A lot of people struggle financially because they do not know how to stop spending money. This sort of person starts each month with the firm resolve to cut back on their expenses, stick to their budget, and meet their money goals. However, because of their bad spending habits, they end up in the place they started, mired in debt and struggling to make ends meet.
Well, you may be thinking that you are safe, that your spending is in check. Perhaps you should look at your bank accounts and monitor how often you use your credit cards to make sure you are truly in the clear. This is because even when we do not mean to, we sometimes act in ways that are antithetical to our financial goals.
Generally, you cannot intuitively discover ways to stop overspending. You will need guidance on how to save money and potholes to avoid. This article provides such guidance. The aim is that when you come to the end of this discussion, you’ll have the tools you need to stop spending and start saving. If you are interested in learning how to stop spending money, read on to know more!
Spending Triggers to Avoid
The first port of call in the discourse on how to help you stop spending is identifying and avoiding spending triggers. In fact, if you can take care of this from the start, you will spend less while also making brilliant spending decisions. But first, what are spending triggers? To put it simply, a spending trigger is any idea, emotion, or event that makes a shopper out of even the most conscientious individual. This phenomenon arises in the instances when you are feeling down, stressed, unhappy, etc. Impulse shopping then becomes a response to the situation, and a great desire to want to spend money overtakes you. Thus, as stated, one way to stop spending money is to identify and prepare for dealing with the triggers even before they arise.
Spending triggers are myriad and vary from one person to another, generally based on their relationships with money. However, some of the general ones include:
External pressure can be a spending trigger. Some people have been unable to attain their money goals because of pressure from their friends and family. They feel a need to impress and thus want to make others have a favorable view of them. For others, their bad spending habits arise from pressure from social media. Avoid any place that makes you feel like you have to earn more or rake up more expenses to fit in.
Some environments make it seem like your financial decisions are out of your control. Thus, you find yourself looking to make a purchase even when you really have no extant needs. Places like this include your favorite shopping mall, fairs, bake sales, holiday sales, etc. If you always feel like spending money in any of these places, then you may have a problem. One piece of advice is to make sure that your credit cards are out of sight when you are in any of those places. We will have a more elaborate discussion on the tips to apply later on.
The same way stress makes some people want to eat chocolates is the same way it makes some others want to go shopping. They feel the need to make some purchase, and when they buy something, their reward systems are triggered. Thus, if you deal with stress regularly and find yourself spending money to deal with such stress, that is a sign. Identify and plug that hole before it becomes something way bigger.
Apart from stress, the general mood of a person can be a trigger. For example, some people feel like spending money on something when they are happy. Thus, happiness is a trigger. The same goes for those for whom their trigger is sadness or anxiety, etc. In looking for ways to help you stop spending, you should identify these moods and find an alternative to the high spending money gives you. That is the only way to reach your financial goals.
Tips to Get Your Spending in Check
Whether you’re looking to save money while on low-income, want to save to buy a house, or simply want to cut back and stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, there are ways to help stop the spending. Below, we gathered some great tips and tricks to employ if you are looking to reduce your spending. Here they are.
Make and Stick to Your Budget
This is one of the best money habits for anyone looking to reduce their spending rates and improve their finances. A budget gives you a bird’s eye view of your income. Then, from there, you can decide how much you get to spend every day, how much money to save, how much goes into specific projects, etc. It helps you focus on the things you really need and gives you many reasons to spend less on frivolities. With a budget, you also get to keep track of your spending. If you are losing money, you’ll be able to tell where exactly the loss is coming from. So, apart from saving money, a budget also makes it possible to reach whatever savings goals you have in mind.
Prepare Your Own Food
When you eat out, it may not seem like a lot of money leaves your bank account. However, when you calculate the spending over an extended period, you get to realize just how much of your money is going to enrich diner owners. Thus, make it part of your goals to cut back on the money you spend buying already prepared foods and eat more at home. This might be a little hard, especially if you are quite busy. Spending money to buy food could seem like a fair bargain. It really isn’t. To help you, here are a few steps to take. Firstly, include money for food items in your budget. Including food purchases in your monthly budget will force you to make good on it. Then, create a meal plan. A meal plan tells you what to have per time, putting the entire thing more in your control. Then, set aside a time each week to cook. It really may not seem like it, but when you are consistent over time, the impact on your finances will be astounding.
Have a Savings Goal
Whatever you do, make sure you have a savings goal. A savings goal shows you where to channel your income and where to spend money as it comes in every month. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Just take a look at your bank account and then craft the appropriate financial goals. For instance, it could be simply saving towards buying a car or paying off your college tuition or even just a goal for how much you want to save each month. Ideally, it shouldn’t include the money you spend at the grocery store. In fact, any spending with your credit cards does not come within the definition of savings goals. Of course, you may want to set aside some part of your budget for your weekly trip to the grocery store. However, that is different from the money you reserve as part of your savings.
Leave Your Credit Card at Home
A lot of the money we spend comes from impromptu purchases. While walking to work, you see a really nice dress, and next thing, you are pulling out your credit card to pay for it. Or maybe you were feeling low and decided to get a big bowl of ice cream, yet again you whip out your credit card and spend money you did not budget. The more you do that, the higher your credit card debt rises. So, what’s the alternative then? Leave your credit cards at home. Take only the cash you need per time. So, for instance, if you are heading to work, withdraw just how much you believe will serve you and go with that. The same goes for when you go to the grocery shop. Deliberately leaving your credit cards at home will force you to stay within your budget and quit spending money unnecessarily. You will learn discipline and how to stay within your means. With time, you get used to it more and more and might not even feel the absence of your credit card when you go out and reach your savings goals faster. The way you spend money will also reduce significantly.
What if you get into a fix? Perhaps you picked an item of clothing at a shop and did not have enough cash to pay for it? You’ll simply put it back. Whereas on any given day, you’d pay for everything with your credit card, when you do not have that luxury anymore, you learn to prioritize.
Unsubscribe from Unhelpful Channels
Advertising agencies are becoming more adept at locating the pressure points of consumers. Thus, it may be that you are unable to stop overspending because there is a company whose email you get every morning. When they advertise their products, you find yourself instinctively clicking and spending much more money than you ever intended. So, unsubscribe from such lists. This is one surefire way to track your spending and stop overspending. In this scenario, out of sight will be out of mind. Ensure your family and friends are aware of this, so no one sends you a link to the latest dresses in town. Take a look at your income, know how much money you can spend within each month, and stick to it. Do not let advertising companies convince you otherwise.
If your spending is way out of control, you may need to consult an expert. Implementing these strategies on your own is great. However, it may not be enough. This is especially if you are neck-deep in a spending addiction and cannot seem to break free from the shackles of overspending. In such a scenario, it would be foolhardy to attempt to extricate yourself without help. Hence, you ought to reach out to a financial expert for help.
You do not have to fret about the cost. Getting quality financial advice and guidance is really not that expensive. You will certainly find an expert within your budget. Also, the price could significantly decrease based on the level of help that you need. Thus, carefully research financial advisors within your locality. Your advisor must be close to you in the event of emergencies. Next, make a list and check off each name one at a time until you get to the individual that best serves your needs.
If you are a big spender, you would be illusioned to think that you can get a grip on your spending, make your debt payments, and be on track within a short time. It is a good idea to start slowly. You may want to begin by saving a small chunk of your income or even cutting down how much money you spend on clothing. However, make sure that you are firmly moving forward regardless of the challenges you face. Slow and steady, as they say, will certainly win you the race.