Today I’m going to share some tips with you on how to stop spending!
It’s all well and good having a brilliantly calculated monthly budget and knowing that you should have x amount left over at the end of the month but there are often times when you run out of money well before payday.
We’ve all been there (me more often than you’d think) so we know that it’s easily done but what can we do to help stop it? Luckily there are plenty of ways to get your spending under control and stop spending…
Have a budget and stick to it
This one speaks for itself really, doesn’t it? Without knowing what your monthly budget is, you can’t set yourself a realistic amount of money to spend each month and without that, you don’t necessarily know whether you’re spending too much. You can use my free monthly budget printable to work our what your budget is each month and from there you can set yourself an amount of money each month that you can spend on non-essentials. If you can afford to do this then I really, really recommend it as having a little pot of money set aside for random spends so you can (a) treat yourself without having to think too much about your overall budget and (b) not worry as much when unexpected expenses come up.
Keep a spending diary
If you set yourself a spending budget and you find you’re spending more than that without really realising where your money is going then you might find a spending diary helpful. This basically means that you write down EVERYTHING that you spend for a week (or longer) so you can see where you’re money is going. And I mean everything. 😂. There’s no point doing it if you’re not going to add in your cheeky Starbucks or the Greggs sausage roll you sneaked in on your way home from work.
Use the cash envelope system
I won’t go into too much detail about cash envelopes as you can read more about them in my post here but basically, it’s a system where you would get your cash out of the bank on payday and pop it into envelopes for different categories of spending. It’s so much easier not to overspend when you pay with cash rather than using cards. I tend to only do cash envelopes for a couple of weeks at a time now when I need to try and focus on my spending after a bad week (or month) but lots of people use them all of the time!
Recognise spend triggers and do something about it
You may enjoy some retail therapy when you’re sad or bored or just because it’s payday. It might be because you’re trying to keep up with someone else or even just because you can’t resist a bargain. Whatever your triggers are, you need to find a way to stop them from making you buy things you don’t need. The odd treat is great but if you’re finding yourself with less money than you should have then you need to do something.
Personally, I know that my spending trigger is handbags – I can’t resist them and I could spend ages happily browsing through designer bag websites window shopping for things I know I could never afford. I do let myself have a treat every now and again but my rule is that I will only buy a bag if I get rid of one and also, I’ll need to make the money to pay for it so maybe by selling things on Facebook or by doing some extra hours at work. I also tend to buy any ‘designer’ bags that I have from TKMaxx, an outlet store or second hand (read more about that here). By making some rules for myself and not depriving myself completely of what I love, I know that I’m very unlikely to make any impulse buys in that area.
(PS I’m totally aware of how ironic it is that I’m using a designer handbag scenario in a post about how to stop spending)
Realise how quickly the little things add up
The little things quickly add up and can become a big chunk out of your monthly budget. I always use this as an example but back in the day, I used to treat myself to a cheeky chai latte when I did my weekly shop in Tesco as there’s a lovely little Costa in our branch. Even that one small thing each week added up to £15 a month. Also, if it’s regular spending then you should definitely add it to your actual budget – imagine me putting: £15 – Costa treat on my budget. 😉
Not having my chai latte each week isn’t a huge issue and to be honest, it’s not a huge amount to spend if it’s your chance to escape and have some much needed me-time before going back home but it’s an example of how easily things do add up.
Lastly, try this little trick which is almost guaranteed to help you stop spending as much – I swear by it!
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