Stop spending money now!
Today I thought I’d share some top tips on how not to spend money. Spending money is, as well know, incredibly easy and the amount of time you look at your bank account balance only to really, really wish you hadn’t is far too often for many of us. However, there’s a brilliant art to not spending money and it’s not as hard as you might think. Of course bills, rent and food are somewhat necessary expenses, as are a great many other things; so I’m instead going to focus on how to not spend money on things that aren’t really necessary.
How not to spend money – starting advice
Before we get to some hands on tips I wanted to give a couple of practical mind set tips to help you with cutting those spending habits. Firstly, always differentiate between necessary and unnecessary expenses. If you are spending money needlessly think whether you could get the same thing cheaper elsewhere or if you could hold off making the purchase. This particularly applies to anything you might spend on entertainment or when you’re looking to buy the latest technological gadget etc.
When your shopping you should always follow these two pieces of advice – 1. Work out how much the purchase will cost you in terms of hours worked! 2. Wait 15 minutes to an hour before making any purchase. These two little tips are an absolute lifesaver when it comes to not spending money as they make you really think about what it is you are spending.
Finally in terms of the saving money mind set you can avoid spending money by simply keeping it away from you at all times. This might seem ridiculous but how many credit cards do you have in your wallet or purse? If your credit cards and your bank card were safely locked away in a draw at home how much money would you not spend? Ok you might not be able to buy a drink or a new gadget when you see it but this is a great thing! Honestly, when I started leaving my cards at home and only taking the money I needed with me – or money I had specifically designated for entertainment my – spending decreased dramatically. This is vital to not spending money when you don’t need to as it takes away temptation.
How to not spend money by budgeting
The second really important set of advice I want to share with you concerns budgeting. Budgeting is the bane of many people’s existence but learning to budget and sticking to a budget are central ways to avoid wasting and spending money. When you create a budget you want to first tally up all your necessary expenses and then factor in some money to put aside for a rainy day (that we’ll be dealing with in the next section). Anything left is all you can spend each month and you should make sure that you don’t spend more.
Ok that’s the obvious side of budgeting but now I want you to create a table of all your expenses for the month and then we’re going to stop you spending that money. Right tally up all your expenses for the month then subtract all the expenses you didn’t need to make! Add this to anything you saved and you have a complete breakdown of all the money you didn’t need to spend last month. I bet it’s a lot bigger than you thought – right? How many small purchases are on there that you could have avoided?
Look I obviously want you all to still have some fun but you’re here to learn how not to spend money. Cutting back on these expenses saves so much. And here’s the biggest secret;
Free entertainment is EVERYWHERE!
Honestly, when you learn this lesson you can just about stop spending money. Why pay for cable when you can watch it online. Why pay for a fancy dinner out when you can cook something mind blowing using a recipe you find on the internet? Why spend your weekend shopping when you can walk around the beautiful countryside this country offers? Why shop in fashion stores when you can bargain hunt on eBay or in thrift/charity stores? Honestly just stop spending money its free everywhere – everything.
Learning this lesson really helped me cut down my spending. I write these articles as entertainment and it doesn’t cost me anything – quite the opposite actually. I really think you can stop spending money just by finding free things to spend your time doing! But hey we need more substance than just this so let’s look at some other ways to not spend money.
How to not spend money by saving it
You can save money in a number of ways but the best ways to stop yourself spending your cash are to put it directly into a savings account where you can’t access it. A lot of financial companies will offer you accounts where if you spend any of the money or make a withdrawal you lose all your interest – some just limit you to one or two withdrawals a year. These kinds of saving schemes really make you not want to withdraw your money so you can happily avoid spending it. If you put in a set amount each month directly from your pay check then the money will soon add up and you can avoid spending anything you don’t need to.
For larger amounts of money ($1000 plus) you can happily put it into a longer term investment to help you avoid spending it. Bonds are a great investment and they can’t be redeemed until they mature – usually 1-5 years meaning the money is out of your hands and you CAN’T spend it. I personally find these a great way to keep money secure and avoid the temptation of a new iPad or TV.
If you’re going to stop spending money then you need to set yourself clear goals of why you’re doing it. This is my favourite piece of advice for how to not spend money as it gives you the motivation to not spend it. So set goals as to what you need to save for and why you want to avoid spending money now – retirement, that once in a lifetime holiday, that sports car you’ve dreamed of since you were a child. Whatever your dreams are and why you want to save money are what will let you stop spending it. I wish you the best of luck and a happy financial future.