Thursday, 20 August 2015

How To Treat Yo' Self Even When You're Broke

I think it's safe to say that everyone loves to treat themselves every now and again. Whether it's to a meal out because you cba to cook, a pair of shoes that you may only wear once but still need or just a standard Starbs vanilla latte - cos girl gotta get her overpriced coffee fix. But, when you're broke, it ain't so easy. Suddenly that bright pink MAC lipstick, that you'll probably only use for selfies anyway, doesn't seem as essential as making sure you can actually afford to pay your bills. So, here's some things I do to make sure I can treat myself to a few bits and pieces even if I'm struggling for money...

1) Survey sites!
Oh god, I cannot stress enough how much I LOVE survey sites. Yes, they are boring AF but they actually pay you for your time. Usually with vouchers but, occasionally, cold hard cash. I actually prefer the vouchers because it means that I don't end up using the money for something dull like, y'know, my weekly shop. Instead, I can get a Debenhams voucher and treat myself to a lipstick or build up some Topshop vouchers and nab a new pair of jeans! I did a post all about my favourite survey sites here which goes into a lot more detail about which ones to use and how much they pay out. But, essentially, you get paid for answering questionnaires about all kinds of things; from restaurants to politics. I usually get about £40 a month from 3/4 different sites (sometimes more, sometimes less.)

2) Sell something you don't want and buy something new with the money
I've started a new rule where I'll only buy a new piece of clothing if I sell an old item first. You'd be surprised at what will sell on Ebay, seriously. As long as it's in good condition, you're good to go. It's much better to make some money from items that would otherwise just be gathering dust in the wardrobe. Then, when you've made some dollar from your old stuff, you can buy some new stuff and feel totally not guilty about it. Win.

3) Check for loyalty card points
I'm a huge loyalty card hoarder. I basically have a loyalty card for everything and I don't know why you wouldn't because most of them are seriously worthwhile. I often forget about them though so it can be a nice surprise when I'm poor and realise I actually have some money to spend on them. If you fancy some new make up, see if your Boots card has some spare points. Want to go out for food but can't afford? Maybe you've got a free meal on your Nandos card. If you feel like you haven't used a loyalty card in a while, check it, because some of them have expiry dates. Josh and I had a terrible experience last month when we merrily strolled into Subway and asked to claim 2 free footlong subs, only to be told that their points expire after a year so we didn't have any left. Not gonna lie, it was a fucking horrible moment, that, and I'm still not over it.

(The below points aren't really instant ways to get money, like above, but are ways that will ultimately help you save/get more money for future purchases...)

4) Zeek
This is a new concept that I've started using and I really like it. Zeek is an app that sells gift vouchers at slightly discounted prices. Yes, it won't save you loads but it's always worth checking if you're planning on buying something anyway. Sometimes they'll only have 5% off the retail price but occasionally they'll have flash sales with 20% off. Don't buy vouchers for the sake of it but, if you're planning on making a purchase from a particular site, see if Zeek has a voucher. You could get £50 worth of shopping for £40, for example. I usually buy Starbucks vouchers from Zeek as it often works out that you pay £17 for a £20 voucher, for example, so your basically getting a drink for free.
PSST - If you sign up with this promo code: 2RY1V9 - you'll get a free £5 to spend too! 

5) Make sure you use cashback sites
If you're treating yourself to a sneaky post-payday ASOS order then, seriously, make sure you get cashback for it! I use Top Cashback pretty much every time I buy something online - by simply going to Top Cashback first and then clicking through to the retailer, you get money back for your purchase. Maybe it's only a couple of quid but you may aswell be rewarded for spending, right? This means that, eventually, all those little bits of cashback will add up and, when you're having a poor month, you might have some cash that's built up in there that you can use to treat yo' self with. 

6) Turn clubcard vouchers into restaurant vouchers
Firstly, if you don't have a Tesco clubcard, you need one. Even if you don't shop at Tesco. Hear me out... So you've all obviously signed up to Top Cashback since I've just talked you into it, right? Well, I always withdraw my cashback as Clubcard points because clubcard points can be quadrupled into restaurant vouchers. So, that £2.50 cashback you got from your ASOS order? Well, it can now be turned into £10 worth of Pizza Express vouchers. Free pizza = happy Beth. And, c'mon, everyone loves eating out don't they? Tasty food, no washing up. Living the dream, pretty much.

I hope you've found these tips helpful! I know it's not essential to treat yourself all the time but sometimes a nice meal out or a little MAC splurge (with money that you haven't had to actually go 
out and work for) can feel seriously good if you've had a shitty week.

How do you treat yo' self when you're broke?

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