7 Easy Ways that You Can Control Spending
The desire to spend is often driven as much by emotion as it is by actual need. Part of eliminating debt and saving
more is the ability to control spending habits. This allows you to spend less and put more of your income into savings and debt elimination.
Here are seven easy ways to control spending habits.
1. Avoid Credit
Once you’ve created a budget, allot yourself weekly spending money in cash. That way, you are reminded of how much you have in your budget when you make purchases.
2. Hide Your Credit Cards
You debit card should be the first (and hopefully last) card you reach for. Credit Cards should be reserved for special purchases only. If you’re reaching for a credit card more than once a day, it may mean that you’re living beyond your means.
Another great trick is to get a post it note with financial goals and attach it to your debit card. Having a visual reminder can help you to curb spending habits.
3. Allow for a Cooling Off Period
Any time you’re tempted by an “impulse buy,” allow yourself a few moments to consider your purchase. Remind yourself that if you make the purchase, you will have to forgo something else in your budget.
4. Do Your Homework
Before making any purchase at the store, use a smart phone to read reviews, do some research, and make sure it’s really the best purchase. If you still want to buy it, see if its listed for a lower price somewhere else. Many stores will match the price.
5. Know Your Triggers
Spending is as much about emotions as it is about need. We’re all guilty of different forms of “retail therapy,” the challenge is to avoid likely triggers. Do you make a daily purchase or a soda or expensive coffee every day at the same time? Try to see if there’s a reason for it.
Do you make the purchase because you’re thirsty or because you feeling listless at work? If you aren’t thirsty, try taking a walk instead of buying the coffee. You’ll get an energy boost and save money at the same time.
Is there a certain store you can’t escape from without making a purchase? Avoid it. If you need to control your spending and you know you’ll be in a high stress environment, leave your credit cards at home, or ask a friend or family member to hold it for you.
6. Tell Your Friends
Many of us don’t control spending because we want to be social, or don’t want to seem cheap. However, if your friends are enabling bad spending habits, it’s okay to talk to them.
Explain that you want to enjoy their company, but are also trying to be financially responsible. Ask if there’s an alternative that is more affordable, or if they see you going on a spending spree, ask them to help you keep your bad habits in check. If they’re really your friends, they’ll want to help.
7. Put Them All Together
These actions may not seem like much, but when you put them together they can create positive patterns that will allow you to control your spending habits and build a better financial future.
Looking for more help? Schedule a free counseling session today or call us at 800-920-2262.