When you decide you want something, the immediate afterthought must be how far you are wiling to go to get it. It applies to a vast number of things in life. You want a new car. Are you willing to forgo dinner in a restaurant? You want to lose weight. Are you willing to go without takeway pizza for awhile? You want to go on an amazing adventure that takes you halfway around the globe? Are you willing to work hard? Shun luxuries and unnecessary extras? Turn down invitations to expensive gatherings? I did, and will continue to do so if required, because the end goal is worthy.
You do not have to live like a miser (“two spikes would be a luxury”). But if you want to add more pounds to the piggy, they’ve got to come from somewhere. Here are my top three tips for saving up for a big event:
1) Cut down on your household bills. That could range from changing your phone contract to a better deal, or setting a budget for food shopping each week. The less money that comes out of your paycheck in the form of bills, the more that can be put into your savings.
2) You don’t have to spend heaps to be sociable. Meals out, drinks, cinema visits – these things all add up. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit on your lonesome whilst every body else has a good time. Plan to go out when the good deals are about (Spoons curry night anyone?) or invite everybody else in. How much does a cup of tea and a natter cost? Precisely.
3) Define your needs and your wants, but don’t be too strict with yourself. You need to pay rent. You want a new pair of shoes. Every pay day, even when things were tight, I’d treat myself to a new top or a second hand book or just something small that would lift my spirits and keep me on track.
Some days, you will blow the budget on a Cath Kidston dress (ahem, never happened) and will need to redouble your efforts next time. That’s ok – life is not one big struggle. And you might as well look fabulous and floral on the journey.