Feel Good Home: 10 Creative Ways to Spend Less and Feel Richer
Save money without feeling pinched by taking advantage of free resources and your own ingenuity
Sound intriguing? Ready to give it a try? Just decide what sort of spending you want to give up and for how long (although a month is suggested here, you could do it for even just a week) and set a start date. Summer is a great time to try buying only what you need for a month, because of the abundance of affordable in-season food, free outdoor activities and great weather. Here are 10 tips to make your no-buy experience a success.
As someone who has worked in libraries, I may be a bit biased, but I think libraries are one of our greatest resources – take advantage of them. If the book, CD or DVD you’re after isn’t in your branch, ask whether it can be sent from a bigger library.
2 Seek out free events in your area
Summer is the best time to find free events – keep an eye out for signs and flyers announcing free concerts, plays, film screenings in the park, lectures and other community events.
This Depression-era saying can be a great mantra during a no-buy month. Each time you find yourself thinking about shopping, look around for something to use up instead. Don’t feel deprived – look in your cupboards and wardrobes and focus on feeling grateful for the abundance in your life. And then… get creative. Turn that old mug into a plant pot for the herb seeds you found in the cupboard; wash out jam jars to hold make-up brushes or cut flowers; cut up an old T-shirt and use it for rags.
Check out money saving ideas for thrifty decorators
Have a productive fruit tree or vegetable garden? Offer to swap a bagful of home-grown produce for some of your neighbour’s gorgeous flowers. Or organise a swap among friends and trade clothes or accessories you are getting bored with.
Pick some fresh herbs from the garden to make herbal tea instead of buying tea bags, make crackers or granola instead of buying it in boxes, or try your hand at making fresh bread or small-batch jam. You’ll save a few pounds and, you never know, you may even pick up a new pastime.
No-buy month is an ideal time for decluttering and paring back your belongings. Gain some breathing space by letting go of excess stuff. And if you sell rather than donate, you’ll have a little extra cash on hand to spend next month!
A mug of coffee or cocoa. Getting lost in a good book. Listening to your favourite music. Calling a friend on the phone. I think a lot of the time, we fill up our days with busyness and buying stuff because it seems like what we’re supposed to do. This month, allow yourself to slow down and savour the things you love most.
Browse ways to bring the sunshine inside
Motivate yourself to stick with your no-buy commitment by remembering grandparents or great-grandparents who lived through really hard times. Write meaningful quotes on message boards in your home, read books on living frugally and visit inspirational blogs. And if you can convince any friends to try a no-buy challenge with you, all the better.
You can certainly still entertain during no-buy month! Prepare enough of one simple dish to feed a crowd, and ask friends to show up with the rest. You’ll save money and have less work to do – it’ll be a win-win.
Go for walks. Hang out on the porch. Read a book in the garden. Carry a picnic basket down to your local park. Being out in the fresh air does wonders for the spirit, especially when the weather is fine and you’re otherwise cooped up in an office all day.
Have you ever tried a no-buy month or week? Share your thoughts in Comments below.