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How do you guys keep a lid on spending without getting bored?

Question

This might seem like a basic question but I feel like I’m doing something wrong? I don’t regard myself as a big spender by any means (live in cheap rented accommodation, don’t run a car etc) but I struggle to save enough each month and generally be responsible without going insane with boredom.

Basically if I’m not eating or sleeping I can’t stand to be in the house, it drives me up the wall, especially at weekends. So I’m constantly out and about- and that costs money. Whether it’s social events or just visiting a different city/area to explore, it all adds up. I do have some free/cheap hobbies like running and hiking but eventually I get bored of all the routes in my local area and have to travel further afield, which again costs money. Travel in general is a pretty big weakness for me actually- routine kills me so I have to constantly be seeing new places. I take a lot of weekend breaks and day trips which can end up being expensive.

Just wondering is there anyone else out there like me and do you have any good suggestions for staying sane but cutting back the spending? I feel like I may as well give up now if I have to spend the rest of my life stuck indoors staring at a screen, but at the same time my current habits can’t go on. Cheers

Answers

Someone answered:

It's okay to spend money on things that you enjoy doing – but it's paramount to know exactly where that money goes.

I think the biggest favour you can do for yourself (if you have already, disregard this…) is to go back through your bank statements and see what your money actually goes on – that way, you can see if there's any wastage on things you don't use etc. Even better, share your costs breakdown (just rough categories, no need to be hugely specific) here and canvass for tips etc.

For example, there was a person on here some months ago who was spending ~£200 a month on an assortment of TV packages, and it transpired that that person spent very few hours a month actually watching that expensive TV!

It's much easier to save when you are in control of the information. There's no reason to feel trapped by it if you have all the facts.

Someone answered:

Cycling, it’s free and keeps you fit. It would drive me mad being indoors on my days off, but when I would be out I’d spend a lot on travel (London, car/ tube) and food. Can still get out and see the sights/ parks. Can lock the bike up anywhere (no need to pay for parking or spend money on petrol).
But cycling might not be your cup of tea, and wasn’t mine initially.

Someone answered:

I don't regard myself as a big spender by any means (live in cheap rented accommodation, don't run a car etc) but I struggle to save enough each month and generally be responsible without going insane with boredom.

Well, if you're struggling to save money, then you probably are spending over what you can afford.

I take a lot of weekend breaks and day trips which can end up being expensive.

This can be as expensive or as cheap as you want to make it, to be honest. If you're concerned about spending too much, then try and think of ways you can drop this cost?

For me and my wife, we like going out and about at weekends, but there're tons of ways you can bring down the cost of this. We bought a National Trust membership as there're lots of places to go walking near us with NT car parks, and stately homes, etc. We always take packed lunches with us and a flask so we don't end up spending money on food while we're out – which is something we already do for work.

We have friends who are quite outdoors-y, and when we meet them we tend to spend very little because everyone clubs in and cooks and we hire out a Scout hut or something to stay in – last Easter for e.g. we went with a group of about 25 of my wife's friends to Wales and maybe spent £40 each on food and accomodation for the whole bank holiday weekend and maybe £30 on petrol. We're doing the same again this year.

The other way I've found makes a big difference in bringing the cost down is doing things like inviting friends to stay / going to stay with them. I love cooking and so often make something rather than us going out when people come to stay which keeps the weekends fun but it's not so costly – if you spend £10 to £15 on ingredients for four people for e.g. then that's still a lot less than even paying for two of us to eat, and obviously alcohol is a ton cheaper when you can pay £5 for a bottle of wine rather than £15+.

Just wondering is there anyone else out there like me and do you have any good suggestions for staying sane but cutting back the spending? I feel like I may as well give up now if I have to spend the rest of my life stuck indoors staring at a screen, but at the same time my current habits can't go on. Cheers

What are you doing for work? This sounds in general more like a lack of satisfaction with your life than a financial issue to be honest. Do you have any hobbies? Sports? Maybe some of the problem is just not having anything to do at weekends meaning you end up doing expensive stuff to compensate.