Trying To Save Money: Four Months On

saving money as a twenty something in manchester city centre

A while back, I wrote about Saving Money As A Twenty Something. And honestly, it’s been hard.

The word ‘budget’ screams of restriction… and who knew a word could practically induce FOMO? I wish I was writing this post to discuss how unrestricting budgeting is, and how you just have to make minor changes and suddenly you just have more money without even noticing the impact.

If only.

It’s hard. The past two months have been months of restriction. Of counting pennies. Of homemade coffees, homemade dinners, less socialising, turning events down.

They’ve been panics of “SHIT HOW HAVE I SPENT THAT MUCH I SWEAR I’VE BEEN REALLY GOOD THIS WEEK”. Stress and wondering which possessions to sell.

But as I write this, I’ve paid another off £285 of my overdraft. I’ve got into habits that’ll serve me well next month when I have to simultaneously begin a payment plan for my braces and continue paying the rest of my overdraft off. I’m going on holiday tomorrow and I don’t have any worries about spending money.

The main places I’ve cut back have been food. I’ve been cooking from scratch a lot more, and taking my own dinners to work. We’ve been having takeaway a lot less, which is good on the ole bank account and knowing there’s no chance of eating a pube every 12th delivery. So that’s a nice touch.

Another major area I’ve cut back on is online shopping. My wardrobe isn’t bare, but I do have lots of things that don’t currently fit or don’t go with other things. Cutting back on impulse buying has made me make more informed purchases. Now I really consider a new purchase, what else it will go with and when I’ll realistically wear it.

I’m not gonna lie, I *have* cheated and had a few cheeky purchases that have been funded by my boyfriend. Which isn’t exactly learning to live within my means/budget… but still. I’m proud of myself.

It’s hard to completely adjust the way I spend money. From losing the ‘treat yourself’ mindset after a long day to having to say no to things, it’s a complete attitude readjustment to stop spending and start saving, and I’m slowly realising that happiness doesn’t always lie in material products.