So, you’re on a budget, money is a little tight, and…. you can’t seem to stop spending money!
I totally get it! I can tell you that I’ve personally had a lot of ups and downs with my spending habits, sometimes sticking to only the bare necessities, and then other times sheepishly trying to hide my purchases from my husband (who, by the way, never gets upset anyway).
It’s kind of like yo-yo dieting. There’s got to be a more sustainable way to break the spending habit, right?
Yes, I think there is. And like dieting, there’s really no one-size-fits-all strategy, but rather a number of strategies that can work together for each person’s individual needs. For me, I’d say the biggest factor for breaking my bad spending habits was setting a savings goal, for you, it might be accountability, or just setting a reasonable budget, rather than a starvation diet.
I mostly talk about how to save money on groceries on this site, but these tips apply to all areas of spending!
How To Save Money When You’re a Natural Spender
Set a Savings Goal. As I mentioned, this has been a game changer for me. Rather than just floating along, spending here and there, you can work to put money back for something you really want. It could be a swimming pool, a car, a retirement fund, or a house. That goal has the ability to change your entire perspective!
Set a reasonable budget. A blow money category may or may not be feasible for you, but if it is, then set a reasonable amount, and commit to spending no more than your budget allows.
Enlist Accountability. This can range from a friend whom you commit to telling when you overspend, to taking someone along to keep you in check while you’re shopping. With this, you have to be sure to enlist the right kind of person. Someone who knows you well, and is not afraid to tell you when you don’t need something.
Avoid stores like the plague. Because to you, they are the plague. It may be hard, but sometimes it’s necessary. Maybe you only need to avoid certain stores. For me, except on rare occasions, I stay far away from Ross and T.J. Maxx – they have so many fabulous deals on things I don’t need!
When you do go, set yourself up for success. plan ahead, eat before you go, peruse the sales flyers, look for coupons, get organized… all these are just a few of the ways you can set yourself up for a money-saving shopping trip.
Unsubscribe from Spendy Facebook groups and pages. Whether it’s a boutiques page, or you local buy/sell group. Unsubscribe from your kryptonite. It can be hard because you don’t want to miss a deal, but you can always resubscribe when the time is right – like when you have a specific budget for a specific item.
Shop with a limited amount of cash – and no cards! There’s no surer way to keep yourself in check than to literally not have the means to overspend.
Here’s a fun idea: Create a reasonable budget for all your necessities, just like you normally would, and then work to get your actually monthly expenses down lower than their allotted amount. For instance, you could use a grocery shopping plan like the $20 a week plan to get your groceries low, low, low.
Then whatever money is leftover, you can put toward future blow money. Because spending money can be fun – and guilt-free – when you do it right! No need to yo-yo diet!