Thursday, March 05, 2009

Time to be frugal

It's getting out of hand again... my spending I mean. I don't know why it's so hard for me to look but not buy. And it's not like I buy a lot of frivolous stuff, but the little things do add up. And then I start to feel guilty about EVERYTHING I buy, like soap and deodorant :)

So, how can I change this? It's time to start saving instead of spending, since Keith and I have some plans in place that will require a bit of spending in a few months. I've already been doing well on the grocery bill, sticking within a budget. But this summer I'm going to need a lot of new clothes, since I've changed sizes so much over the past 4 years or so. How can I do this all without breaking the bank, and yet still get some nice quality clothes? I'm totally not sure how this is going to work. Second hand shops are great, but if it costs me $30 just to drive to the city, that's hardly saving much in the end. Sigh.

I'm going to need major will power to not spend in the next few months. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


sheila said...

Hmm..I don't know if you want your auntie's advice, but here goes. Just keep your goal in mind. Save, save, save. Set aside a certain amount every month, if you can, and come summer, or whenever you're planning to "splurge" you should hopefully have enough for a few key pieces. A couple pair of shorts, 1 0r 2 pairs of capris, a couple of nice t-shirts should do you, unless you need to revamp your Sunday attire as well.
If you wait to do the majority of your shopping till the beginning of July you should be able to get some very good deals, as this is the time when most retailers are trying to clear out summer stock and bring in fall stock. I've picked up many great deals at this time of the year.
You said you're planning to do some major spending in the next while. Are you doing some reno's?

Lindsey Dueck said...

Any advice you can pass on to me too. I know what you mean about the little things adding up, it is crazy. I really need to learn how to save!

Bruce and Heather said...

go shopping without your wallet, that's what I often do when we go out together:) Unless of course you're grocery shopping, then you might need a little money.

Andrea said...

Garage sales, garage sales, garage sales. ;)

3 for Me! said...

I try to stock up on clothes out-of-season, wait for GOOD sales and use coupons and discounts. And I like to cut corners where I can, like I LOVE Walmart t-shirts that have the 5% spandex... they really hold their shape well and fit my budget.

Another thing I do is to really sort and try on the clothes I have and keep what I will REALLY wear! Then you know exactly what you NEED to get through the season. If I just guess at what I need... I usually end up with two of the same color shirts/pants.

I do better at thrift stores. goodwill... but I"m only there when I'm in town (kind of like you). So I only go when I have other errand to do there already:)

Laura said...

I hear ya Stacey! I'm already stressing about summer clothes too. The last 2 summers I've been pregnant for the entire summer so I really don't have any summer clothes.

As for everyday stuff though - I do find a budget freeing actually. Then I have no guilt spending that money because it's been budgeted. I try to budget at the beginning of Dan's pay check for everything that we will need (including birthday gift money, etc.)

Maybe I should add a category for summer clothes and add to it each month???

Ellen said...

This can be easy and tough for me too.. I will go for a while without spending anything.. and then splurge when I really probably shouldn't! One thing that I have found a lot of stuff, for the kids and for me is on Facebook! Sounds strange, but out here anyway there are groups such as Buy, Sell and giveaway for my city. I have found some incredible deals for my kids and stuff I need for myself too.. and I do like to be picky on second hand stuff, I don't like clothing that looks well worn or washed, but I have still found a lot of stuff. On the other hand, I have also sold stuff on there too, there is no cost to sell (like on Ebay) and it can make you the extra money to buy what you need. Also if you have a Yahoo account, search the Yahoo groups and see if they have a freecycle in your area, I have found some incredible finds for free (altho not clothing so much, but little things for the house/kids). I'm not sure if you make a lot or any money from doing reviews/blogging, but I keep that 'extra' money in a seperate account and when I have enough saved I spend it on 'extra' kind of stuff that I want more than need. That way I don't feel like I'm taking from our main income for little extra's.

Anonymous said...

Of course this is easier said than done, but as much as possible try to maintain your size (unless weight loss or gain is necessary or inevitable) ... learn to be content and make do with what you have ... avoid going shopping except when absolutely necessary ... don't get sucked in to the mentality of our consumer culture.


Laura Thiessen said...

You can also try to carpool with someone into Winnipeg on a day when your parents might watch the kids...I'm thinking of starting a baby-sitting co-op. Interested?

laurel said...

I don't know if this would fit for you, but a clothing swap party is a fantastic way to get rid of some of the clothes you don't wear anymore, and try on something someone else is done with. I think every woman has at least 3 sizes of clothing in her closet/drawer, so it's amazing what a diverse range of sizes and styles even a small group of women can create!

Laura said...

hey again...something else I budget for is "spending money" for Dan and that we each get to have money in our wallet that we can spend however we want without feeling like we have to ask the other person's not very much, but it's nice to have a bit to spend however.

Stacey said...

Let's see if I can respond to all of you! First of all, thanks for all the great advice. I think the big problem is that I love searching for stuff online. And especially with my review blog, I'm always looking for new products.

Sheila - I agree that a few key pieces is important. I will have to sit down and think about what I really need, and yes, my Sunday attire is lacking as well :) I would love to wait until July to shop, but I need some new things for the end of May. Keith and I are making some plans...

Heather - That's a good idea. I wish online shopping was as easy to avoid!

Andrea - I'm thinking that sounds like a good idea. Hopefully there will be a few around here soon!

Kelly - Ugh. Yeah, I need to get rid of the stuff that I don't like to wear, or doesn't fit me, but then there really isn't enough left! Slowly I'll have to replace a few things.

Ellen - Yeah, I have a bunch of stuff I could try to sell. It can be such a pain though, especially when people back out last minute.

Brenda - Other than pregnancy/nursing I haven't changed size much since we got married. I guess finding some timeless, quality pieces would be very smart in this case, since then they would last for years and not go out of style.

Laura - A babysitting co-op sounds like an awesome idea! And carpooling too.

Whew, that was a lot of responses you guys gave me! I'm going to try and take all of these ideas, plus some that I've gotten from and see if I can come up with a plan. Thanks so much!