Are you finding it hard to save as much as your think you should? Do you feel that there is nothing left for investments because your paycheck goes into a bottomless pit every month?
You’re not alone.
That’s the reality a lot of people face.
What you need is a strategy on how to stop spending money on unnecessary things.
If you are trying to figure out how to not spend money or at least how to stop spending money on unnecessary things, we have some great pointers for you. Knowing how to cut back on spending money is key to saving and investing more, getting out of debt, preparing for purchases, and generally forming a solid financial foundation.
How To Stop Spending Money On Unnecessary Things
A first goal that you should set when working to stop spending money on unnecessary expenses is to change your mindset. As with many major life changes, it will start with perspective and a shift in thinking.
Instead of looking at what you’re missing out on, look instead at what you’re gaining.
Sure, you may be craving (or delaying) instant gratification. Or you may be missing out on a night with friends or an item you’d like to have. In its place, though, you are gaining financial security.
Plus, as you begin to cut back your spending habits and develop new ones, you’ll find it easier and easier to save money.
You’ll be much more successful in your goal of reducing unnecessary spending if you adopt the mindset of what you are gaining instead of what you are missing out on.
Key Areas To Focus On For Saving Money
Now, let’s talk about some areas within your life to focus on reducing spending.
There is a level of security in having a pantry full of food. Something fills the soul when we have a meal prepared for us. For these reasons, food is one of the biggest culprits for unnecessary spending. So let’s look at a few ways to cut unnecessary food expenses.
Make A Shopping List: It can be tempting to buy more food than you typically would if you go to the grocery store without a list or while you’re hungry. So before going to the store, write a list of things you’ll need for the week to ensure you don’t forget anything and don’t buy anything you don’t need. A list can help you avoid making another unnecessary trip later in the week and keep you from stocking up on things you don’t need. An added benefit is that it can also assist in making meal preparation more economical.
Make Meals At Home: As mentioned above, a deep comfort comes from a prepared meal. After a long day at work, it can be difficult to muster the energy to prepare a meal. If you dine out frequently, start by cooking at least twice a week and gradually go to three or four times a week. You’ll find it more palatable to make small incremental changes over time.
Another approach is setting aside one day each week to meal prep a few quick weeknight dinners. This way, when you get home from work, you’ll have a home-cooked meal ready to eat.
We all know that there is a certain satisfaction from finding a great deal on clothing. There’s an infectiousness to clothing sales that can result in perpetual spending. Buy-one-get-one sales and the like are proven forms of marketing. If you find yourself buying clothes impulsively or as a form of retail therapy, it can be an area to reduce unnecessary expenses. To lower your unnecessary spending on clothes, commit to not purchasing clothes unless you’ve previously stated and decided to set out to make that particular purchase.
America loves coffee.
We’re addicted. Plain and simple.
But, if you’re looking for how to stop spending money on unnecessary things, this is it.
Purchasing a cup of coffee every day may appear to be a minor expense, but it can quickly add up. Cutting away this one modest expense can result in annual savings of hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
It’s never been easier to shop. You can have exactly what you want at lightning speed with a single click of a button. Amazon, thank you.
As impressive as this is, it’s much too easy to spend unintentionally when shopping online. It literally only takes a single click to make an unnecessary purchase today.
One of the easiest ways to avoid making an unnecessary purchase is to delete all your saved credit card information. While this may seem silly, it’s a very effective way of preventing a purchase as it requires an additional physical step. Plus, it might even prevent a data security nightmare which could cost an incredible amount of frustration and time.
Credit cards are an easy way to spend money unnecessarily. They are a tool of convenience; their aim is to make it easier to spend money.
If you’re having trouble staying disciplined with them, it might be wise to quit using them altogether. Credit card debt in the United States totals a staggering $357 billion. So if you’re currently relying on your credit card to help you pay for expenses, you should evaluate whether or not credit cards are right for you.
It’s time to take action if it’s leading you to fall into debt. Learn how to budget, use cash instead of credit cards, deal with debt collections, and even close your credit cards to ensure you don’t use them again.
Know What You’re Spending Money On
Making and sticking to a monthly budget will assist you in so many ways, even beyond being a great way to not spend money.
If this is your first time budgeting, you might be astonished at how much money you’re spending on small items like coffee, lunches, or that secret snack shop at work that my spouse wasn’t aware of…
Set Goals And Keep Them In Mind
We’ve all been in that situation. You’ve run out of a few essentials. So you dash to the store to get them. However, as soon as you enter through the door, you find yourself filling your basket with a slew of unnecessary products. Now you’re wishing you thought to grab a cart when you only came in for two things anyway.
Do we actually plan on being distracted when shopping for necessities?
However, if you find yourself in this situation frequently, you should make it a point to avoid places that lead to you spending money on unnecessary things.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good bargain? Retailers are master-marketers and know the allure of a dazzling, well-placed sales rack.
If you buy an item you wouldn’t have bought otherwise, just because it’s 25% off, you’re paying 100% more than you would have if not for the sale.
Again, preparing a list before shopping will help you avoid these shopping traps. Then, after you’ve arrived, practice self-discipline. It wasn’t meant to be if it isn’t on your list.
You’ll be able to add it to your budget for next month if you can’t stop thinking about it!
Wait A Few Days
Make yourself comfortable with delayed gratification.
It will help you better appreciate the items you buy while also helping you stop spending money on unnecessary things. So if you find yourself wanting an expensive coat you came across at the mall, wait a day or two and see if you’re still thinking about it. In the meantime, look online for printable coupons or promo codes to save money on the purchase.
Compare The Value of Something With The Hours Of Work It Would Take To Save That Money
Here is a mental exercise you should try when thinking of spending money on an item.
Before making a purchase, compare the cost of the item with the number of hours it would take to save up that purchase price.
You might look at it and decide, “Yep! I’m totally okay with working 4 hours for this!”
Or, maybe you won’t.
This is a way to put things in perspective and help avoid spending money on unnecessary things.
Use Credit Cards Only On Fixed Payments
If you want to reel in the power and dangers of your credit cards, you should make sure you only use them on fixed payments. Doing this will ensure that you pay your credit card balance down every month and won’t let it balloon out of control.
This is a useful tool for keeping track of how much you spend on various items throughout the month. Then, at the end of each month, take a look back and see if there is anything you can cut back on or if you need to update your budget.
If you don’t want to waste a lot of paper each month or find yourself losing them, you might find it easier to take a picture that you save to a Google Drive folder for this purpose.
Collect Spare Change
Do you have an extra jar or vase sitting around at home? If so, this should immediately become your spare change jar. Every time you do laundry, buy a soda, or break a bill, make sure to keep the change that you get in return. Then, make sure you drop it into your change jar and don’t give it a second thought.
Permanently Adjust Spending Habits
Consider all the hobbies, activities, or purchases you make each month.
Maybe you love new shoes, or you can’t get away from eating out, or you won’t give up that gym membership even though you’ve not been using it.
Whatever your spending habits look like, contemplate them.
Are they bringing joy to your life?
Unlike fixed expenses such as rent, utilities, and other monthly payments, discretionary expenses are unnecessary and are therefore easier to stop spending money unnecessarily.
If you have the feeling that you will spend money anytime you go out, start looking for techniques to rein in your spending.
If you know that you buy street food every time you go out, for example, start eating before you go out. Maybe you’ll be better off leaving your credit cards at home, only taking the money needed for the day ahead.
It can also help to unsubscribe from promotional emails from retailers or websites. They’re great for finding amazing deals when you need something, but they’re a sea of temptations when you don’t.
It’s important to remember that wealth begins in the mind.
Once you have the right mindset, changing your spending behavior will be much more achievable.
To keep yourself from spending money unwisely, try using the tips provided in this article. They should help you stop spending money on unnecessary things while also allowing you to get the most joy and benefit from those items you buy.
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