When I was in my early 20’s and got my first job, I enjoyed spending my paycheck!
At the time, I hung out with a couple of friends who also loved to spend money. Every weekend we would go out to eat and it wasn’t the Dollar menu at McDonald’s either! It was a sit down restaurant.
On Saturdays we would hit the mall, Target, and Hobby Lobby.
Often we would get pedicures together. Don’t get me wrong. A good pedicure is a nice treat every once in awhile, but twice a month really added up especially when I knew I could paint my nails myself.
My closet was full of clothes and shoes. My room was decorated nicely. I knew the menus at the restaurants by heart, and my feet were in good shape from all those pedicures!
However, I needed to cut back. That is when I started controlling my spending by sticking to a budget and actually saving money!
Here are some specific ways to stop spending.
1. Spend less time with spenders.
I limited the time that I spent with people who like to shop and go out to eat often. This can be hard to do, but it is important if you want to stop spending money on things you don’t need.
2. Shop with purpose not for leisure.
I used to spend a couple weekends a month going to stores to look around, and I would end up buying a new shirt or pair of shoes even though my closet was full. Now, I don’t go shopping unless there is something that I need. Besides, shopping with a one year old can be quite the chore!
If you find me at the mall, I am looking for something specific. I only go into the shops that carry exactly what I am looking for. When I go to the grocery store, I carry a list and stick to it. This eliminates impulse buys.
I love the book, Living Well, Spending Less* because the author Ruth Suokup explains that shopping should not be a hobby. Yes, it can be enjoyable, but shopping should be purposeful not just to spend money when we are bored or emotional.
Disclaimer: Window shopping can be fun, just make sure you are NOT buying anything. My husband and I like to look around antique shops.
But my rule is this: If I didn’t need it when I walked into the store, I don’t need it when I walk out of the store. This has helped me save several times and is something that I practiced during my no-spend week.
3. Stop watching and reading.
We are constantly getting advertisements via blogs, YouTube videos, celebrities, social media sites, even apps on smartphones! I have stopped watching certain YouTube channels and following certain bloggers because it seems as though their posts are commercials for the next best hair product, trend in clothing, or home accessory.
These people advertise it as something that we just can’t live without, but truthfully we could live without a lot of what we already have. I love decorating my home with what I already have!
4. Avoid the “Gotchyas”.
You know what gets me every single time? The Dollar Spot at Target. There is something about what they have in that small section of the store that always speaks to me. I know I’m not the only one!
The items are only $1-3, but those dollars add up fast, and it is usually spent on stuff that I don’t need! In order to avoid the temptation completely, I now walk right past that section when I enter the store.
5. Wait a month.
By waiting a month, you may also realize that you don’t actually need the item. I thought that we needed shelves in our bathroom to hold washcloths and soaps. My husband said to wait a while before getting them.
In the meantime, I rearranged the cabinet under the sink to store the cloths and soap. We realized that really didn’t need to spend money on new shelves!
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