Conversations around sustainability are usually reserved for environmental and ethical issues, but we can also speak openly about sustainability when it comes to our finances- credit cards are made from plastic after all! To achieve sustainable spending habits, you must strike the balance between buying what you need, and buying what you want. Buying things that you want is all well and good- who doesn’t love the feeling of wearing something new that they feel fabulous in? But when the ‘treat yourself’ mentality kicks in, and the wants become bigger and more frequent- it’s sensible to take a step back and make sure that you can actually afford it.
There is a ton of emotion tied up with the way that we spend our money, and it’s all too easy to log onto a shopping site when you are feeling a little blue, and start adding things to a basket to get that little buzz and make yourself feel better. When I want to buy something online, I usually use the two day rule to determine if I should go ahead and make the purchase. The two day rule is when you see something you like, and wait two days before buying it- if you can’t get it out of your head for two days, it is true love and the item belongs with you. If you don’t think about the item over that two day period, it was only lust.
Ever looked around you and wondered where all your money went? Me too. But if you struggle with consistent overspending, goal setting can help get you back on the right path. Visualise your goals, write them down and say them out loud to help you to commit to them – you can even voice them to friends and family to stay accountable. Once you have your heart set on something – whether it be to buy a new sofa or a car – sacrificing long term goals for short term gain will soon start to lose its appeal.
My most sensible tip for spending sustainably is to create a budget – and stick to it. Tracking your spending in this way encourages you to be mindful about your purchases, as you can plainly see exactly what you’ve been spending money on- there is no hiding from the figures in front of you. Over time, budgeting will become a habit that will regulate your spending and help you to achieve that level of balance. It’s less boring than it sounds, I promise.
Your heart flutters every time you see THAT Chloe bag online – it’s £1,200 – it’s two months’ worth of rent and you definitely don’t have the money in your account to pay for it. Saving up for big-ticket expensive purchases is a super sensible idea. The thrill of saving up and finally purchasing that coveted item is well worth the time it takes to get there- you’ll treasure it forever.
Laura became a Londoner in September 2016 and once moving to the capital realised she was going to have to put herself onto a strict budget. She started the Thrifty Londoner blog to share the money making, saving, and budgeting schemes that she has learned along the way. Her regular series ‘Savings Stories,’ aims to lift the lid on the struggles that millennials face when trying to make ends meet whilst living in London, with rent prices skyrocketing and wages stagnating.