Spending money unecessarily: How to say NO to yourself

How to say NO to yourself

Habits are formed over time. As many women have children later in life we are increasingly used to having and spending money and being able to purchase luxury items from our disposable income. Perhaps a magazine, take out coffee, sandwich deals at lunch time, a new dress because we have a night out. We need to learn new habits and a new mantra if we are going to stay out of debt as budgeting parents.

Parenting by its very nature reduces cash. There is another mouth to feed who needs ‘stuff’ too. If you don’t go back to work you lose your income. If you work part time you reduce your income and need some childcare costs. If you work full time you have a lot of childcare costs.

Whatever you do your finances are not usually positively enhanced by having a little one. There are other bonuses and these are important to hold on to.

‘ No’ is such a short little word to say and it can keep you out of a whole heap of trouble.  But it is hard.

Scenario 1

You have a train journey to take and the trains delayed, you want a latte and magazine to keep you warm and occupied. Telling yourself no isn’t easy how are you going to manage this?

  • It’s a lot easier to say no if you come prepared; a flask and a library book can make a huge difference to avoiding spending on takeaway coffees and magazines.(BE PREPARED)
  • Think about what you could do with the money you don’t spend.  Create a vision in your head of doing something more necessary with it, perhaps buying tonight’s tea…what meal could you make for £5? Let your mind drift and keep occupied/distracted that way. (REFOCUS THE MONEY)
  • Buy a newspaper instead. These are cheaper will stop you being bored. (HAVE A CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE)


Scenario 2

You are feeling bit rubbish. It’s winter your baby is waking at odd times and you are feeling a bit run down. You so want a manicure, pedicure, hair do to make yourself a bit more attractive and to perk you up.

  • Just say a big no to the beauticians! Doing your own nails or having a friend do them is the way forward. Get a book about home beauty out of the library. Or chat to a good friend who you know does their own nails and see if they will do yours. Maybe you could help them by babysitting in return? You will still feel great and pampered just not POOR too! (ALTERNATIVES)
  • Delve into a box of treats and pick me ups you have created for yourself. Fill it with 99p face packs, a little bath bomb, perhaps a little hair slide, a DVD you have been meaning to watch and a magazine someone gave that you have saved especially. Feelings of yuckiness often pass after a little session of self-care. It really doesn’t need to cost much (Be PREPARED)
  • Work out what that hairdo and manicure and new clothes shop would have set you back had you indulged it. Because you didn’t what can you now use that money for, is your MOT due? does your credit card need paying?(REFOCUS THE MONEY)

No can seem like a little, mean, bad, horrid, pesky, word but saying it loud and proud can make the difference between worries and stress about debt and being a happier more relaxed parent who feels in control.

Be prepared, refocus the money and have an alternative option so you don’t feel deprived.


Good luck!

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  1. TindyP
    January 12, 2011 / 9:22 pm

    What fab ideas, thank you for sharing. I find myself in those scenarios frequently and I hope to approach them differently from now on.

  2. January 13, 2011 / 9:46 am

    What a fantastic article! It should be in a magazine!

  3. January 13, 2011 / 5:20 pm

    Becky, what a great article. I am sure this will help a lot of people be mroe prepared. I always carry food in my bag as my children always say they are hungry and I don’t want to buy them something when we are out.

  4. Claire, Cheshire Mum
    January 13, 2011 / 10:01 pm

    Never really thought about having a child in my thirties having led to me being accustomed to more luxuries than if I’d started my family in my twenties but it’s absolutely correct. Great thoughts & ideas. Thanks! Claire

  5. January 15, 2011 / 9:25 pm

    Love the idea of a treat box! I’m going to give that one a go.

    Thanks for a great article

  6. January 15, 2011 / 10:34 pm

    I love this post, thanks, im definitely going to try and apply this way of thinking.

  7. January 19, 2011 / 1:12 pm

    Great tips, thank you.

    When I want to treat myself on a budget I can recommend calling your local college as they often have ‘salons’ so those training to be beauty therapists and hairdressers can practice. At my local college you can get a full body massage for £5!

    Many high street hairdressers do ‘student nights’ where their fully supervised trainees cut your hair for as little as £5 or £10. If you’re very lucky, ypu might find one that does colour too.

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