With prices rising the way they are, there are heaps of articles being published at the moment on how to spend less. As a confirmed money geek, I read them all.
These articles are all very logical if you assume that the reader is not already spending as little as possible on only the basics.
But when I think about applying their advice to my own money situation, I often get illogically irritated.
“Grow my own vegetables?” I tried that already. It didn’t save me money. It did take quite a bit of time and effort, and I didn’t find it enjoyable at all.
But one bit of money saving advice that I was able to take on was ‘use the car less.’ When petrol prices went up in the mid-2000s, I started a habit of checking if public transport would work for my next trip, instead of just automatically assuming that I’ll drive.
Like a vegetable garden, there was some time, energy and money spent in the set up. Things like: getting the local ticketing card, having clothes that made my journey more comfortable, downloading the app, and making sure I have a book on hand to read on the train.
A just as some people find with a vegetable garden, I’ve found much to enjoy in using public transport. Getting more exercise just as part of my day. Sometimes, zipping past grid-locked traffic; and always, the joy of not having to worry about a car park on arrival. Enjoying brief, positive interactions with others (no stranger has ever announced, “I LOVE your coat!” when I’m driving my car). Plus, getting time to read my book.
And every $30 I spend on public transport saves me about one tank of petrol. Plus, no parking fees or tickets, and no wear and tear.
A large part of my work with clients is in finding ways for them to spend less. But in my experience, you don’t have to take on every possible cost-saving measure, regardless of whether it makes your life miserable. You have to find what works for you. The things that make you better off, both financially and emotionally.
If you’d help in figuring out what those are, I’m available to talk.