, but having a well thought out plan for your money and goals for your future will go a long way to helping you be happy.

I hope this list of tips helps you to achieve a better status financially.

If you can think of any other financial habits that can kick-start your journey towards wealth, let me know in the comments below.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Financial board for later!

FINANCIAL-HABITS



save-electricity

How to Cut Your Electricity Bill – Simple Guide & 10 Tips!

Are you looking for ways to reduce your electricity bill and save money? If you struggling to find an alternative cheaper plan with an electricity consumer, there are actions you can implement to cut costs.

For the majority of people, a combination of lower electricity costs and smart electricity usage leads to lower bill overall.

Electricity bills sometimes turn out to be higher than they should be, causing frustration and the inevitable need to control energy consumption to keep the finances in check.

Fortunately, there are some ways that can help you save at least a few pounds/dollars on your monthly utility bills:

In this short guide I will tell you some tips that will help you save money on your bill.

 

 

Turn off electric devices that are not in use

You’ve probably heard this one a few times, but that doesn’t make it less true or helpful. Your television, computer and stereo can be enormous energy vampires when not in use. That little light that stays lit means that these items are still consuming power.

By using a shared power extension lead, for example, it’s easy to turn your television, Android box, Echo Dot and other equipment off with a click of the switch.

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If you’re worried about updates to your smart TV or Android box, you can alternatively enable power saving mode when they’re not being used. Go into the settings and change the default to the shortest time before sleep mode takes over to reap the biggest cost savings with these items.

 

Buy Energy Efficient Rating Appliances

When you see an Energy Efficient Rating on an appliance, it’s not just a gimmick to make you think you’ll save money on electricity, you actually will.

These appliances use less electricity than non-labelled appliances.

Since appliances account for about 20 percent of an average household’s electricity usage, choosing equipment that saves power can really add up to a massive effort to conserve electricity without your having to do anything else.

Energy saving appliance such as washing machines and dishwashers are also designed to help save water, giving you even bigger benefits over the long term.

Sust-it.net and Energy.gov (for US) have a helpful appliance and electronics calculator to estimate how much energy specific devices use.

Top tip:

Want to save money in other ways? See my post on cutting back grocery spending:

 

 

Call your local utility for an energy audit

You may think that you’re already doing so much to conserve electricity that there’s nothing left to do, but you’re wrong. There’s always something that can be improved since no home is 100 percent efficient.

An energy audit is a great way to have a professional look your home over and find even more ways that you can save money on electricity.

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By utilising thermal cameras and other specialized equipment, they can determine where your home is leaking air or lacks sufficient insulation and give suggestions for improvement.

Energy audits are a very affordable way to save money on electricity and many local utilities provide this service for little cost.

 

Turn off Unnecessary Lights:

This might sound like a pretty obvious way to save money on electricity bill but this is exactly where most of us fail. We roam around in the house doing our daily jobs but we simply fail to recognise how easy it is to leave the room without switching off the lights and fans.

We leave things on standby mode thinking that it won’t consume energy but it really does. Make it a habit to switch the lights off while leaving the room and make it sure not to leave appliances like microwave and TV sets on standby mode after using them.

 

 

Regular maintenance and servicing of home appliances

I never bothered to get my home appliances serviced on a regular basis until I realised that the outdated and unmaintained appliances were eating up a hell lot of energy.

Old appliances usually eat up more energy than the newer ones which makes it important to replace them after some years.

Regular maintenance and servicing of home appliances might cost you a few extra pounds/dollars but it will go a long way in saving you even more money.

 

Save Money on bills by adjusting your thermostat

A programmable thermostat can save you tons of money on electricity over the long run. If you don’t have one you really should consider upgrading because this is a good long-term investment.

Programmable thermostats are great because you can set your thermostat and not worry if you forgot to turn the heat off before you left the house for work.

I’m a big fan of adjusting your thermostat when you aren’t home to help save on electricity. By adjusting your thermostat just a couple of degrees up or down you will notice a big difference in your power bill.

Top tip:

Have trouble with your finances? Want help setting goals? See my post for setting SMART financial goals:

 

 

Take advantage of smart meters

Many electricity providers are moving to smart meters, a tool that not only makes it easier for them to take readings but helps you save money also. The regular reports that smart meters create, based on your overall electricity use, can help you figure out what appliances or habits are spiking usage during costly times of the day or increasing your electricity usage overall.

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Many electricity providers now offer electricity usage reports to their customers based on their smart meter data.

 

Switch light bulbs

LED bulbs and CFL use way less energy than the old Incandescent bulbs for the same requirement of light. Replacing your regular tube lights and bulbs with LED and CFL can save you some money without really affecting the lighting quality.

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Charge devices in your car

To save more on your electric bill, you want to use less electricity. One easy way to do this is to charge your devices in the car instead of in the house.

Car chargers are inexpensive and it’ll make up its cost in savings.

If your car allows you to plug in USB cords, you can charge other devices in the car too.

I’ve charged multiple devices in the car. Most devices come with a USB charger and can be charged in the car. If you’re unsure about it, I recommend doing a quick Google search “device name, charge in the car”.

Top tip:

Struggling with debt? Want advice with what method are available to tackle debt? See my post below:

 

 

Put Up A Clothesline 

The dryer of your washing machine uses a lot of electricity and is also too harsh on the clothes. The more economical way to solve this issue is to put up a clothesline and hang drying your clothes.

This will not only save you a few pounds/dollars in electricity bill, but exposing clothes to sunlight also keeps them germ-free.

 

How to cut your electricity bill – Final thought

I hope that you found these tips for saving money on electricity to be helpful. By everyone doing their part to reduce energy waste we can make our world a better place.

There you have it some of my top tips for saving money on electricity. Do you have any creative ways to save money on electricity you think would be helpful to other?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for for later!

Save-electricity



Finances

How to Organise Your Finances – Easy to Follow Guide!

We all know we have to “be financially responsible,” but what does that even mean?  Of course, we want to have complete and total control over our finances, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.

There are so many moving parts to having a healthy financial system, and it’s far easier to ignore the mess.  The problem with this is that we end up scrambling to clean up the inevitable financial problems that come along, instead of being prepared with the tools to minimise their effects on our lives.

You’re about to learn how to easily organise your finances at home, and keep up a healthy relationship with your money this year.

We’re going over five action steps to wrangle the mess and get you on the path to managing your money the right way.

Organising your finances is going to reduce clutter, reduce the number of times you have to think about it, and reduce your stress most of all.

If you’re not where you want to be financially or if you’re feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or confused about how to manage your money, there is likely one thing holding you back: organisation.

Organising your financial impact can have a huge impact on everything your money touches. It will save you time, frustration and money! In this post I’m going to organise your finances.

 

 

 How to organise your finances

Organisation is vital to your financial success. It’s actually the one thing that will have the biggest impact on correcting your financial mistakes and setting yourself up for a successful future.

If your finances are kind of messy right now, cleaning them up can sound like a really hard, scary thing.

I used to be a complete financial mess.

Actually, mess is probably too gentle a word. Disaster is more like it.

I was spending way more money than I made, mostly on stuff I didn’t know that I didn’t need. I was completely irresponsible when it came to things that weren’t fun, like paying my bills on time. And I was too terrified of my debt to even think about it.

I thought my problem was that I didn’t make enough money.

I was wrong.

Finances

My real problem was that I wasn’t looking at the big picture. In fact, looking at the big picture wasn’t even an option because my finances were so unorganised, I didn’t have a big picture to look at.

It was when I finally got myself organised that everything changed for me.

And you know what? A few years later, I’m pretty damn good with my money. I have things like a savings account, a retirement plan, and have destroyed massive chunk of my debt.

You know what else? It wasn’t painful. In fact, once I adjusted to a different way of doing things, I kind of liked it.

So, if looking at those numbers and getting your finances organised is something that scares your pants off, I totally get it.

But truthfully, it’s not as hard as you think it will be. And the benefits are totally worth it!

 

How can organising my finances help you?

Organising your finances will allow you to reach your full potential.

And on the flip side, being unorganised will block you from having all the information so you won’t even be able to know what your full potential is!

 

Organisation will help you reach your financial goals

It will be harder to set goals and when you do, they’ll be more like vague things you want in the future instead of clear, pinpointed goals based on actual information.

Knowing exactly where you stand financially and exactly where you’re headed will make it easy to set goals in stages that lead you to reaching your big goals over time.

Set-goals

When your finances are unorganised, you might not even know that you’re missing out on ways that could be doing better. You might think you’re doing just fine.

But organising your finances will show you your weak spots and where you need to focus.

In taking the time to get organised, you will probably find that with a few tweaks you could be doing WAY better at managing your money.

Top tip

See my post for setting financial goals:

 

 

How do I organise my finances?

It is so much simpler than it sounds!

Here are 5 steps that helped me!

 

Always look at the bigger picture

First, you need to take a step back from the day-to-day and look at the big picture of your finances.  How much money do you have? How much do you owe? What is your net worth?

If you’re afraid to crunch these numbers because you don’t want to see the big picture of the financial mess you made, I get it.

I felt the exact same way.

But you’ve got to do this step if you ever want to fix it. And you’ll probably be surprised to find out that it’s not actually as bad as you think.

 

Create a monthly budget

This is so important. You cannot just make one budget and use it again month after month. Income fluctuates. Expenses fluctuate.

A budget that is specific to the month ahead is essential.

Determine how much money is going to come in that month.

Then allocate each of those pounds/dollars to a certain purpose. Pay your essential bills and then filter the rest toward debt or some form of savings.

Top tip

See my post for setting financial goals:

 

 

Get on the automatic payments train

Why have to waste time and brain power pulling out your wallet, check book and computer several times a month, when you can set it and forget it?

Putting your bills and savings on autopilot is the easiest way to guarantee you won’t miss a payment and incur late fees.

Finances

In this day and age, where nearly everything can be automated, it’s silly not to have at least your fixed bills paid automatically.  I’m talking about rent/mortgage, utilities, phone, insurance, your baseline bills that 100% need to be paid.

Most bank accounts have the option to schedule bill payments online automatically. If your bank doesn’t, the companies you are paying will most likely give you that option.  You’ll be able to schedule the auto-pays online or by phone.

Don’t forget to “auto-pay yourself” first, and automatically transfer some cash into your savings account!

 

Always pay yourself first

Lots of people think that “pay yourself first” only applies to business owners.  I actually thought this too!

Here’s what “pay yourself first” really means: The second each payment to you clears in your account, you automatically take out a percentage to SAVE.  That’s it!  You are giving 5-15% of your take-home pay to YOU, right off the top, before paying anything else.

Why do this? You’re telling yourself that YOU MATTER.  You, and your future, matter to you.  They matter more than whatever dumb thing you were probably going to buy with that relatively small amount of money.

The easiest way to do this is to set up an automatic transfer into a savings account.

Finances

If you are totally new to saving, start with 3% or 5%, and increase that amount after a few weeks, once you feel like you can save a little more.

Right now, it may not be as easy to save, I know it isn’t for me. But, every little bit counts.

Make sure to go through your credit card and bank statements, and cancel or suspend any unneeded subscriptions or memberships. That will help put more money into the pot.

 

Create a financial improvement plan

Now it’s time to make some important decisions:

How are you going to save?

How are you going to cut back?

Where do you want to be this time next year?

What about in 5 years?

Ask yourself the hard questions. It will be worth it in the long run.

And unfortunately, it’s not a one-time thing. Instead, it’s something that you have to work on continually.

I can tell you though that this process is hardest in the beginning and it gets much easier with time.

 

How to organise your finances – Final thought

It’s important to have some level of organisation in all areas of your life, and finances are no exception.  Once you get the hang of it, you’ll see that all it takes is a little maintenance only 12 times a year, to keep your money working for you.

I hope you stick with your new Financial Organisation action plan.  Having a financially responsible home doesn’t have to be hard.  I’m rooting for you!

It’s time to improve your financial life and organise your finances.

Start by looking at the big picture, create a monthly budget and make a financial improvement plan.

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How To Do a No Spend Month – Simple Guide to Save Money!

Everyone loves a challenge. Especially one that involves not spending money, right?

Not really? but what if the challenge could save you a lot of money? Then, of course, you would be interested!

Don’t let the name no spend month scare you because it can be so beneficial to your finances.

A no spend month is a smart, efficient way to recover from overspending, to knock out debt quickly, or to give yourself a boost toward your savings goal.

I know the idea of doing anything for a whole month sounds really challenging. Especially something like not spending money for a whole month. But trust me, it is not as impossible as it sounds.

Here’s what this no spend challenge means, and what it doesn’t mean.

 

 

What is a no spend month and what are the benefits?

A no spend month is just what it sounds like. It’s a month that you try not to spend any unnecessary money to help you save as much money as possible.

This is a great way to help jump-start a savings goal or if you are paying down some debt. In both these situations, any little money you can find to put toward your goal is super beneficial.

No spending challenges are also great all year round.

Or maybe you just realise that you need to reset your spending habits because it’s been out of control lately.

Either way a no spend month can be really helpful for any and all your financial goals and you should strive to at least do one-month long challenge a year where you don’t spend any money.

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As great as a no spend month can be for your money, it honestly isn’t that fun or easy.

In fact, the first time I did a no spending month I failed miserably at it. It seemed so easy to do but that was definitely not the case.

Since then I have been able to not only successfully complete the challenge but thrive from doing a no spending month challenge.

I figured out how to easily make a no spend challenge a walk in the park for me and my family.

It’s even become a sort of standard to not spend if it’s not necessary.

Here are the proven steps you can take to do a no spend month-long challenge and be successful!

 

The rules

You’ve probably heard of a spending freeze, which is where you don’t spend any money at all for a set amount of time.

A no spend challenge is actually a different thing.

For a no spend challenge you can still buy some things – if you absolutely need them.

You have to feed your family, so you can buy groceries.

You need to be able to drive your car to work or school, so you can put petrol etc in the car.

Of course, you need to keep paying your bills too.

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The point is that during a no spend challenge you don’t buy anything you don’t need.

You don’t need a new outfit, or concert tickets, or take-out food. Those are clear no’s.

There may be a few questionable decisions throughout the challenge. Does your child really need a haircut this month? Can you hold off on certain purchases? In those situations, it’ll be up to you to decide.

But basically, you are only buying essentials.

So, a no spend month is simply when you keep the challenge going for the whole month long.

 

How to make it work

I’ll be honest. There were a few times that I tried a no spend month and failed.

But I’ve learned from my mistakes.

I want you to benefit from my experience so you can be successful with your no spend month.

Here are some tips to rock your no spend month.

 

Set a goal

You have to know what you’re working for.

Where will the money you’re saving go?

This is absolutely essential for your success.

SetGoals

Set a very specific goal for the money you save.

Then, keep it top of mind.

Write it everywhere.

Put a post-it on the bathroom mirror or the refrigerator (or both!).

Most importantly, put a reminder in your wallet. Look at it before you whip out your money. It may make you rethink your purchase.

Top tip

See my post for setting financial goals:

 

 

Don’t do it alone

Get your family involved.

Set that specific goal as a family. Talk about your goal together and get excited about it.

If your children are old enough to understand the concept of not buying things (4 or 5, maybe even 3), talk about the goal regularly and make sure they know that you’ll need their help.

Then, when you’re in a store and they ask you for a lollipop or a toy, remind them that you’re not buying anything you don’t need right now because you want to reach your exciting goal.

Make sure your spouse is sticking to the challenge too. Talk about it together and keep each other accountable.

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Another great idea that’s worked really well for me is to do your no spend month alongside a friend.

Find a frugal friend who would also like to save money this month. Make sure this is someone you’re comfortable talking about money with.

When you’re tempted to spend, message your friend and ask them if you really need that thing you want to buy. You can even send them a picture.

And make sure to celebrate your successes together when you stick to your goal.

Saving money is so much more fun when you’re not doing it alone.

Top tip

See my beginners guide to Frugal living:

 

 

Avoid temptation

Be smart about the choices you make during this time.

Don’t go to a major store to walk around. Avoid the shopping, unless if for essentials. Do not window shop.

Don’t log into Amazon to look something up.

It’s so much easier to stay on track when you put yourself in a position to succeed.

 

Track your savings

Make sure you keep track of your progress throughout the month.

When you defeat temptation, track it. Write down the item you decided not to buy and how much you saved by not buying it.

When you find a way not to buy something you usually do, track that too.

You want to make sure you know exactly how much you saved at the end of the month.

 

How to do no spend month – are you up for it?

You’re going to feel amazing when you stick to your no spend month challenge and reach your goal. All you have to do is make sure you don’t buy anything you don’t need. Can you do that for one month? I absolutely believe that you can!

Set a solid, specific goal before you start. Get your family involved and excited. Partner with a friend who can keep you accountable. Stay away from the places that tempt you. And track your progress so you know exactly how much you saved when you’re done.

Get ready to save big!

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Setting Financial Goals – Remain Debt Free!

You have been successful in paying back debts. So, now what?

Your job doesn’t end here. You have to set a goal to remain debt free or at least manage your debts effectively.

By setting goals you can stay on top of your finances and live a happier life. So, set effective goals, stay debt free, and build a better financial future.

In this simple guide I will discuss how that is possible and how you can achieve success when setting financial goals.

 

 

How to set effective financial goals

Goal setting will not be fruitful unless you plan them in an effective way. The effective way includes a technique, i.e. SMART financial goals. SMART is the abbreviation for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

 

Set specific goals

When you are setting goals, it is important to be specific. Specific in the sense of taking particular steps to achieve the goals.

You might have a goal like “saving for a down payment” but have you decided the amount you are going to save for a down payment? If not, then your goal is the vague one.

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To make your goal specific, you need to determine an amount you want to save in a year or month or week.

For example, suppose the amount of your down payment is £20,000, which you need to save in three years. So, you need to save £6,666 in a year, and that means £555 in a month.

You can also set a goal of building an emergency fund worth of 5-6 months of your lifestyle expenses. It can help you if you’re laid off for a certain period.

Top tip:

I noticed when I write my goal on a calendar that I tend to work harder to achieve that goal by the date. So don’t just add a goal without a narrowing down a deadline date.

 

 

Set measurable goals

It is important to make your goals measurable for some reasons like to stay motivated and assess the progress toward the goal achievement.

For example, you have set a goal to “save money” by spending less. In such a case, you’ll have to know how much you are spending now. Else, you can’t decide how much you have to cut back on your expenses to save the required amount.

So, figure out your expenses to decide the amount you want to cut back and put it in savings.

It will help you save a required amount every month which you can put into your emergency fund to avoid falling into debt.

 

Set attainable goals

Your goal must be a realistic one so that you can attain it with some easy moves. In case of unrealistic goals, it will be difficult for you to achieve, and in turn, you’ll lose hope.

While there is no will, no hope, you can’t achieve any goal. So, before you set goalsmake sure you can achieve them, and for this, you need to know some secrets to set achievable goals.

Suppose, you aim to save £150 per week but if you have only £30 extra at the end of the week. And, it’ll be quite impossible for you to achieve your aim.

Therefore, get well aware of your financial state and then set goals so that you don’t have to face any hardship to achieve them.

Also, one good way to avoid debt is to restrict using your credit cards and paying back the bills in full at the end of every billing cycle.

 

Set relevant goals

Set goals that will keep you motivated to save a significant number of bucks. If you set goals which don’t make you excited to save extra, then it will go in vain. Because there is a higher chance to quit it in a middle way. So, set goals that you love to achieve, not those which make you feel difficult to achieve.

Take a sheet and a pen to list the goals you want to achieve in the next five years or ten years or more.

Your list can include building an emergency fund, planning for a vacation, replacing your car, buying or renovating your house, saving for your kid’s education, planning for retirement, and so on.

Just make sure you are setting relevant goals.

If you want to achieve financial independence, then calculate your FI number and set your goals accordingly. Measure your achievement at regular intervals to keep you motivated.

Top tip:

Invest in a good planner, organise your finances and prioritise your goals.

 

 

Set time-bound goals

Most of us have a tendency to delay making money related decisions. But you need to set a timeline so that the sense of accomplishment motivates you to work towards achieving your goals.

To set a deadline, you need to figure out when you’d like to accomplish your goals.

For example, if you are planning for a vacation next year, the timeline is one year, and somehow, you’ll manage to save a certain amount to reach your goal within a set period.

What you can do is, calculate the overall expenses of your tour and divide the amount by 12 and save that amount every month.

Doing so, you can avoid swiping your cards and fall into debt. Your vacation will be more enjoyable when you know you don’t have any debts to pay off later.

 

 

Types of financial goals

While setting goals you need to know about the types of goals based on the timeline.

  • Short-term financial goals

Short-term financial goals take less than one year to get accomplished. Examples of short-term goals can include planning for a tour, buying a new TV, or paying off small debts.

  • Mid-term financial goals

Midterms financial goals take more time than the short-term goals and less time than long-term goals. Midterms financial goals can be buying a car or paying off debts.

  • Long-term financial goals

Long-term financial goals generally take more than 5 years or more to achieve. Long term goals examples include saving for a child’s education, saving for retirement, or buying a home.

It may take about 20 years or more to achieve financial independence.

 

Setting financial goals – Does having a financial goal lead to a debt-free life?

Yes, there’s a connection between having financial goals and living a debt free life. When you have financial goals, your mindset will be saving money.

Saving money or putting aside a certain amount works as a strategy to avoid debt. It prevents you from falling into a debt trap as you have already set aside a certain amount in your savings account or in an emergency fund.

Moreover, you also plan your finances effectively to have a better financial future.

Setting financial goals and strategy will help you keep an eye on your expenses and in turn, win a monthly savings challenge. Moreover, it will teach you to live a frugal life where debt has no entrance.

However, even after following these strategies you fall into debt, don’t waste time. Select a suitable debt relief strategy like debt consolidation or debt settlement and work your way out of debt. At that point in time, set the goal of getting out of debt as early as possible.

So, set goals, achieve them, and have a wonderful life ahead!

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10 Tips To Save Money On Groceries – Tried And Tested Guide!

When shopping for groceries, there are many ways to save money. Whether your grocery budget is £50 or £250 a week, there are savings to be made.

The amount of money we spend on groceries is huge, but we need to eat right?

That doesn’t mean there isn’t money to saved, and we don’t have to break the bank every week while shopping.

Are you spending more on shopping than you need to?

Your grocery bill does not need to cost a fortune! It’s totally possible to feed your family healthy food without breaking the bank.

This guide will give you some tips and tricks to save money on grocery shopping.

 

 

Create a list

One of the most important things when looking to cut grocery costs, is to make a list and stick to it.

Before you go to store, think about what groceries you need for the week and make a list. Then, remember to bring that list to the store. And most importantly stick to the list!

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If you prefer writing it down on paper, then do it this way, whatever works the best for you.

I prefer to create a list on my mobile phone, this way I know I’ll always have my list on me and not forget it. This way is also ideal, because you can edit the previous week and just add and delete what you need to.

Using your list to ensure you pick up everything you need in one shop is a great way to save money, because it stops you making second trips where you can impulse buy and spend more.

 

Prices of items

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the prices of the items you purchase on a regular basis.

Buy doing this you will know whether an item is on sale or not, or how good the sale is.

How would you know what the usual price is?

Grocery prices can vary by location, so your best option is to keep track of the prices yourself.

Keep a little note book on you, jot the prices down of the items that you regularly purchase. This way you will soon memorise the prices.

Also, take a picture on your phone of any items for sale, so you can compare when you get home.

You might feel a little silly doing this at first, but you will soon see the benefit in doing so, when you see the savings you make.

Of course, if you’re actually buying the item, you can save the receipt to record the price.

After a period of time, the prices will soon stick in you mind and you will know what’s a good deal and what’s not from the top of your head.

TOP TIP:

Cashback sites are a great way to save money online, you can earn cash back on your purchase you were going to make anyway.

Two of my favourite sites are Topcashback and Quidco.

Click on the links above to find out more about saving money through these sites!

 

 

Swap for cheaper and healthier alternatives

Did you ever realise that raw coconut oil can work out as a cheaper and healthier option to expensive moisturisers?

Or how about reusable kitchen towels instead of paper towels?

There are many ways to swap for better alternatives and even though you might only save a bit of money, it all adds up by the end of the month.

 

Buy in season

In-season fruit and veg and always reasonably priced. You will notice exotic and off-season fruit maybe double the usual price. It’s good to choose wisely unless you really need to use them in a special recipe.

 

Scout deals

It’s a great idea to simply look at the websites of the stores that you shop at.

Just from the top of head I can tell you that Asda, Aldi, Co-op and Lidl all have weekly and monthly deals that they promote online.

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I’m sure that many of you shop at different stores, but these ideas can still apply to you.

Just visit the websites of the stores that you shop at.

Take a look at the savings programs that they offer and make sure that you’re taking advantage of them!

TOP TIP:

The Honey extension/app is one of the best free coupon apps that gives you the latest coupon codes to apply at checkout. Install this app on your desktop, and every time you shop online, it will automatically show you coupon codes to use.

What to know more about Honey? Then see my detailed review below:

 

 

Expiration dates

This may seem obvious to you, but the freshest food will always last the longest.

Check the expiration dates of everything.

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Stores will always put the older date items to the front of shelves and push the older stock towards the back.

If you’re not bothered about having a mooch to get the newer date items, then go for it. By doing this you are lesser likely to throw away out of date products, and therefore save money in the process.

 

 

Buying in bulk

Bulk shopping isn’t just for big families.

We shop at Costco and stock up when we can. There’s a lot there that can benefit anyone or any size family.

We buy all sorts from there when we visit and it lasts us a long time. We buy our eggs, frozen veggies, meats (that we can freeze), spices, and olive oil from Costco.

Costco is also great for paper goods like paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues.

Bulk buying is great for saving money in the long run.

Here are some products with a long shelf life:

Disposables/Cleaning:

  • Toilet Rolls
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Toilet bleach
  • Laundry detergents
  • Garbage liners, dishwashing liquid
  • Hand wash
  • Diapers, wipes and milk powder
  • Sanitary towels
  • Shampoo, body wash, moisturisers
  • Over the counter pain killers also have a long expiry
  • Batteries – can come in handy

Groceries:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Dried Lentils
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salt/Sugar
  • Cereal, peanut butter, jam
  • oil
  • Frozen food of your choice – vegetables, berries
  • Canned food – baked beans, tuna, soup, carrot/peas
  • Plain/Self Raising flour

Buy these items in bulk when there is a price drop and watch the pennies you save mount up.

 

SuperCooks

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

Limit your trips

Visit the grocery store just once a week. The fewer times you visit, the less money you’ll spend. Your menu plan will help ensure you get everything on your grocery list in a single visit.

 

Limit Meat

Meat usually has a shorter expiry and can cost a lot more expensive than vegetables. So, if you can limit the amount of meat you buy each week, you can definitely save some money there.

Another way to save on meat is to avoid buying meat in smaller portions. Most supermarkets charge less when you buy in bulk. You can buy a larger portion of meat, use what you want and freeze the rest.

 

10 ideas to save money on groceries – Final thought

Saving money with groceries can be done with a bit of effort, and over time the money that you have saved soon builds up.

I use to overspend on shopping week in week out, and was surprised at how much I saved when putting these steps into practice.

This guide has really helped me cut back on the spending; I hope it helps you too.

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Simple Frugal Living – Beginners Guide To Saving Money

If you’re just stepping into the world of saving money and are interest in simple frugal living , but you’re not sure where to begin, then this post will give you a few pointers on where to start.

For those who don’t know what frugal means, I will explain this for you.

A frugal person is someone that is careful with money and food, someone that is prudently saving or sparing, not wasteful and is economical.

Living in frugal way can seem a bit overwhelming, so to help I have put together a small beginner’s guide to getting started.

The small changes I will talk about can be implemented one by one, and make a big difference financially and to the wellbeing of your life over time.

So, lets get started with my tips for living a more frugal life.

 

 

How I started

Until the ripe age of 37 I use to be really bad with money, like really bad. I spent it faster than I could make it, and every month I was skint by the second week after being paid.

After some major lifestyle and financial changes, I would like to think I’m pretty decent when it comes to money these days.

If I can adapt to a better way of living, then anyone can.

I started off by setting myself a money goal to achieve and build on. Then I put a plan together and started to put into practice the mentioned things below.

Let’s get started with my tips to save money and live a more frugal lifestyle.

 

Beginner’s Guide to Being Frugal

Even if you can just save a small amount, save what you can, all the time.

Master one of the below tips then move onto the next. Before you know it, you will be doing them all, and then looking at more ways to save money.

Follow these and over time I have no doubt you will be successful in living a frugal lifestyle in the long run.

 

Expenses

Evaluate your monthly expenses.

The chances are that your monthly expenses are costing you too much. This could be the reason you’re looking to save money in the first place.

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This is where you will need to ask yourself some tough questions, like…

Am I overspending in general?

Could I cut costs with my groceries?

Do I really need to spend money on coffee every morning on the way to work? Or on food at lunch?

Related posts:

Want to find out more about cutting your monthly expenses? Then see my post below:

 

 

Shopping

I only shop when I need to. If you’re one of those people who shops for the sake of it and spends money like it’s going out of fashion, then cut down or stop.

While doing this you always purchase things you don’t need. In order to save money, you have to stop shopping for fun.

I only go to shops these days for essential items, and it has helped me save a lot of money.

Every pound I spend is vouched and tracked for.

I don’t go near a shop unless if it’s for something I definitely need.

 

Grocery budget

Spending money on groceries is a difficult one, every family needs to eat.

I find that sticking to budget every week, really helps with saving money. There’s no needless buying or putting things in the basket for the sake of it.

Put aside a certain amount every week for groceries and stick to that amount.

Seems simple, which it is, but it’s really effective at cutting costs.

Related posts:

Have trouble with setting a grocery budget that you can stick to? Then see my post below:

 

 

Enjoy your home

This may not seem obviously connected to saving money, but I believe it is.

When you’re in love with your surroundings, you’re so much less likely to go out and spend money for an escape.

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Consider the small things you could change that would help you love your home more. Here are some examples:

  • Add a few candles in your living room, I find this makes the room cosier.
  • Start making your bed everyday, so you don’t feel bad every time you look in your room.
  • Turn your desk (if you have one) so it faces a window instead of a blank wall.
  • Redecorate rooms to your favourite colour, to give you a lift when you walk in.

If you put your mind to it, there are so many little things you can do to make your home feel more homely.

Walk through your home and make a list of simple things you could change to make it more enjoyable.

This is an investment, and if it keeps you in and cosy instead of looking to be outside spending money, it soon pays off.

TOP TIP:

Create an outdoor space that you love too. Whether it’s a corner of your garden of a little patio area. Make this space yours, somewhere that feels comfortable to escape the drama of life.

 

 

Fix it, instead of throwing away

People in general, seem too quick to throw things away, I use to be the same.

Instead of being one of those people, try to fix or refurbish what you can.

YouTube is a great place for videos that show you how to fix and refurbish just about anything.

One person’s rubbish is another’s treasure. Just because something is old, broken or worn out, that doesn’t mean it’s at the end of its life.

Give it some TLC, work some magic and give it some more life if possible.

You never know, you might find yourself a new hobby you enjoy!

 

Used goods

Before purchasing something new, always browse for used items beforehand.

There is some great stuff out there, and there are more sources than ever online. You can find quality used stuff of just about anything on the internet

Ebay and Facebook Marketplace are just a couple of those available, that are great resources.

You can also buy used items on Amazon. When you’re looking at an item, check below the main price for it to say “new & used from”. Click that link and it will send you to the listing of the used versions of that item.

There are many ways to buy good used goods, when you think beyond only buying brand new.

 

 

Vouchers and deals

Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online.

I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

 

 

Car sharing

Driving to your usual places each day costs you money. Mostly in the petrol that it takes, but also in wear and tear on your car.

Depending on your commute, you may also be paying money in tolls.

Find a co-worker who lives nearby and start see if they’d be interested in car sharing.

Even if they don’t care about saving money, they may still be interested just because they would love not to have to drive to work every day.

Think about it. Wouldn’t you rather be on your phone than driving? For most of us, that’s an easy yes.

This works for kid’s activities too. Start switching off with another parent and gain back some time and some money in driving costs.

 

Cashback sites

Cashback sites are way of earning money while you spend money on shopping.

Some good sites are Topcashback, Quidco and Boom25.

The cashback site will earn a percentage for referring you to the retailer through their website, and you take a cut of the profits.

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It’s an easy way to earn some extra money while making a purchase you were planning to make anyway.

Here’s my posts with all the details of exactly how Quidco, Topcashback and BOOM25 work.

 

Big purchases

Have something big in mind you believe you absolutely need?

Give it time.

Instead of rushing out and spending big right away, give yourself time to think about it.

Let’s say 30 days…

In those 30 days you might find you don’t actually need that item at all, or maybe you will find something else that is a cheaper option.

Either way you are giving yourself that bit of additional time to save and think about the purchase.

If you then decide that you definitely want it, you can make the purchase confidently, knowing you absolute need it.

 

Simple Frugal Living – Final thought

Now it’s time to start saving.

You don’t need to dive right into extreme measures of frugal living. Instead, start with these starter tips and things will naturally gain momentum for you.

Start by evaluating your expenses and find places where you can cut back. Shop less and stick to a grocery budget when you shop for food.

Consider car sharing to save money and time. Shop smart by using some vouchers and getting cash back. Enjoy your home so you want to be there more, to avoid going out all the time.

Fix or refurbish broken items before buying something new. And when that doesn’t work, try buying used. Make it a rule to wait 30 days before purchasing big purchase items.

It’s really not that hard to do, you just need to get the ball rolling.

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