Spending more money than we intended to is something that happens to all of us, when we least expect it, and usually unconsciously and unwillingly. Before we know it, it's only the middle of the month and we are already out of our earnings – not a desirable state for anyone. As much as we try and curb our extravagant spending habits, they never last for long! Perhaps the one lesson we all need, at least every now and then, is on how to stop spending money.
10 Awesome Ways to Curb Your Expenditure
Knowing how to stop spending money is probably one of the most important life skills that a person can master, especially in this age of consumerism and materialism where shopping and spending is one of the most favorite pastimes of many! Here are some tips on how to stop spending money that may be useful to you.
Make Saving a Priority
Saving should be your number one priority every month, immediately after you get your salary. A considerable portion of your earnings should be put aside or put into a bank account that shouldn't be touched unless for emergencies. This is a good practice that will keep your money secured as well as give you less to spend throughout the month.
Use Cash Only
Instead of using your credit card or debit card to pay for your spending, use cash. Using cash gives you the visual experience of how much money you have left and it is also a great way to know how to stop spending money when you have reached the limit. Money in your debit or credit cards often become meaningless numbers, but it’s the cash that always looks like "real" money.
Balance Your Expenditures
Immediately after you get your salary, pay for the necessities – your mortgage or rent, your bills, your grocery, and of course, a portion of the earnings in saving. Only use the rest to spend on extravagances or luxury items.
Limit Your Luxury Spending
Put a limitation on the part of your spending that is not necessary, i.e. shopping for clothes, eating out, traveling, etc. Create a special budget to determine how much you can specifically afford to spend on each of these luxurious parts of your lifestyle, and stick to that amount.
Eat at Home
One way that people end up spending more than intended is while eating out, which is a problem for many people. If you want to know how to stop spending money, start eating at home more, especially before you are going out shopping or to meet a friend. Cook your meals rather than order in every night; pack your lunch for work instead of eating out, too.
Make a List for Shopping
While you are going out to shop – especially for clothes, or anything for your home – always make a list that will have only the names of the things that you actually need. Making the list isn't enough unless you can stick to it though! Curb your desire to go window shopping and only visit the stores that you know for sure has what you need, and then return home. Browsing and looking around will only result in buying something that you didn't really need.
Surrender All Your Credit Cards
Credit cards are a huge reason why people often spend much more than they intended to. Since there are no real and physical money exchanging hands, people don't take spending on cards seriously. If you want to stop this from happening, surrender all your credit cards, and just keep one for medical and other severe emergencies. Stop taking your credit card with you when you go shopping because a sale isn't an emergency, neither is a lunch.
Wait Before You Splurge
If there is something – out of your planned budget – that you feel strongly about purchasing, don't rush out of the house with your credit card the instant you have the idea. Wait for a few days, at least 3-4 days, for the initial rush to simmer down a little; then if you still think you want it, go ahead. If this was something you were only momentarily excited about, the wait will diminish the desire to spend. On the other hand, if you really wanted it, the rush would still be there after 3 days, and you will be able to spend on it without feeling guilty.
Be Careful about Sales
Sales can be a great way to get your money's worth, as well as a place to end up spending more than you originally intended to, so it is a good idea to be careful about sales. The idea of getting ketchup free with a packet of instant noodles is novel, but not when you end up buying 10 packets of noodles when you only need 2. That's how overspending is often disguised as saving; you will think that you are making a profit when in reality, you are going overboard with your purchases unnecessarily.
Do Your Chores Yourself
Another way that we spend a lot of money needlessly is by paying others for chores that we can do ourselves, i.e. chores like washing our car, shoveling snow or mowing the lawn that neighborhood kids get paid for. Instead of paying them, these chores can be easily completed by us, without any cost. In the same way, some families pay their own kids for chores around the house, besides their weekly allowance. This can be avoided, too, by rewarding your children with promises of extra television time or a play date – or longer Internet hours for older children – rather than money.