Society tells us we need to spend money to keep up with trends. Spending money is something we have ingrained into us. We all spend too much money because we fall victim to marketing, our lack of a plan, or lack of awareness of our financial situation. We’re trained to believe you need the newest iPhone, or you need to eat at a 5-star restaurant. There are always events, items, services, foods to spend money on. It’s tough to resist marketing and societal pressures to spend money all the time, but there are ways to combat them!
Our money is not meant to be spent unnecessarily. It’s a tool to be used for our benefit. We work hard to earn money and we should work hard to save it. Not to say you can’t spend your money. Rather, you should spend your money wisely!
How to Spend Less or Stop Spending Money
Whether you’re attempting to reel in your spending to save for retirement, your children’s education, or to pay back loans, it doesn’t matter. You earned your money so you should value it and the time it took to earn it. No more overspending.
Here, we have a list of 12 tips to learn how to spend less money!
1. Track Your Spending
Tracking your spending forces you to be aware of how much you spend each week and month. Becoming aware of your spending habits also allows you to change them. You could find you overspend on groceries, spend too much money on coffee, or anything else.
Tracking your spending teaches you how to stop spending so much money on a hands-on approach. As you see your bank balance or cash reserves dwindle, you’ll be less inclined to go out to eat or buy that new pair of shoes.
2. Create a Budget
After tracking your spending, you gain insight into how much you spend on certain things. With this knowledge, you can create a detailed budget. With a budget backed by tracked spending, you should be able to stick to it. You’ll know how much to spend on groceries each month and how much you have to spend on miscellaneous purchases.
Creating a budget is the most powerful way to gain control over your spending. With complete awareness over your financial situation, you can set aside an amount of money for miscellaneous purchases. With this budget, you’ll be paying all your bills, debts, and still have room for savings.
3. Set Financial Goals
Do you want to learn how to not spend money? Set goals. Whatever your goals are, writing them down and checking on your spending keeps you on track to spend less.
This goes hand in hand with creating a budget and tracking spending. By creating financial goals, you can stay accountable for your spending. With tangible goals you have something you’re working towards. You might want to save money for a vacation, wedding, down payment on a home, education, or something else. Maybe you just want to save money for the future.
4. Sleep on Purchases
If you find something you want to purchase, take a full day and a night’s sleep to consider. No more impulsive buying! Take some time to really think about if it’s worth the money. If you still want it the next day, go for it. However, with time, you mind find that items are less attractive after some time away. This may seem simple but it’s a great way to learn how to stop spending money on unnecessary things.
5. Cook Your Meals
Going out to eat is significantly more expensive than cooking meals at home. You can make a nice meal for half the price, or less, than you’d pay at a restaurant. Not only is cooking at home cheaper, but you also get a sense of accomplishment from eating the meals you cooked.
You can even try meal prepping. Cook once or twice a week, but cook enough food for lunches or dinners for all your days. When you go to work, you’ll have lunch you can take and not have to resort to eating out!
6. Make Grocery Lists
If you’re cooking all your meals, you may still find yourself spending too much money at the grocery store. To lower your grocery bill, start planning out your meals, make a shopping list, and stick to it. Some shops have cheaper dry foods and others have cheaper produce and meat. Shop around at grocery stores in your area to build shopping habits and patterns. Be aware of how much you typically spend at each place and stick to it each time you go.
With shopping habits and a grocery list, you can get your shopping done efficiently without overspending.
7. Convert Costs to Hours of Work
If you have something you want to buy, figure out how many hours of work it takes to pay for it. For example, the item is $100, and you make $10 an hour. Do you want to spend 10 hours of work on this one item?
By putting the cost of items into hours of work, you’ll be able to determine the worth of your time and potential purchases. This is how to stop shopping so much. You won’t want to shop when you relate your purchases to your hard work.
8. Ditch Cards, Use Cash
Credit cards and debit cards are convenient. Too convenient. Shopping with cards often causes people to overspend because the cost isn’t immediately realized. However, cash is tangible and you can carry a finite amount with you.
If you take out cash from the ATM every week, spread that money out over groceries, shopping, and whatever bills you need to pay. When you go out, don’t take your cards with you, only take cash and the amount you think is reasonable to spend. No need to go shopping with $400 cash unless you’re attempting to feed a family of 8.
Using only cash will significantly reduce your spending.
9. Find Free Hobbies
Rather than going to the movies, bars, or something that costs money, find a free hobby! You can pick up hiking, volunteering, swimming, or anything that interests you. Finding a hobby that gives you pleasure and enjoyment is a great way to spend your time. Even better if it requires no money and stops you from going out to spend money!
If you choose something that requires significant startup costs, consider if you’ll commit to it. You don’t want to buy a new bicycle to use it once a month. Instead, you could find a used bike cheaper, or borrow a friend’s and see if it’s something you’ll do often. Then you can buy yourself a new bike if it’s in your budget!
10. Buy Used Items
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying a used item. Plenty of platforms offer items that have been purchased and hardly used if used at all. If you need to buy something for your home or personal use, try checking online to see if you can find it used. Often, you will.
Items that are great to buy used include furniture, books, exercise equipment, outdoor gear, clothes, kitchen equipment, and some electronics. It’s important to check the quality of something you’re buying in person if possible. If not, you can see if the seller has any return policy if something is marketed incorrectly. Buying used items saves money, reduces waste, and helps others out!
11. Create No-Spend Days
You can choose one day or multiple days a week to not spend any money. Do your grocery shopping, bill paying, and other mandatory spending on other days. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is as long as you stay true. Instead of spending money, spend time with your friends or family. Spend your time on things you value, not your money!
By choosing days where you spend no money, it gives you less total time to spend. You’re taking spending opportunities away which should help decrease your overall spending on the week!
12. Cancel Unused Subscriptions/Memberships
Many of us have gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, Netflix, Spotify, journal subscriptions, and whatever else there is. A lot of these memberships and subscriptions tend to go underused or completely unused. Take a look at your direct debits or credit card statements to see if you have any subscriptions you no longer use.
Rather than pay for online books, get a library card. Instead of Spotify Premium, use basic Spotify. Instead of an underused gym membership, pick up running and body-weight exercises. Checking up on your subscriptions may result in you saving $50 a month or more!
Now You Can Stop Spending Money Easily!
After going over these 12 tips, we hope you’ve gained some insight into how to bring your spending down. Many of these methods are meant for everyone, but each person will find some better suited to their position than others.
Your money is yours. Value your money and learn to spend less. This will give you the chance to save for something more valuable than a coffee from the corner store. You can have savings for your retirement.
Are you a compulsive buyer?
Are you one of the many ‘shop ‘til I drop’ shoppers?
Are you in the stores every chance you get?
Does that mean you just might be a compulsive buyer; buying anything, buying anywhere, buying any time you have a chance?
Do you wish you knew how to stop spending money?
If not, then I wish you the best.
If the answer if yes, then keep reading.
How to Tell You Should Stop Spending Money
First, what is compulsive buying? Can compulsive buying be characterized as a disorder? If you buy things on impulse does it mean you’re a compulsive buyer? If you’re one of the many Canadians who shop regularly are you a compulsive buyer? So many questions. Let’s do a little digging to see what we can come up with and where you might see yourself.
What does compulsive buying mean?
Compulsive in the broad sense is anything that can be considered an irresistible urge to do something. When it comes to buying, it is the urge to buy things. More clearly compulsive buying is excessive shopping to the point where it causes distress or difficulty which can lead to problems in other areas of your life. Finances, relationships or the ability to develop a financial plan based on income.
Let’s take it a step further.
Medical professionals have done research on what they consider Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders for years. In general, when it comes to compulsive buying the overall interpretation is this is a dysfunction or disorder that is still not understood. Existing clinical concepts say it is a symptom of an underlying psychiatric disorder.
That speaks volumes to whether compulsive buying means you have mental health issues. An underlying motivation to find the ‘ideal self’ through buying things.
Does this all mean the research indicates that if you are a compulsive buyer you might have low self-esteem or deep clinical issues that require therapy or even medication? This is a touchy subject for many people to read about let alone talk about. Afterall who wants to feel as if shopping means they have problems.
Could it simply be that compulsive buying describes a person who has poor impulse control that only happens when they buy things? Maybe even compulsive buying is a way for shoppers to avoid more self-destructive behavior like substance abuse.
Are you a Compulsive Buyer?
How would know whether to consider if you are a compulsive buyer? Here are some descriptions and statements about people who practice compulsive buying behavior. These are descriptions and statements about people who have meet the criteria for compulsive buying from mental health professionals.
- A feeling of being ‘in the club’ if you use a credit card or shop in an upscale boutique.
- A live for the moment attitude.
- Buying leads to debt that otherwise would have been avoided.
- Buying that leads to distress.
- Denial that you will occur debt if you make a purchase.
- That feeling or thought of you can’t afford it but buying it makes you feel better in the moment.
Some things that clinical professionals evaluate in order to determine if a person does practice compulsive buying include.
- Usually preoccupied with shopping and spending.
- When the main activity centers around shopping and spending all the time.
- Make a purchase every time you go shopping whether you need anything or no not. Shopping becomes a ‘feeling fix’.
- Obsession on having a certain item. A person who owns one of the latest smartphones might be obsessed with buying one of the new 5G folding phones and they’re not even on the market yet.
- Shopping alone or with others who have the same view as you do. Just because a person shops alone does not indicate compulsive buying. However, was one of the things that were reported by buyers who consider themselves compulsive buyers.
- Income does not affect decisions to purchase. The issue is never about can a person afford it, it’s more about buying it because they feel complete. There are reports that men and women on the lower end of the income scale experience more adverse effects. People report leaving price tags on items so they can return them later. Giving things away they bought because they have no use for them is another common practice reported.
- The items are not always expensive. Some things are bought in quantity leading to out of control spending. Buy one get the second half off is a classic example.
- Buying because it was a ‘bargain’
Some researchers have stated that men and women who practice compulsive buying are willing to acknowledge that compulsive buying is a problem. Even to the point of feeling as if their compulsive buying is out of control. Some have gone as far as to admit their buying affects other areas in their life such as relationships.
Stop Spending By Recognizing the Issue
What do you think? Did you see yourself or anyone you know in those words? If you did the next question might be what can be done? Is there a solution?
With any condition or issues in general before a solution can be found there must be acknowledgement.
This might take some time. It might begin by taking a close look at how much time you or someone you know spends shopping. A person obsessed with gambling might tell you once they admitted that gambling was the number one concern in their life things began to get better.
Keeping a running expense broken down into categories can help see what you are buying. It sometimes takes looking at the ‘black and white’ of a situation before someone can see it. Documentation of what a person spends is a good way to track expenses.
How Do I Get Help to Stop Spending?
Support groups are available for people who might want to seek more information but do not want to seek traditional clinical help. Community based groups or people who can offer support may be available to talk with.
If there are underlying issues that researchers tend to think is the case, consider working on those issues. The saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ speaks volumes here. If there are underlying issues from the past, make an effort to find out what they are. If buying causes you or someone you know to feel stress, there could be something else going on.
Men and women who have acknowledged an issue with compulsive buying did so because they finally realized it was a problem. Change takes time. Before a person can make a change they acknowledge there is a need to change. Usually they have some type of a breakthrough that there is a problem
Once they can acknowledge a need to change, they can begin to consider a change. Sometimes people will agree that there is a problem but do not have a plan or any interest to anything about it.
Once the decision or willingness to address the issue becomes real, they have to develop the motivation to make the change. These stages of change are not set in stone. There is no wrong way or right way to address the issue of compulsive buying. The start beings with the acceptance that there is a need to change. Once that happens the change can begin.
There are many men and women who have successfully managed compulsive buying issues. Most people will tell you they prefer to be happy than be sad. If compulsive buying has become an issue, resources are available.
Take time to learn about compulsive buying before you decide you are a compulsive buyer. Find out ways you can prevent behavior that leads to compulsive buying. Ask about resources in your area or online.
The research shows that with the right kind of support compulsive buying can be resolved in a very beneficial manner.