6 Easy Ways to Stop Spending
We live in a country where less is less and more is more. If you don’t have the newest iPhone or this season’s style you can often feel like a leper. However, in the back of most people’s mind is a desire to save, an interest in more comfortable finances and a tinge of buyer’s remorse every time you indulge in your wants.
The impulse to purchase is hard to ignore, but not impossible to defeat. Here are a few tips anyone can follow to help you stop spending and start saving.
1. Limit Your Card Use
Most have heard the saying “cash burns a hole in your pocket”, which isn’t entirely untrue, but it seems that credit cards are really the culprit singeing your shorts. A Psychology Today article stated that “people are better able to control their behavior when they have physical objects that help to guide their behavior than if they have to think conceptually.”
Therefore, if you’re paying using cash, it’s easier to see how much you have spent and how much you have left than it is if you are constantly swiping a credit card.
It isn’t always advisable to carry cash, but if you are going shopping or out for drinks, try limiting yourself by carrying a set amount of cash that you will not allow yourself to go over. This means putting your cards on lockdown, or even leaving them at home, to avoid temptation.
2. Shopping List
When you go grocery shopping it can be very easy to buy items you don’t need.The shelves by the register and the ornamentally stacked deals on soda and chips cater to consumer’s impulsive shopping tendencies.
Resist temptation by coming up with a shopping list, before you leave the house, and stick to it.Make sure you are only purchasing things that are needed instead of loading up on Buy-One-Get-One snack deals.
3. Compare Prices
If there’s an item you have to have, or you’re allowing yourself an indulgence, at least take the time to shop around. Saving money doesn’t mean you have to cut out everything you want and go with the bare bones necessities. It just means you have to make an effort to shop smarter.
If you have the extra money to splurge on a flat screen, go for it, but make sure you’re getting the best deal. Checking out prices online can save you hundreds on big purchase items.
4. Use the 48-Hour Rule
This method is the best way to avoid impulse purchases. When you spot something you really like, it can be easy to buy it and go. Often this results in some remorse if you’ve spent money you shouldn’t have.
You can battle this urge to splurge by giving yourself 48 hours to consider whether or not you really want this item and if it would be worth the chunk taken out of your finances.Whether you go for the purchase or not, you’ve at least given yourself ample opportunity to weigh the gains and losses.
5. Get a Prepaid Card
If you don’t feel comfortable carrying cash this is another way to control your spending. Prepaid cards give you the option to load as much cash as you want onto the card’s account and use it like you would a debit card. It comes with limited fees and does nothing to damage your credit.
Determine what type of purchase you really struggle to control.It could be coffee, alcohol, clothes, dining out or anything else that isn’t a necessity.Portion out a predetermined amount of your finances onto a prepaid card and only allow yourself to purchase your “bad habit” items on that card.When the money is out, it’s out.
This tactic will force you to limit yourself and possibly create a desire to look for better deals.Make sure you’re realistic and exercising restraint when loading a prepaid card for this reason.Really try to cut back by only putting half of your estimated expenses on the card.
6. Boredom Deterrents
A lot of times boredom breeds spending.It tends to force people out of the house and into restaurants, movie theaters and bars.Avoiding those spending hotspots could save you a ton of money throughout the month.
Find a replacement for the typical money draining options.Read a book, play board games, go to the pool or lake, take a walk in a park.Tons of entertaining alternatives are out there that can help you spend less, or not spend at all.
Reducing your spending doesn’t always have to be about sacrificing good times and giving up new things, it just might require a little forethought and planning on your part. If you take the time to consider options other than just swiping your card at will, you could save hundreds.