Personal finance advice will always centre on the idea of loving and using what you have, and to stop aspiring for more. That’s great advice for appreciating the great things around you, but could you take that advice one step further? Could you actually cut your consumption in half, and still love the life you lead?
Sierra Black, guest posting at Get Rich Slowly, is living proof that it is possible. Consumption is one of the things in life we get accustomed to, and never question. Yet, it can also be a major source of savings drain and unnecessary expenditure.
Mindfulness of what we purchase and how much we use can save lots of money in the long run, and it can be done with minimal pain. Here are some everyday ways to apply the 50% rule to your own life.
Beauty for less
It’s so easy to be unthinking about how much product we use on an everyday basis. Take shampoo for instance. I noticed recently that I’m using twice as much shampoo as I used to, and my hair was probably just as clean when I was using less. So, next time you’re giving your hair a much-needed scrub, half the amount of shampoo and conditioner you use. You probably don’t need a big dollop anyway, and it’s costing you money every time. There’s no need to stop there- halve the amount again until you’re happy with the amount you’re using.
The same goes for dishes. There’s no need to use dishwashing liquid as is, you can distill it with 50% water and stretch the container for half as long. Your dishes will still get clean, but you’ll spend half as much keeping them that way.
It’s so easy to fall for the two-for-one deals. Or you find some clothes you like, so you buy four versions of it. Sometimes, when invested wisely, this can be a smart move. Other times, it’s unnecessary spending. Do you really need two pairs of jeans? Or three kinds of the same top? If one would do just as well, then buy one and save the rest.
Partying doesn’t have to mean going out to an expensive restaurants. Why not apply the 50% rule and stay in half the time with friends? Or have picnics in the park? Saving that money half the time will bolster your savings account, and you might end up spending more quality time with your nearest and dearest.
I’m very guilty of this one- taking two Panadol when one would probably do just as well. For pain, think about heat pads or ice, and adding some gentle exercise and yoga into your schedule. You’ll probably find you don’t need to spend as much money on pain relief as you did previously.
I’m not suggesting starve yourself, but buying a little less will benefit your health and your savings account. Take away the temptation for those times when you snack without appetite and you’ll feel much better. Wasting food because you’ve bought so much is hurting your savings, so cut back and shop more regularly. Write out the list, to save yourself from shopping indiscretions.
Once you’ve started making the savings, make sure you add them into your savings account and watch how the little things really do count.