Hello there everybody!
I think money's a dirty thing: some people have tons of it (literally) and others can't even find a few coins that'd buy them a sandwich and I think that's the absolute worst thing on this planet - but it's what keeps it turning as well.
I'm not going to talk about the flaws of humanity in this article - what I am going to talk about, though, is how you can make money less of an issue. I personally don't have big bills to pay yet - I don't have to pay for washing machines and microwaves - but I am saving up for college and I've really been thinking of what to buy and what not to buy, lately. Here's what I've been doing, and it's been working for me!
BUY SMART AND SPEND MONEY YOU'D SPEND IN THE FUTURE
This may not sound like a legitimate thing to do for you and if you don't have a lot of money to spend at this very moment it might not work indeed - but if you know that you'll have to spend a lot of money in the future.. buy things that'll last you for a long time. For example: if you buy a $10 bag at a cheap store and you know you'll use it intensively, and you know it won't last for more than 3 months - go to the other store and spend $40 on that bag that'll last you a few years. This is a bigger investment at this very moment but it will save you some bucks in the future. I currently am saving up for a decent laptop as I know this one won't last me another 5 years - spending such a big amount of money right now doesn't hurt my wallet as much as it would if I were to spend it in say, 8 months.
NO MORE EXPENSIVE TRIPS
Concerts are nice and if you don't have to worry about money, definitely don't skip things like this - it'll create great memories - but if you don't have a lot to spend.. there are so many fun activities which won't cost you anything. If you life in a big city just wander around - free activities will be advertised and there are many websites and Facebook-pages for such events as well. If you live in a small village like me - going for a walk, taking photographs, enjoying the area you're in, alone or with a good friend - it might sound silly but I sometimes prefer this over going to the cinema and having to feel guilty about the extra nachos I buy for a lot of money.
WAIT FOR OFFERS
Travelling by train in The Netherlands is expensive - a ticket to Amsterdam is almost €25 (a 2-hour journey for me) and for that money you're only there - a return ticket is almost €50. I personally think that is ridiculous and that's why I always wait for offers: stores like 'Hema' en 'Kruidvat' have really cheap offers every now and then - and when the cheaper tickets are in stores I buy 5 of them because I know I have to go there anyway - and it'll save me a lot of money. This was only an example: I'm sure there are many things which'll help you out. The next time you spend a big amount of money on something like this, consider if there are special offers and if there are but you don't need them now, buy them anyway - you will need it in the future.
ONLY BUY WHAT YOU REALLY NEED
I like lipsticks and nail polishes and blushes and daycreams and I could buy everything that has anything to do with make up and skincare et cetera but you don't need everything. I sometimes have to tell myself, 'Yes Sjoukje, that's really nice, and you'd love to have it, but you don't need it'. Don't find excuses to need it anyway - if the feeling of 'newness' is gone, the only thing that'll be left is regret and an empty bank account.
CONSIDER LESS FAMOUS BRANDS
Drugstores often have brands of their own. Because there isn't a lot of money that goes into advertising because they wouldn't be able to compete with the big brands, the products cost less. That doesn't mean they're any less great - give them a try. Same goes for grocery shopping: big labels often are more expensive while you could buy the exact same product for the same price.
SECOND-HAND STORES - THE REALLY SHADY ONES
This sounds kind of obvious but second-hand stores are absolutely great. The only problem with second-hand stores in my city is: the clothes are more expensive than the clothes in stores like H&M. It's absolutely ridiculous but since vintage is the new modern, people are willing to pay more for 'real' oversized jeans than H&M ones - even though the principle of second-hand shopping is to find cheaper clothes. My solution for this: don't go to the cool and modern second-hand stores - go to the shady ones, the ones you won't find in the high street. They often have clothes of people who died and they are not as fashionable, probably, but if you really try you might find some gems.
BUY THE BASICS
I adore cute notebooks but cute notebooks often have a higher price. I was at a stationary store today and I wanted to buy a pastel green notebook with a cute drawing on the cover but I saw the exact same notebook without the decorations for €2 less. If you have to make a decision like this and don't have a lot of money to spend, think twice and go for the cheaper option. You can always add washi tape and little drawings yourself to make the notebook look cuter. It'll always be cheaper.
SHARING WITH FRIENDS
Stores often have great offers, but you have to buy the same product twice or even four times in order to be qualified. That sucks - but you can always ask friends or family members if they coincidentally need the product as well. If that's the case - share the money and make a profit!
I really genuinely hope I have help you - let me know in the comments down below if you have some more tips for readers who might be interested (and me too!). Thank you so much for being here, and I hope you'll have a wonderful day! Love, Sjoukje