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Not spending money is hard! There are so many amazing things all around us just begging for some of our hard earned cash. Temptation is everywhere! But don’t worry – follow these guidelines and learn how to stop spending all your money!
How to Stop Spending All Your Money
Yes, knowing yourself is the key to not spending all your money! Who would’ve guessed? Knowing yourself is important because everyone has different weaknesses. I can’t tell you how to stop spending all your money by telling you how I don’t spend mine, because we may not have the same weaknesses. I have a serious food problem, so I know that in order to not spend my money, I have to be careful when it comes to food.
But you may not spend all your money on food, you may spend all your money on clothes, shoes, games, or anything else. You won’t be able to start controlling your spending until you can identify the areas where you lack willpower. So look over your bank statements and receipts, and figure out what you spend money on recklessly. Once you know your weaknesses, you can start addressing them.
Avoidance is Key
Alright, so you’ve figured out what you tend to overspend on! Awesome! Now to its time to stop spending all your money on those things. I’ve found that avoidance works best. When I’m trying to save money, I won’t even go to a restaurant. I know there’s no way I’ll be able to go and just get a salad or some other cheaper option. If I make it to a restaurant, I’m going all out. And when I can’t decide what I want, I’ll get two entrees for double the price! Yes, I realize I have a problem. That’s why I just don’t go!
But you can use the same tactic against your spending weaknesses! Have a shoe or clothing problem? Stay away from the mall. Spend too much on video games? Avoid Gamestop like the plague! Have an online shopping addiction? Stay off of Amazon! Out of sight out of mind really does work wonders.
Make a List
Avoidance doesn’t work in every case. Sometimes you really need to go to the store. I need to go to the grocery store every week, I can’t just not eat! Therefore, to curb needless spending, I make a list before I go. I put every single item that I need for the week on that list, and stick to it while at the store.
This tactic works for any store that you can’t avoid. We all need stuff every now and then, and sometimes the stuff we need will be conveniently located right next to our biggest weakness. Having a list and making a concentrated effort to stick to it really does help stop you from buying random junk.
Allow Yourself One
I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but sometimes the best way to prevent yourself from spending all your money is to spend a little bit of money. It’s when I don’t let myself eat hot fries for three months that I pig out and eat six bags in a row. But when I let myself have a bag every now and again, I don’t do that.
Sometimes, we have to give ourselves a little win. That way we won’t feel like we are sacrificing all the time. When I make my grocery store list each week, I allow myself one bag of chips and one random impulse thing. Those are both already on the list! Giving myself those two treats stops me from feeling like I’m depriving myself, which helps me curb my other impulses.
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Don’t Shop Hungry
Yes, this is most easily related to food. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry! That’s a rookie mistake. I always spend more at the grocery store when I’m hungry than when I’m not. So now, I will always eat something right before I go shopping to make sure I won’t get hungry in the process. But what if your weakness isn’t food? How can we relate this to other impulse shopping?
I think lots of people end up spending all their money because they shop when they are emotional (Hangry is a valid emotion!). So, in order to not spend all your money, you shouldn’t shop when you are overly emotional. And that doesn’t just mean sad (retail therapy is a thing). I’ve overspent because I’ve been happy, anxious, or even excited. If you are feeling any type of heightened emotion, it’s best to fully experience it before heading out to any of your favorite stores. Shop with a level mind.
It’s Easy to Stop Spending All Your Money
Wouldn’t that be nice? I’d love to tell you that following the five steps above is easy, but that’s just not reality. Its not always easy to have willpower and be disciplined. Not easy doesn’t mean impossible though…for most people.
I’d like to say that everyone can save if they really want to, but I know that isn’t true. Poverty traps are real, and even people in the middle class are struggling to make ends meet. Wages are stagnant and prices continue to increase. But, if you are spoiling yourself, or have a spending addiction, following some of these steps will help you curb your spending.
Do you have any other tricks that prevent you from spending all your money? Let me know in the comments!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.