Spending money

Do you spend too much money?

Are you looking for some ways to keep you from spending money? Well, you have come to the right place. It can be hard to resist the urge to go shopping or to buy items that you really want. Here are 10 tips to help you fight the urge and help you get your finances in order.

1. Put your credit cards in the freezer

If you have tend to carry a balance every month on your credit card because you don’t have the money to pay it off , then this can be a great solution. Put your credit cards in a container, fill it with water, and then put it in the freezer. Once it is frozen, it will be really hard to get to the cards without damaging them. You will be forced to wait for them to thaw in order to be able to use them. By the time the ice has melted, it is possible that you have lost the desire to buy that impulse item. Can’t live with out the rewards of a credit card? Consider signing up for a cash back debit card that pays up to 2%, you get the rewards without the debt.

2. Sleep on it

When you go to the store, is it hard for you to say ‘no’? If so, implement the 24 hour rule. Tell yourself that you will not buy anything without sleeping on it and giving it 24 hours before purchasing. This will let the emotions settle and let you evaluate your financial situation to determine whether you can afford it or not.

3. Get an accountability partner

Is self-control difficult for you? Consider getting an accountability partner. If you are married, this would be the first person I would look to.  I mean, who better to keep you in check than the person you have teamed up with for life. If you don’t have a spouse yet, that is OK, find a friend or someone who you trust and that can be objective. Don’t ask your close friend who is a shopaholic and has no self-control either. That would be like the blind leading the blind. Find someone who will be honest and that will be tough with you when necessary.

4. Stay out of the mall

If you go to the mall, do you find it hard to walk out empty-handed? If so, stay out of the mall for a period of time. The time that you decide should be tied to a goal that you have. For instance, if you are trying to save for a Starter Emergency Fund of $500, and you think that will take a month to save up, then tell yourself to stay out of the mall for 30 days. This way you have a good reason of why you can’t shop and you know that it is only for a season. You will be more motivated to stay away if you do this.

5. Limit your internet use

Perhaps your challenge is shopping on the internet. You should look at blocking certain sites from your computer. Once again, you can do this for a short period of time in order to achieve one of your financial goals.

6. Reflect on your goals

Do you have any goals when it comes to your finances? Having a goal can be powerful and can motivate you to change your behavior. Here is a list of goals that you could consider adopting:

Get out of debt
Spend less than you make
Establish an emergency fund
Pay for college without taking on debt
Save up money to go on vacation

7. Use the Cash Envelope System

If you froze your credit cards, than this is probably going to be your best option since your plastic is now unavailable. Look at your variable expenses, categories that vary each month, and make an envelope with that category written on it. Then determine an amount of cash to put in the envelope. For instance $250 for groceries. Then only buy groceries with cash out of that envelope. For more details on this, check out How to use the Cash Envelope System.

8. Hang out with frugal people

Generally speaking, you are who you hang around with. If you hang out with people who spend money like it is water than chances are that you do the same. One thing that is important to note is that there is a difference between being “frugal” and being “cheap”. Someone that is “frugal” is conscious that they only have a limited amount of money to spend so they must have a plan when it comes to spending money. Their priority is to be wise when spending money. A “cheap” person is more concerned with getting a good deal just for the sake of being able to say they got a good deal. Which you rather be, frugal or cheap?

9. Create a shopping list

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and spent more than you wanted to? You went in to get 3 items and came out with 10. Well, putting together a list of items that you need and not straying from it will help keep you from unnecessary spending. There are also some handy mobile apps out there that you can use to create a shopping list.  I use Out of Milk for Android and I have found it to be really helpful.

10. Know what you own

Are you notorious for having duplicates of almost everything? You have two copies of the same DVD. You have three hammers because you could find the first two, so you made a trip to Home Depot to get the third. Getting organized can help you avoid this from happening. If you want to know what DVDs you own, spend a Saturday morning arranging them in alphabetical order. If you want to know what tools you have, go through your tool box and organize it so that you can find everything easily.

Do you have any other ideas on how to keep from spending money?

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