Many people don’t know how to learn to save. They are trying to cut costs here and there, but nothing sensible comes out of it. I, in order to understand what expenses I had every month in vain, and at the same time learning how to save and then save, decided to conduct an experiment. For a whole month, without cheating, I lived at the subsistence minimum and this is what came of it.
Where does the money go? It seems that only recently there was a decent amount on hand, but today there are some crumbs left from it . This question was asked by me, my friends, acquaintances, and surely many people.
Perhaps the whole thing in the inability to spend? Especially I did not understand this, comparing my way of life with my friend, who, having not a high salary, raised two children without a husband, somehow found the opportunity to travel. You think, well, why save there and save?
In order to find the answer to this question, I decided to conduct an experiment at one time and spent the whole month without deceit and tricks only the amount that is equal to the subsistence minimum. You cannot use the treasured envelope with the inscription “NZ”, you can not remove it from a credit card, I also decided to borrow that I will not.
So, before me a certain amount, which is equal to the subsistence minimum in my region. To keep money, say in a bedside table in one stack and take it from there as needed – this will lead a priori to the fact that the stack will shrink disastrously quickly. Therefore, I begin to distribute the amount and write down the estimated expenses in a notebook specially allocated for these purposes. Even better, it is to lay out certain amounts in envelopes.
What should I spend a hundred percent money on? On utilities. I already know approximately how much a housing and communal services cost per month, and I save a certain amount for these purposes.
The first piece of advice: when you live in a big way, you don’t think that an extra kilowatt of electricity is an expense and the utility bill comes a lot. Agree, many “burn” the light mercilessly, forgetting to turn it off in the bathroom, doing their own things in the kitchen, the light bulb is for some reason lit in the room. Or, for example, water. We wash, brush our teeth and at the same time the tap remains on, even when we do not use water. Not only is a waste of resources going on, but the bill for utilities is increasing, and this difference can be spent on something useful.
On the one hand, there is a feeling that a person can turn into a kind of grouch, always watching, so that God forbid that an extra bulb does not light up. But you can look at this moment from a different angle: there is a need – use, no need – do not use. Why waste energy resources and add additional figures to the cost column. When a person understands this, turning off the lights or the tap occurs on the machine.
I caught this moment right away when I switched to the subsistence minimum and did not exceed the amount I had initially set aside for housing and communal services.
Further, among the necessary expenses are the payment of the Internet and the replenishment of the account on the phone. Postponing.
What else do we spend money every day on food. Here we will stop in more detail. I’ll run ahead and admit that I spent every day I spent at the subsistence minimum on telling my friend who had broken my menu for the first two days.
I usually bought food at the supermarket — conveniently and affordably, returning after work when the markets are already closed. Admit it, not always in the consumer basket we have those goods that we mentally keep in mind or in the list. An eye falls on something involuntarily and I want to try a novelty, an action on some product, well, but something insanely suddenly wanted here and now. Here are the extra expenses.
On the first day of my experiment, I went to my favorite store and bought squid with sea kale and Activia for lunch. At the same time lose weight, I thought. For the evening I decided to cook vegetable stew, which included potatoes, carrots, cabbage and zucchini.
Having shared with Yana, a stream of criticism struck me.
– Well, who saves so? Zucchini is now worth a hundred rubles, since the season is no longer a waste, you could do without it. “Activation” can be replaced by more kefir in a larger volume, and squid in the package is no comment at all, Yana was outraged
How to Save Money?
Having been involved for a month, what products should I buy and how to save money, while eating differently, I made the following conclusions.
First, we buy products on the weekend market, thinking through the menu for the whole week. This will avoid the temptations and not buy something extra, without which we can easily live. Even in bad weather, I went to the market (by public transport) and walked among the rows, choosing a product at a better price.
Secondly, products must be seasonal. It is foolish to buy strawberries in winter or vegetables grown in greenhouses at higher prices than when they are sold during the season. Yes, of course, I want to indulge myself with something exotic and tasty at times, and I don’t want to drive myself into tight limits. But during the experiment, it is simply necessary to develop resistance in oneself not to succumb to minute temptations. And learn not to throw money at what, in fact, is not so important.
Thirdly, there should be a clear list of necessary products on the hands, from which it is impossible to leave.
Fourthly, the place need to know. Some acquaintances told me that they buy fish in bulk at the base, as well as at the cold store. This product is fresh, high-quality, and is even cheaper than on the market. Look for bases where you can buy goods at a better price. This, by the way, applies to clothes. The benefit is now the choice is huge and many prefer to order new clothes through Chinese sites.
Or maybe you’re a shopaholic? Then it is clear why the money flows through the fingers. We advise you to read the article “How to Cure a Shopping Addiction” .
I came to the conclusion that having a minimum set of products you can cook delicious dishes. For example, pancakes are not in milk, but in tea. Or instead of a bar of chocolate, when you really wanted sweet, you can bake an apple. Meat in the pilaf is really replaced by chicken, which is cheaper. All sorts of stews, casseroles, saute – perfectly complement the menu with vitamins. And how many dishes can be cooked from potatoes! I immediately remember the words of Tosi’s cook from the film “Girls”, which listed potato dishes, wanting to shine with knowledge before the main character.
There is another line on my list of expenses about beauty. Every month something ends and you need to spend money again. I have excluded expensive masks and tonics from my list, having decided to switch to natural cosmetics and as long as age allows, to make beauty products on my own. Moreover, here I know for sure that the resulting mask is natural and does not contain chemicals. This applies to face, body and hair care. Practice has shown that you can be beautiful without transcendental spending.
In a separate column, I wrote a certain amount, calculated on force majeure. This could be a flying cloth on boots, a burst pipe, and so on. Among these unexpected expenses, I had a sudden invitation to one celebration, to which it would be impolite to come without a gift. I had to shrink myself in the purchase of products and revise the menu.
I also broke the zipper on my boots, I had to pay the master and again squeeze myself in the “groceries” column. And all because of the fact that I exceeded the limit of spending for food, because in the first days I bought economically unprofitable goods.
Therefore, such an envelope, where a monthly amount will be added for unforeseen expenses is very necessary. Force majeure, as a rule, do not come alone and, not having a NZ, a person is forced to go into debt.
With the transition to a living wage, I also had to refuse to travel by taxi. In truth, I often used a taxi because of laziness. I was just too lazy to go a couple of blocks or get to a place with a transfer on two types of public transport. If you calculate how much a month I spent on a taxi ride, it would be possible to save this money for travel. Drop by drop and it’s quite possible to save up for a ticket, knowing at the same time how to save money on buying tickets and planning routes.
The topic will be an article “How to Travel as Cheaply as Possible” we recommend reading.
A month later, my experiment was over. To say that I want to repeat it again will not be true. I do not want. It’s complicated. Although I did the living wage, limiting myself to the maximum nutrition in the last days before the end of the month.
It’s hard to live, in my opinion, on the subsistence minimum of young people, when there are so many interesting things around – movies, exhibitions, performances, going to a cafe with friends, bowling, nature trips … I had constant stress that I limit myself and I can’t afford much allow.
Another question, when something develops into a habit – it does not cause negative emotions. For example, even after the end of the experiment, I turn off the light, the water in the tap, once again walk on foot than call a taxi, go to the market with a list, practically do not go to the supermarkets, where my eyes run, I got myself an NZ envelope for emergency expenses for travel, where I postpone the amount of travel. And I distribute the amount received for all planned expenses.
Therefore, unequivocally, the experiment disciplines and points out the mistakes that many make during shopping, but in order to realize this, one must feel the “delights” of life at the subsistence minimum on oneself.