The Three Day Rule will change your mind-set and boost your bank balance
Thismoneyworks interviewed Sarah Taylor to find out how she went changed from living payday to payday to finally starting to save some cash.
- Her mother advised her to think about purchases overnight
- Sarah pushed it to three days and banned items she could only use once
- She saved money and lost weight by cutting out takeaway foods and coffees
If you struggle to keep your spending in check and you’re always in the red before pay-day you might think a strict budget is the only solution.
But one simple lifestyle hack can help curb overspending, and best of all there’s no couponing or haggling involved.
The trick was revealed by Sarah Taylor from Leicester, who told thismoneyworks that her life changed when she started following the ‘Three Day Rule.’
After struggling to control her finances, she vowed that she wouldn’t buy anything she could only use once, such as a takeaway coffee, and for anything else she’d wait three days before purchasing – and only buy it if she still wanted it.
Sarah decided to take control of her spending when she realised she had saved none of her wages from the past year, forcing her to constantly ask her parents for money. Her credit card was maxed out, she was behind with payments, and didn’t have enough cash to fix her ailing car.
Sarah says: ‘Impulse buying is what really ruined my savings. I would see something and HAVE to have it.’
So her mum gave her a sage piece of advice: if she saw something she wanted STOP, WALK AWAY and go back to it the next day. That way she could go back, buy it and feel no guilt.
Sarah pushed that advice to three days and put the trick into practice and found it worked immediately.
Sarah says that she would often spend £3 on coffee and £5 on sandwiches for lunch at work before she implemented the Three Day Rule.
SARAH’S MONEY-SAVING TIPS
– Buy groceries instead of eating out as they can be eaten more than once
– Buy toilet paper in bulk and when it is on sale not because you have run out
– Buy coffee to make at home
But she does admit it was difficult at first, saying: ‘I was denying offers to go out with friends, driving right past a McDonalds when all I wanted in life was some fast food.’
But Sarah stuck to her resolution and as well as saving money, she even started losing weight as she cut out takeaway foods and coffees.
Two weeks later, she got paid and still had cash to spare. When she checked her bank account, she still had £200 leftover that she hadn’t touched. It was then that she realised how she could save money and it became a game to see how fast she could do it.
Now, Sarah waits three days before she purchases something and if she does then she can buy it and feel guilt-free.
She gave herself some rules to follow: ‘I told myself I wouldn’t buy it if I could only use it one time (coffee, fast food, shots at the bar) but if I really wanted it three days later, then I could go back and buy it.
‘I don’t even know how many impulsive buys the Three Day Rule prevented. I only specifically remember really craving Subway for three days and then I rewarded myself with a sandwich. ‘I remember feeling disappointed because I could have made a better, faster, cheaper one at my own house.’
Anything that works for you and helps you stick to your budget is a good technique, so this could be worth a try.
Whichever method you decide to go for there are a couple of questions that you should always ask yourself before handing over any cash.
‘If you’re skint ask ‘do I need it, can I afford it and have you checked prices elsewhere?’, even if you’re not broke ask ‘will I use it, is it worth it and have you checked prices elsewhere?’
‘You can then push this further and make sure you’re getting the most for your money, in all the ways you’re spending it, such as looking at how much money you can save on your bills and checking if you’re paying out for something you don’t use, such as a gym membership.
Turning this into a game is a really powerful tool, changing your mind-set from the negative “I am depriving myself” too “Wow, how much have I achieved”.
Becoming more self-aware is a huge step towards making the right choices. Watch that bank balance grow!!