When you have no money, whatever the reason, it’s easy to resign yourself to a life of 10p Supermarket noodles, (economy) beans on (economy) toast and endless sit com repeats on TV.
But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Redundancy, lack of availability of credit, falling interest rates for savers and rising interest rates on credit cards and loans they’re all pretty depressing, which makes me think it’s more important than ever to have some fun and frivolity and maximise the potential of the money you DO have to spend!
My top 5 tips to have fun with no money
- Maximise your Wardrobe
Every time the new seasons styles hit the shop it’s easy to get depressed and feel deprived of the opportunity to shop. Well what if you could shop for free? Check your area for swishing parties or throw your own, and don’t forget online options like What’s Mine is Yours.
Take the time to check out Charity Shops, if there’s one you pass every day then take 10 minutes to pop in and check it out, you might be surprised what you can find, even if it’s just a fabulous scarf or a new leather belt.
- Go Old School
Just because you can buy coffee for £3 at Starbucks doesn’t mean you can’t go out with a flask and read the papers in the park, and sandwiches wrapped in plastic are no where near as nice as ones you made yourself and wrapped in greasepaper. Wrapping and packing them nicely will mean that you don’t feel in the slightest bit deprived. Spend your savings on a cute lunch box to carry it in like this toadstool print
- Eat out
Eating out is one of the first things you give up when the money runs out, and the restaurants know that, which is why this is a great time to look for bargains. Many of the big chain restaurants have endless deals and special offers for customers, it’s just a matter of finding them. Specific restaurants that often email out vouchers to people on their mailing list include Cafe Rouge, La Tasca and Wagamama . You can also try searching voucher code sites for deals
- Get paid to Shop
Be nice wouldn’t it? Well there are plenty of places that will either literally or technically pay you to shop, which you can then spend on frivolities. Don’t forget to use your loyalty cards, you’ll always need food, soap, shampoo, underwear, petrol and other essentials, so make use of loyalty card schemes like Boots Advantage Card and Nectar Card to make sure you earn your points to spend on fun stuff.
- Quality not Quantity
Shop carefully and you’ll never have to live off noodles and beans. If you can, go to the Supermarket at the times they’re most likely to put out their reductions, at mine it seems to be about 4pm. Stock up on reductions of decent stuff and don’t forget you can freeze it! Make use of the Delicatessen counter as well, it might well work out cheaper to buy 100g of decent mature cheddar to use in a recipe than it does to buy one of those huge yellow rubber blocks of economy cheese.
Take up “old fashioned” hobbies that are increasing in popularity, like baking, not only do you get an afternoon of entertainment, but you also get a great batch of cupcakes to eat at the end of it!
The same goes when you’re buying beauty products. Look for Multi buys, introductory offers and sales and stock up when you can.