Saving money is a lot like weight loss, I guess. If it was easy, we’d all be rich. Or at least create high inflation. But I digress. My point is that it’s tough to save because we all have a bit of a desire to spend our money on stuff.
Obviously there’s nothing wrong with spending in general. You work hard. You earn money. You spend it as you please. Hopefully you’re spending it on the stuff that brings you happiness.
But what if you’re trying to save? What if you want to ease up on the spending for a while so you can save up for a vacation, or build up some college savings for your child? How do you quit spending enough to save some money?
Some find it easier than others to avoid spending a lot. What’s their secret? Do they have a stronger will? Do they use some special technique?
Today I’m going to share some common methods for fighting bad spending habits. But I don’t have all the answers. Be sure to leave your suggestions in the comment section below.
At the Register
Create a Reminder – Write your savings goal(s) on a post-it note. Wrap the note around your credit card, debit card, or money clip. Each time your pull out the clip you’ll be reminded of what you are saving for.
Only Carry Limited Cash – Consider leaving your credit and debit cards at home. Only bring a small amount of cash with you when you go out. You’ll be forced to come back home to get your cards to make a big purchase. This may be enough to deter you from spending money you don’t want to spend.
Instill a One Night Rule – Make a firm commitment to “sleep on it” with every purchase outside of your normal spending. This will give you time to evaluate the purchase and to weigh it against your other goals.
Change Things Up
Avoid the Temptation – If the mall is your weakness, don’t go to or drive by the mall. Take another route to work if your favorite store is along the way in your normal commute. If shopping online is your thing, consider installing BlockSite, the Firefox Add-on, that will allow you to block certain websites or types of websites from being shown in your browser.
Take Up a Hobby – Focusing intensely on something else will take away that idle time you normally have to spend on random stuff. Of course, this could backfire on you if your hobby is an expensive one.
Find a Cheaper Alternative – If you’re dead set on splurging on something. Then at least take the time to find the best deal you can on the thing. Is there a cheaper alternative? Now you can take the money you didn’t spend and put it in savings.
What are some other ways to fight the urge?