Are you looking for ways to control your spending? For me, spending can easily get out of hand if I don’t follow a few tips and adhere strictly to my strategies! If you would like to learn what those tips and strategies are, then please keep reading! I would love to help you target your shopping quirks and control your spending habits!
1. Know Your Shopping Triggers
The first step to learn how to control your spending is to figure out what your shopping triggers are. Do you shop when you are bored or sad? Do you shop to impress friends? Do you shop on payday because you have money to spend? Learn your triggers, and then stop to ask yourself if it’s worth spending money over. Go over to a friend’s house and chat instead of heading to the mall!
2. Take a Look at Your Budget Weekly
Some of us will usually at least take a glance at our budget monthly. Make a change, and start looking at it weekly. Keeping up with daily expenses and bills that are due will make you realize how quickly your account dwindles. Try to stay on top of how much money you have in the bank. This will help you remember not to spend when you notice that you only have $300 left of your paycheck and you still have to buy groceries and pay your electric bill!
3. Set a Long Term Savings Goal
Having a long-term savings goal is a good idea because you can be reminded of what you are working towards when you hit the mall to shop. Whether you are saving up for a new car, college classes, a vacation, or just trying to pay off debt, make a mental or even physical note of these factors and be sure to think of or look at it often. A reminder is good incentive not to spend!
4. Get Rid of Credit Cards
Credit cards are usually the average family’s number one downfall. Not everyone has issues with credit cards, and that’s great! But for most of us, if it’s there, we tend to use it. Today is the day to toss those cards! If you can’t get rid of yours, then at least leave it at home when you are shopping. Don’t put yourself in debt just to shop!
5. Don’t Go to Stores Often
This tip might sound a little crazy, but it really works! I have found that the more little runs I make to go shopping, the more I spend. Even if I just need to grab milk, inevitably I remember something else I wanted to pick up, or I will see something on sale or something that is inexpensive and grab it too. Stick to grocery shopping once a week or less. And try to cut your trips to the mall or other stores down to once a month. You will notice a change in your wallet for the better!
6. Take Cash Only
Before you head out to shop, whether it’s leisure shopping or grocery shopping, decide how much you can spend. Then, withdraw that amount in cash from your bank account. Finally, leave all your credit and debit cards and your checkbook at home in a safe spot. Now you are committed to your budget, with no chance of overspending!
7. Break the Urge to Spend
Teach yourself how to break the urge to spend. For some, it comes easier than others. Ask yourself if you really need it, or could you make do without it. Ask yourself why you are buying it. And ask yourself if you could shop around to find a better deal. Once you have answered all those questions truthfully, you may find out that you don’t actually need to buy the item in question! Continue this pattern, and soon you will break the urge to spend.
8. Reverse Psychology
Play a game of reverse psychology on yourself. Many times, we spend money in order to feel in control. Being able to buy things makes us feel powerful and in charge! Trick your mind! Tell yourself that spending money won’t make you feel in control, but saving money will. And it’s the truth! When you are truly in control of your money, you are able to account for every penny, and you decide where it ends up. The savings account is always a better place than the store change drawer!
9. Go Shopping with Specifics in Mind
My final tip to control your spending is to never shop just to browse around. That will inevitably lead to impulse or unnecessary purchases! Go with a mission in mind, something specific you need or want. That way, you can avoid other sections of the store, and sidestep the temptation to buy!
Learning to control your spending will not be fun, and it won’t be easy! But in the end, you will realize that not only have you saved yourself money, but also you have avoided piling up more things in your home by only buying what you need instead of what you want. Wants and needs are easy to confuse, but you have to learn to balance the two! Needs come first, then wants. And you don’t have to give in to EVERY want. How do you control your spending?