How do you stop the habit of spending? If you’re struggling with spending too much, here is how to control spending habits in ten simple steps.
Choose the money tips that you feel you can tackle right away and you can add more as you curb the out-of-control spending. Getting your finances under control, paying down debt, and starting an emergency fund are all doable. The first step is to reduce spending. Here’s how:
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
How to Control Spending Habits
Do you find that you spend more than you make?
What are some of the money mistakes you are making that may be causing you to struggle to meet your monthly payments?
Let’s sit down together and take a few minutes to evaluate your financial situation. This won’t take long, it will be painless, and it will give you simple steps to move forward with controlling your spending habits.
1. Look at Income Versus Debt
The first thing you need to do is create a spreadsheet that lists your income and all of your expenses and debt.
You have to see where your money is going and why it’s going to certain places.
As you see where your money is going it will be easy for you to start trimming the unnecessary expenses and things that are really just causing you to increase your debt burden.
If you see that your debt to income ratio is pretty bad, you should consider a second job. This will help you have money to pay off your debts and to start adding more money to your savings account.
Here are some ideas of ways you can pick up extra income:
- Make Money with your Phone: 21 Ways to Work Wherever You Are
- Appointment Setter Jobs: 24 Easy Online Jobs for When You’re Feeling Lazy
- Get Paid For Searching the Web (Yes There Are Legit Ways)
2. How to Control Your Spending Habits by Planning your Spending
When you go to the store, know exactly what you need and don’t spend extra.
Stores are designed to get you to purchase things on impulse. Stores are very good at doing this! Be prepared for all of the temptations in the store because there are going to be a lot of them.
Make a list each time you go to the grocery store and cross off the things that you are buying as you find them.
Shop at a time when the store is quiet so you don’t feel rushed to grab the name brand item when you can save money by purchasing store brands.
As you are in the store and you see something, take a second to ask yourself “do I really need this?” By doing this you will really force yourself to resist temptations and to control your spending.
Popular post: Money Quotes That Will Change the Way You Think about Money.
3. Create a Budget to Curb Out-of-Control Spending
The next thing you must do is create a realistic budget.
Trying to pinch your pennies can be very hard. If you have a budget it can help you to work hard to save money.
Create a budget for each month so you know how much you can spend and to know when you can spend.
Some people live paycheck to paycheck. If this is the case, for now you have to be more careful watching your books. This way you’ll know when you have money for groceries and when you need to wait to go out and buy milk.
Some budgeting methods will have you withdraw the money you need at the beginning of each month and make it last through the rest of the month.
Other methods do it weekly so you don’t get tempted to spend the next week’s money.
Spend a few minutes at least once a week being aware of where your money is being spent. Clip coupons and look for other ways to try and cut costs here and there.
This post will help: 8 Clever Budget Tips for Families That Will Save You Tons of Money.
4. Don’t Shop With Sales
This one seems counterintuitive as a way to control spending/save more, but hear me out.
If you know you are an impulse buyer, the worst thing you can do is to go shopping when there is a sale.
The temptation to purchase is going to be there and with a sale you will justify additional spending.
Learning to live on a budget and to live within your means is not easy. Why torture yourself by walking around the mall when you really cannot afford anything?
5. Look Before You Leap
Before you pull your wallet out and buy something, do this simple but powerful exercise:
Imagine that you’re looking in a mirror and ask yourself what else this person could do with the money.
If you really need something, you’ll feel that the purchase makes sense in relation to all aspects of your personality and life.
6. How to Control Spending Habits by Shopping Around
Don’t buy on a whim.
If you spend time shopping around you’ll find the best deals. You’ll also give yourself time to consider whether you really need to make the purchase in the first place.
7. Stop Out-of-Control Spending by Locking Your Plastic Away
It sounds drastic, but it works.
Empty your wallet of credit cards and debit cards.
Swiping a plastic card makes buying things far too easy. You don’t feel any loss of money, only the joy of gaining something you couldn’t afford at the moment.
Force yourself to buy with cash only, and your spending habits will be curbed by your actual spending power.
8. Control Spending Habits by Withdrawing Cash from a Teller
This strategy for how to control spending habits goes a step further than the usual “use cash” advice.
Withdraw money with the help of a person, not a machine.
Psychologically this will make the transaction feel more real.
The money will be more than just numbers on a screen.
And your remaining balance will be a reminder that the teller will not give you more money if you overdraw your account.
9. Come Back Tomorrow
Unless you’re buying a rare, first edition of something or other, there’s nothing forcing you to buy things right away.
If you’re not 100% sure about a purchase decision, walk away.
When your emotions stop dominating your thinking, you’ll be able to decide if you want to go back and make the purchase.
10. How to Control Your Spending Habits by Letting the Sales Pass You By
Don’t fall into the trap of buying things just because they’re on sale.
If you get that second pair of shoes for 50%, what’s the point if you didn’t need them in the first place?
Malls have all sorts of tempting ways to empty your wallet. It’s up to you to avoid shopping mall traps.
How to Control Spending Habits If Nothing Else Works
If these tips don’t help and you find that you still struggle to make ends meet, you need to meet with a financial advisor. You can even meet with a robo-advisor online if that’s easier. Read this if you don’t know what a robo-adviser is (it’s not a robot in charge of your money!!).