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How To Stop Spending Money On Things You Don’t Need
You’ve been spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need and your bank account is suffering. Debt is piling up, you’re having trouble keeping up with basic expenses and you are beginning to feel defeated.
You often find yourself spending more than you wanted or buying things you had no intention of purchasing in the first place. The good news is, you realize you need to make a change.
and I’m here to tell you that it is possible.
3 years ago that was me. We were a family of 5 with half of our annual income being debt. It was scary, overwhelming, and exhausting. We bought things we wanted without thinking twice about it and because of it we suffered.
That was until one day we decided to make a change. We took control of our money and stopped our overspending once and for all.
These tips although simple in thought can be hard in action but with practice, you can master your mind and your wallet.
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1. Unsubscribe From Store Emails
If you are anything like me you are probably on a lot of email lists from a lot of different stores. Years ago I was huge into couponing and because of that, I was huge into shopping for the sake of a good deal.
Unfortunately, good deals are the fuel shoppers need to keep buying things they just don’t need. I’ve learned that it’s far better to seek out deals when you are planning on a purchase instead of the deals seeking out you when you had no intention of buying in the first place.
If you are looking to stop spending money on things you don’t need cutting ties with emails from your favorite stores is one of the first things that needs to go.
These companies have excellent marketing tactics and they know exactly what to do and say to convince you to make a purchase.
If you feel like you can’t completely unsubscribe from these types of emails perhaps routing them to a different folder will help. The less you see them the less tempted you will be.
2. Avoid Window Shopping
The first 5 years of our marriage my husband and I had one car. He often worked really long days which meant I was without a car most of the time.
A few times a month I would go to the mall for lunch with my mom as a way to decompress from the week. But it would never stop there. We would usually end up browsing the mall and next thing you know “just looking” would turn into full-blown shopping.
Shopping without a purpose is never a good idea for your wallet. Even if you manage to escape without buying anything you are probably driving home thinking about all the things you saw that you now so desperately want. Just what you don’t want right?
3. Keep A Wishlist
When we were getting out of debt 3 years ago I completely stopped shopping for fun. But just because I wasn’t shopping, didn’t mean there weren’t times I still wanted things. So I started writing the things I wanted to buy down on my phone as a way to get it out of my head.
It ended up working so well and I started noticing something funny happening. Most of the things I thought wanted to buy I ended up never actually buying.
Why? because we started budgeting a specific amount every month for “fun purchases” and that money was very limited. I had to start making decisions about what items were really important and what things could wait until later.
By having to wait, the desire to buy would eventually go away.
4. Don’t Browse Online When You’re Bored Or Sad
Nothing is more exciting than receiving a package at the door. The anticipation of the item arriving gives you something to look forward to but as soon as you actually receive it the high wears off and you need to do it again to keep that feeling going.
Retail therapy is a very real thing for some people that can eventually lead to destructive spending habits. Talking to friends, going for a walk or learning a new skill is a good way to break the cycle of sadness/boredom = spending money.
5. Budget For Fun Money
Giving yourself a budgeted amount every month to spend on yourself is important. Depending on your income that amount will be different for everyone. For us, that meant $40.00 for me and my husband each per month.
The important thing here is to be realistic, we are here for the long game. It’s crazy to assume that you will never spend money on yourself ever again, eventually, you will break.
Budgeting for fun money gives you the ability to still enjoy the spontaneity of shopping on the drop of the hat but this time you have boundaries.
6. Always Use Cash
Remember how we talked about budgeting for fun money? Well, it needs to be in cash. With a debit or credit card, it’s easy to justify going over but with cash, it’s impossible to overspend. If you really want to stop spending money on things you don’t need using cash will hold you within your limits.
Today is no better day than to start taking action towards better spending habits. Make it a goal to incorporate one of these tips this week. Like with anything in life the more you practice these new habits the easier it will become. The changes you will begin to see with your finances will bring you more happiness and security than any shopping spree can ever give you.
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