As a performer, life can have some ups and downs. Even with my Diversified Income Stream (I’m thinking of getting a trademark on that), without the regularity of a salaried 9-5 job money can sometimes get thin on the ground – perhaps I’ve taken some time of for a fun independent project or for a holiday. Or maybe it’s just been an expensive week!
Either way, here’s a list of the first five things I cut when it’s time to start trimming the budget. Ready? Let’s do this
1. Bought Lunches
Yes, they’re easier and yes, I get that little hormonal kick that comes with spending money. BUT if I’m buying lunches for a week then that’s probably close to $100 that could be stretched into a full week of groceries. If money is tight, buying any prepackaged food is off the table (badum-tish). Bulk buy, cook a batch of something you’re happy to look at every day for a week, and get ready to save that moolah.
2. Movie Outings
Movies are my haven. When I emerge blinking into the sunlight after a good movie, it feels like my brain has gone through a wash-dry cycle and it’s ready to face another week. I normally head to the cinema on a Monday or Tuesday when tickets are cheaper, but even then I’m easily tempted by popcorn or a bottle of local brew. If I can’t trust myself to steer clear of the snacks, movie outings are out until my income stabalises. Time to stay home and make the most of Netflix instead!
Yup, you heard it. I’m not a vegetarian, but I always opt for free-range produce which is at the top end of the price range. Adding meat to a meal can instantly up the price by $10 or more so if I’m trimming my spendings, meat is one of the first things to go. No, I don’t replace meat with beans- beans are death.
4. Fancy Food
Yes, most of these points revolve around food. That’s because A) it’s my weakness, and B) The supermarket shop is the easiest way for me to slash my short-term spending. If I have less money than expected for a week or so, fancy foods are out. That means no protein bars, no out-of-season fruit and definitely no super-flash ice-creams. Remember, these are my short term solutions – I’m pretty sure that I can survive without Ben & Jerrie’s for a week or so (….pretty sure)
5. My Bank Card
Because I just can’t trust myself (see Point 2.)
Leaving my bank card at home means there is no way those extra little costs can accrue. I have a mental blind spot when it comes to pot plants and books, so those always seem to wrangle their way past my iron resolve to not spend money. Deciding in advance how much money I can spare for the week and pulling out that money in cash is the best way to ensure that I don’t end up in debt before that next paycheck comes through.
And there you go! Five steps to cut that daily spending fast.
Take a cold, hard look at your bank statement and be honest with yourself, what’s on your list? If you had to survive for a few weeks less than your normal budget, what would you cut?