Are you wondering how to stop spending money on things you don’t need? I have asked the same question and today, I’ve got an answer.
When I was in my early 20’s and got my first job, I enjoyed spending my paycheck! But the problem was I was spending money on unnecessary things.
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 on my spending because I was literally spending money on things I didn’t need. After realizing my spending problem, I started getting more intentional about my spending and even used a budget to start saving money!
How to Stop Spending Money on Unnecessary Things
1. Spend less time with people who like to spend money.
The people you spend the most time with have the greatest influence on you. If you are constantly around people who love to spend money on frivolous things, it may be time to find new friends.
Limit the time you spend 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. Stop spending by shopping with intention.
I used to spend a couple weekends a month going to stores to just 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.
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 intentional 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 you don’t have a purpose for. My husband and I like to look around antique shops often, but only purchase things if we know we will need it.
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 stopped me from spending money on unnecessary items several times and is something that I practiced during my no-spend week.
3. Stop watching and reading things that tempt you to buy.
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” when you do shop.
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 $1-5, 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 before spending money.
By waiting a month, you may also realize that you don’t actually need the item that you thought was necessary. I thought that we needed shelves in our bathroom to hold washcloths and soaps. My husband said to wait a while before getting new shelves.
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 and avoided spending our money on something we didn’t need!
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