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There is just no way around it…
If you ever want to reach your financial goals in life, you need to learn how to stop spending money that you don’t have.
Overspending is a bad financial habit that we all need to get under control. It’s the reason 78% of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck.
Not only that, spending more money than you make is also a huge culprit for people getting into a pile of debt and credit card bills. I’m sure you know how hard it is to get out of debt.
I always say that planning is the key to financial stability. Obviously, overspending is not planned and is not part of your budget.
How to Stop Spending Money
1. Avoid the spending triggers
Do you have a favorite store, shop or mall that you know that if you step in the front door you will be too tempted by all the fabulous items?
I think that every one of us has a place that makes us act like a kid in a candy store. These are the places you need to avoid as much as possible if you want to stop spending money you can’t afford to.
If you do need to go to these places, make it a mission of yours to walk in to get only what you need. Then walk back out as quickly as possible. (Oh, and keep your eyes glued to the floor the whole time:)).
2. Use cash & leave your cards at home
If you want to stop spending more money that you can afford to, use cash. Try taking all your credit and debit cards out of your wallet and keep them at home in a safe place.
Just keep enough cash on you that your budget allows. It is really difficult to overspend if you have no way to pay for the purchases. You have no choice but to just walk away.
3. Learn how to budget money
Learning how to budget money is a no brainer if you want to keep more money in your pockets. When you have a budget you are more aware of where your money is going and have more control over it.
Without a budget, you are simply letting your money control you which is never a good situation to be in. It’s the reason why so many people are living paycheck to paycheck.
Instead, make a plan for where your money is going and how it’s being spent. In other words, you need to start managing your money instead of letting it control you.
4. Find other ways to unwind
Many people shop when they are stressed out, bored, or simply out of habit. Buying nice things do have a way of making us feel better.
The thing is, it doesn’t last and will probably make things more stressful when you blow your budget or get into even more debt because of it.
Try finding other ways to relax and unwind, there are plenty of ways that won’t cost you a dime. Go for a relaxing walk in a park, meditate for a while or go read a book that will take your mind off whatever is stressing you out.
5. Put the cost into perspective
One trick I like to use to help me stop spending money is to figure out how much time I will need to work to pay for impulse purchases.
Divide the price of the items you are dying to purchase by your hourly net salary. This will give you the hours you need to work to pay for that item.
Let me tell you that you will most likely put back that designer handbag when you figure out you need to work two or three eight hour days to pay for it.
6. Set financial goals
Setting financial goals is a good way to stop spending money that can’t afford to. When you have future money goals at the front of your mind, you are less likely to spend money on frivolous things.
Instead, you’ll be much more likely to keep your mind focused on your future and the financial goals you want to accomplish.
7. Always shop with a list
Just like budgeting, shopping with a list is making a plan for where your money is going. But, instead of planning out an entire month of expenses, you are making a short term goal for just one shopping trip.
It’s a mini financial goal to learn how to stop spending money that can’t afford to. Sometimes small wins are better than bigger ones because they are easier to stick to.
Every time you are about to head out to a store, make a list of the items that you need. Don’t forget to stick to your list and only buy what you had on it.
8. Track your spending
Tracking your spending is a good way to see where you are leaking money from. Start by keeping track of everything you spend money on. After a few weeks or months, you’ll have a good idea of where your money is going.
And more importantly where you are wastefully spending money. Once you know what your money leaks are, it’s much easier to plug those holes.
9. Implement no spend time
Try implementing no spend time every once and a while. It could be one day a week, one week a month or whatever you choose, just give it a shot.
It definitely will help you stay on budget and keep you on the road to financial freedom. But in addition, it’ll help you realize that you don’t need to buy stuff to be happy, pass the time or relieve stress.
10. Use the 30 Day Rule
Use the 30-day rule every time you are considering making a major purchase. By taking your time to make a decision you are allowing yourself time to think about what you are buying.
It also helps you to ponder whether you actually need it and how it’ll affect your finances. That 50″ Smart TV might not look so appealing when you realize you’ll need to eat beans and rice for the next 2 years just to pay for it.
11. Focus on saving money for the future
I’m sure there are many things that you want out of life. Maybe you’d love to be able to take a vacation every once and a while. What about buying your first home?
If you ever want to be able to do these things, you need to learn how to stop spending money. Instead, focus on saving money so you can actually do the things you want in life.
Your money will be less likely to be wasted away if you create savings goals that you can look forward to achieving.
12. Negotiate prices
Negotiate prices whenever you are considering buying a big ticket item. Many people don’t even attempt doing this because they are shy are don’t want to look like a cheapskate.
Listen, salespeople deal with hagglers all the time. It’s just a part of their job and they’re used to it, there is no reason why you shouldn’t at least try.
What’s the worst that could happen? Besides, why do you care more about what someone thinks of you than your own financial future?
13. Don’t buy things just because it’s on sale
Being a savvy spender is a great skill to help save more money. It’s when you take it to extremes that it becomes a problem.
I’m sure you’ve seen one of those extreme couponing shows where people buy a ton of stuff because they can get so much stuff for cheap prices. Well, if you aren’t going to use most of those items, then what’s the point.
Everybody likes to get a deal, but it’s only a deal if you actually need and use that item. Otherwise, you are just throwing your money in the trash.
14. Ask yourself “Do I really need this?”
Impulse purchases are usually made with little or no thought about how it will affect you. You should always ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” before making any kind of purchase
Take some time before you hit the checkout and think about how the purchase will affect your budget, your financial health, and your overall financial goals.
You will more than likely put the impulse items back. And after doing this for a while, it’ll just become second nature to you and you won’t even have to think about it.
Impulse or frivolous spending is just a bad habit. Like any other bad habit, it can take some time to learn how to stop spending money.
Try out a few of these tips, once they become second nature, add in a few more and before you know it you’ll have your overspending under control. Once you do, you and your bank account will be so much happier!!
Make a plan for how you are spending your money. Learn how to budget the right way. It all starts with creating a budget that fits into your lifestyle so you can actually stick to it. Join the FREE Build a Better Budget Bootcamp Today!