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The Great "Self Discipline" Hunt



  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I keep a post-it note or two in my diary of "The List" - ie what I still require money for NOW - paying off debt first, then I have a second list for what I am going to deal with then (ie work on the house/savings/etc). Its all written down in order of priority - with an estimate of how much each item will cost. Right now - when I want to spend a few £s on something I have to justify it to myself against the £6,000 I need NOW for debt and a bit of savings.
  • Boomdocker
    Boomdocker Posts: 1,201 Forumite
    Photogenic First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Although I have no debts my spending was erratic and using a mixture of the above I have become much more disciplined. The biggest change for me when I am planning my budget is that I now 'pay myself' as well as my bills etc. Essentially I have 2 savings accounts, one is my holiday fund so I save for my holiday rather than leaving it all till the last minute and the second is a longer term 'rainy day savings. I have never in my adult life had any savings to speak of. I do this by standing order straight from my wages so I don't forget.
    Boots Card - £17.53, Nectar Points - £15.06 - *Saving for Chrimbo*
    2015 Savings Fund - £2575.00
  • Primrose
    Primrose Posts: 10,626 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!
    Avoid window shopping as a leisure activity. It's fatal If you know you're weak willed, don't take debit or credit cards out with out. Instead put a paper monetary note (say £5 or £10) in a sealed envelope in your handbag/wallet for EMERGENCIES ONLY. Having to rip open the envelope will perhaps force you to ask yourself if it really is an EMERGENCY. Keep a daily spending diary. Impose upon yourself a penalty of doing 30 Press-Ups every time you buy something you don't need. (If you're VERY weak-willed, this will also help your fitness programme as well !)
  • dianadors
    dianadors Posts: 801 Forumite
    First Post
    Sailorgirl wrote: »
    Don't go to the shops.
    Window shopping is dangerous and must be stopped! Avoid temptation!

    Its so much easier to spend lots when you are just passing time browsing. I discovered that when I shopped for a big food shop in Asda, I spent less than if I just popped in for a bottle of milk!!!! I also realised that wandering around the local shopping mall when I had nothing else to do had become a bit of a (very expensive) hobby. Nowadays, I stay away from the shops - only going when I know what I need, and with my moneysaving head on.

    I also fill the void left by not having all the "stuff" I would have bought on my pointless shopping trips by bagsing freebies from the freebie thread. Most of these end up as Christmas gifts thereby saving me tons of dosh. Also as a family we get loads of moneysaving treats from this - ie cinema tickets, days out, free restaurant meals etc Its much more "thrilling" to grab a freebie than part with my hard earned cash.
  • hbl_2
    hbl_2 Posts: 391 Forumite
    When I started my money diet (not so much a diet as a full body workout), one of the things I did first was opening a second current account with my (main) Bank. In a lot of personal finance offerings I've heard the rule, "pay yourself first" - so I did: into this account. I started off with £200 a month, paid in £50 weekly, but I found that this was in fact too much, and have since reduced it to £25 a week, freeing up another £100 a month to throw at my grad loan.

    Having this spending account meant that I could always find at a glance just how much cash I had till the next paycheque. Everything that came out of my main account was then for 1) bills 2) repayments; and the pennies that were left simply rolled over to give a little more wriggle room in the next month's budget.

    I am a moneysavingninja.
    Student Loan Company Ltd: 17,805 (2.8%) Overdraft: 500 (Interest free)
    Savings: £5,100
    - Target by end of 2008 £5,000+
    Net Worth
    1/7/06: -£32,698 -- Net Worth 25/8/08: -£13,350.
  • beachbeth
    beachbeth Posts: 3,862 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Triker wrote: »
    Transfer the word credit in your head for the word debt.

    This is what I am always saying to my teenagers. Whenever you see a sign saying "Instant credit" just remember that it really means "instant debt" and think carefully about whether you can cope with the payments on top of your other commitments.
  • Nix143
    Nix143 Posts: 1,130 Forumite
    I'd second the window shopping veto. I work somewhere that has no shops, I bring my lunch with me and I do the majority of my shopping online, last year I did all my Christmas shopping online. I worked out that the last time I was actually 'in town' - the city I live in - was October 2006! This might mean that I miss out on 'bargains' but it also means I know pretty much exactly what I am spending week to week and don't get tempted by impulse spends.

    If all goes according to plan I will be debt free finally this month after years of struggling to control my spending and I am sure taking myself away from temptation has had a major part to play in this. I don't feel deprived because I know that I can always get a better deal on the 'net for anything I really want and it's second nature now to think twice before I order anything.
    Comps £2016 in 2016 - 1 wins = £530 26.2%
    SEALED POT CHALLENGE MEMBER No. 428 2015 - £210.93

  • Grade_A_Reject
    Primrose wrote: »
    Avoid window shopping as a leisure activity.

    Surely that's got to include Ebay too. I've lost count of the times I've idly browsed Ebay, especially on a wet weekend, and ended up bidding on and winning some "unmissable bargain" that five minutes earlier I'd never have even dreamed of wanting. :o The self same item usually ends up back on Ebay, and usually sells for less than I paid for it, once I've realised that I didn't really want it anyway.

    I find that reminding myself of the line on my mortgage illustration that reads "you pay back £1.51 for every £1 borrowed" helps. Every wasted pound that could have gone to paying down my mortgage has in fact cost me almost half as much again.

    Just thought of my new Ebay mantra....
    Do I need it?
    Did I want it 5 minutes ago?
    Will I be putting it back on Ebay next week?
    "A nation of plenty so concerned with gain" - Isley Brothers - Harvest for the World
  • coops024
    coops024 Posts: 166 Forumite
    Its also a good idea to set yourself a challenge for something you really want ! (not need) I wanted a new PC and so decided that I would have to sell something to raise the money (even if its something I use :o )

    Also I think abou the resale value ! how much money will I get back when I sell it to buy the next thing i want ! and will the money I've lost be worth the time I had the item? that one works well for PC Games DVD's CD's books etc ?

    I bought a game once and finished it in 2 days so had it back on ebay for a 1 day auction and managed to get nearly full price for it !:T
    LBM - 20/05/07
    Well that all went FUBAR
  • Caroline_3
    Caroline_3 Posts: 10 Forumite
    I've been on the money diet pretty much since I left uni five years ago! This is what I've learnt;

    1. Never ever take credit cards or debit cards out with you! go to the cash point and take out the money you can afford / want to spend and when it's gone, go home! This means every time you go out shopping, drinking whatever! I always keep my taxi / bus money separate so I don't end up spending that either! When I go out I tend to drink wine but find it a lot cheaper to buy a bottle then by buying the glasses!

    2. When you go to the supermarket, do the above, but also make a list before you go and stick to it! It's amazing how much more I spend when I don't take a list! also check out the reduced items section, I always find reduced items that I need, or cheaper than the one I've already put in my basket! I find that taking a calculator is a godsend for really keeping control of your budget, it's amazing how things which don't sound much and only cost a couple of quid really bump up your bill!

    3. I rarely go shopping and only go when I absolute need to! When I do see something I like (usually in the expensive shops!) I go and try to find a cheaper alternative in Primark, New Look, Peacocks, Asda, Sainsburys or Tescos! You find that due to trends, most places stock very similar stock! And I also find that once I've traipsed around the shops looking for the cheaper alternative, the desire to own it tends to wear off! If I really really need something, I always try and buy a more expensive brand as I know it will last longer e.g. I always try to buy my suits from Next, as they have lasted me a lot longer than the one I bought from tescos! But for tshirts, tops and such like, the cheaper alternatives are better! The web is good too, I buy a lot from ASOS.com and I find that by buying something on the net, by the time it arrives, I've lost the enthusiasm for it! for my birthday and christmas, i always ask that people don't give me money, it tends to just disappear with nothing to show for it, instead I ask for vouchers! This way I can enjoy going shopping without worrying about spending too much!

    4. I work fulltime but also have a part time job, this is my debt money so everything I earn from that goes towards my loans and credit cards, I'm lucky that I work in a restaurant and can increase my hours if necessary (or decrease!) so if I'm having a heavy month financially I can do more hours! The tips are also very good but these I have put into a separate savings account! I usually make about £100 a month, which is currently going towards my wedding next year! i know Martin always says that you should pay off all debts with savings but I like to have a security blanket in case something goes wrong with the car, or for treats! I'm already working two jobs, and targeting my debt that way, so feel I deserve treats now and then! With my fulltime job I also pick up the papers on the way to work which means I can claim my mileage back, not a huge amount but it all helps, and I wash the t towels every month and get £12 for it!

    5. As i mentioned I'm getting married next year and have found confetti.co.uk and youandyourwedding.co.uk invaluable to finding out about sales and special offers, and also the forums are always good for chatting with other brides and comparing notes!

    6. In addition, I try and walk to work when I can (although the weathers currently not helping), and I bring my lunch to work! My company enjoys eating out and I allow myself occasionally, but if I really don't think I can, I eat before I go and just have a coke or glass of water! Because I'm eating before I go, I don't feel tempted when I'm there!

    7. Ebay - Ebay is fantastic for buying birthday and christmas presents! I like to start planning what to buy people for christmas in September so I can look for things with plenty of time! you'll find that the two weeks before christmas, everyone ends up panicking and all the prices are a lot more than say if you buy the same thing in October!

    8. Reclaim bank charges - I've claimed back £950 from my account, £750 from my joint account and my partner has just been given £2000! We found that if they don't reply to you quick enough, to actually go into the bank or phone them up and ask whether they have received the letter, whether they have replied, what their response is! My partner only claimed for £1800 but got an extra £200 because they kept him waiting!

    9. Collect your spare change, and when you've got a substantial amount, go and pay into your bank account! I was amazed that when I counted all the spare change in my flat I had over £50! I would have usually just frittered it away, but now it's sitting in my bank account earning me interest! I have a special piggy bank and everything now, and when it's full it goes to the bank!

    10. Finally, keep checking in with this website, i have had so many trips to the cinema, free hair cuts, reduced magazine subscriptions from it! Thanks Martin!
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