5 Ideas to Help You Avoid the Temptation to Spend

by Tracy · 0 comments

Does money burn a hole in your pocket? Some people just seem to be more naturally inclined to spend money the minute they get it while others have a knack of squirreling away any excess for a rainy day. If you’re a spender at heart, don’t feel like you are doomed to live paycheck-to-paycheck. Instead, accept that you will have to make conscious decisions to take actions that will help you channel your urge to spend in other directions.

Here are five ideas that can help you spend less and save more:

1. The best savings tip I know is to stash away your savings first before you have a chance to spend it. Of course, you could always take the money out of savings, so to make that less attractive, find ways to keep yourself focused and motivated. As cheesy as it might sound, one of those charts that charities have to track progress towards their fund-raising goals could also be a good way to look forward to watching your savings grow. It’s also a good idea to make your savings reasonably difficult to access by not linking it to your checking account and either declining an ATM card or keeping it locked away.

2. Find other activities that will keep you busy without requiring you to spend extra money. Exercise is great for this! Many people find that the exhilaration they feel after working out is a great substitute for a shoppers high or spending big cash on going out to restaurants and nightclubs. Just be mindful that you don’t use your new exercise routine or hobby as an excuse to give your credit card a workout from buying every piece of gear or enough supplies for a year.

3. Make good use of your local public library. For many, it’s not only a great source of entertainment and information, it’s also a good way to satisfy their urge to “acquire” something without spending cash or cluttering up their home. If you’ve been spending lots of money on lattes so that you can hang out in the coffee shop with your laptop why not try the library instead to fill your need to be around others while you work? Most libraries these days have free wireless Internet access and many also offer comfortable areas with cafe-like seating as well as traditional desks and tables.

4. Adopt a cash-only policy for your day to day expenses. The envelope system is one popular method. Basically, each pay check, after paying all of your big bills (mortgage, utilities, etc) you withdraw the cash you have budgeted  for groceries, gas, clothing and other spending categories and spend that instead of using your credit or debit card. Once the cash is gone, that’s it until the next pay check. Even if you don’t feel like adopting the envelope system fully, do try a cash only policy for incidental expenses like coffee, gum, sodas and other small expenses that add up. Give yourself your “allowance” in cash every week, pay period or month and make it your policy that once that money is, that’s it for little luxuries until it’s payday again.

5. Take the initiative in suggesting free or low cost activities to your friends and family. Often, groups find themselves falling back on going to the movies or a bar or a restaurant when it comes time to plan “hang-out” time. Be proactive and find fun, frugal ways to have fun as a group. Chances are people will be grateful that you’re not only saving them money but you also found something new to do! Learning how to entertain on a budget is one of the best things you can do for your social life.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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