You are not a stupid person.
You know that you are spending too much yet can’t seem to stop. Sound familiar?
When you are on the hunt to learn how to spend less money you can be bombarded with tips on cutting cable, meal planning and not eating out.
But it’s not as simple as that is it?
You know what you should be doing, and you do some of it, some of the time. But still you shop too much and wonder where your money has gone.
I’m here to help you find out how you can defeat your overspending habit, without living on rice and beans alone or feeling like you are being deprived.
How To Spend Less Money (And Save) – 6 Easy Tricks
To be successful in training yourself to spend less money you need to understand what drives you to spend too much.
And you need some simple tips that will help you to change your behavior so shopping is not your go to option.
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1. Changing Your Mindset
The starting point in learning how to spend less money is to understand what drives you to spend too much.
Your mindset – how you view money and your life, is responsible for many of your spending decisions, at a subconscious level.
After all you know you need to spend less money, indeed you know how to. Don’t spend. But it’s never as simple as that is it?
Willpower is your secret trick to help.
It’s the same when you want to lose weight.
You know, I know, we all know; to lose weight you need to consume less calories than you are burning so you are in deficit.
But how many of us actually struggle with our weight? Too many. And it’s not because we don’t know what to do.
It’s because of our mind and our willpower.
Some people have oodles of willpower. I have a friend who eats cake every day and is as slim as a wand. She’s not lucky with her metabolism though.
She just has great willpower so her slice of cake is a small slice and she does not consume excess calories.
You need to look deep inside yourself. Find out why you are spending too much money, what is it that is making you go to the store and spend when you know you shouldn’t?
Are you mad, bad or sad at that moment? Emotional spending is huge. It’s the same as emotional eating.
And it doesn’t even make us feel better because once you have spent that money you then have a different emotion kicking in – guilt!
We do make things hard for ourselves don’t we?
Focus on your mindset and be determined to change your shopping ways. If you are an emotional shopper (I know I am) then stay away from the shops when you are feeling low.
Focus on why you want to spend less money and keep that at the forefront of your mind.
Create financial goals or savings goals you want to aim for. When you have a plan for your money you are less likely to overspend.
Because you know directly that overspending stops you from achieving the things you are striving for.
This is your why – don’t lose sight of your why.
2. Be Kind To Yourself
Spending too much money is often about trying to make yourself feel better.
A cheap trick to help you stop yourself from spending money is to practice positive affirmations. And it’s such a simple trick.
Every morning stand in front of your mirror and compliment yourself on something. It can be about your looks, your personality or even your beliefs.
Choose something different every day. These are some of the affirmations I use:
- You deserve to be happy
- Your hair looks great today
- I love your eye color
- You are a good friend
- You are a caring person
- Today is your day to shine
They feel a bit weird to start off with because when you are practicing affirmations you are basically talking out loud to yourself. But subconsciously, hearing you compliment yourself really does help reset your mindset.
Top tip – practice saying your affirmations out loud whilst looking in the mirror.
3. Create New Habits
If you are in the habit of browsing online when you get home as a way to de-stress then this needs to change.
You are tired, you’ve had a hard day. You are vulnerable to the school of thought that tells you to buy something because “you deserve it”.
As you know, buying stuff isn’t the answer because you have to pay for it and you want to spend less money, not more.
You need to change your habits so that spending money is not part of your daily routine. You need to train yourself to spend less money, to help you realize you can live better with less money.
Try having a no spend day or two. They only last 24 hours so not an impossible challenge and they help you to press pause when you are being a bit too loose with your cash.
Don’t browse online if you end up on your favorite stores website.
Don’t go to the mall as a leisure activity even if you plan on window shopping. It doesn’t work out like that does it?
When you do go shopping, on a need to basis, not a want to basis, use mental blinkers. Don’t start browsing the aisles. Stick to your intended purpose.
Another trick I now employ is to keep my head down so I don’t see too much. I don’t need to see everything that is on the shelves as I walk past so why tempt myself?
And always use a list to focus your shopping. Sticking strictly to a list you can go in and out like you are on a mission.
Learn To Say No
We are back to willpower and mindset here. It’s OK to say no to yourself and others.
If you are offered an upgrade on something for a few dollars more, just say no. If you had wanted the upgraded item you would have bought it anyway.
When you see something you impulsively want, say no. You will thank yourself later.
Use the 30 day rule for potential impulse spends. If you still want it after 30 days, and you can afford it, then by all means buy it. But I bet you won’t.
Top tip – always review whats in your basket before you get to the checkout. This is your opportunity to make good where you may have failed by putting in extras.
4. Track Your Spending
When you have to account for every dollar you have spent you will end up spending less. Recording everything you spend, and I do mean everything, makes you think twice about some of your purchases.
I know it sounds slightly bizarre but when I track my spending I think twice about popping out for ice creams on a hot day.
After all, maybe I should have planned further ahead and bought them from the grocery store where they are half the price of my local shop.
5. Have Fun Money
Don’t make your life miserable and one of deprivation. As much as you need to be thinking about how to spend less money, you don’t need to stop spending altogether.
Long term that is not sustainable and leads to miserable life. Even if you have to stick to a tight budget, allow yourself some guilt free fun money. Money you can spend just because you feel like it.
6. Find Alternatives
We often shop when we are bored, or when we feel like getting out of the house but haven’t thought of an alternative.
But those alternatives to shopping are the way to stop spending and start saving instead.
When you change your mindset to that of a saver rather than a spender, then you will be keen to find things to keep you busy that you enjoy but don’t revolve around spending money.
There are a million and one things you could do which would either be free or low cost. Here are a few to get you thinking:
- Read a frugal book
- Take a walk
- Start a money making hobby
- Have friends round for coffee
- Clean your house
- Create your survival budget (for the tough times)
- Have a money conversation with your partner
- Declutter your home, or just one room
- Do some baking
- Mend a piece of clothing
- Enjoy a warm bath
How To Spend Less Money (And Save)
These 6 simple tips will really help you master the art of spending less money.
- Change your mindset
- Be kind to yourself
- Create new habits
- Track your spending
- Have fun money
- Find alternatives
Simple but effective.