Around 65% of Americans have no idea how much they spent last month which shows we’re bad at tracking our money.
Developing a spending habit puts at you risk of getting into debt and upsetting your household. Perhaps you’re desperate to have a healthy relationship with money but you’re not sure where to start.
Sounds familiar? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here is how to curb your spending habit.
Decide Which Bad Spending Habits to Break
If you’re not sure how to spend less, start by identifying your bad spending habits. Look at your bank account and figure out whether eating out or shopping online is consuming your funds. This will show you which areas you’re struggling with so you can find ways to avoid them.
For example, curb online shopping by blocking the major sites and removing your credit card details. Creating obstacles will give you time to process what you’re doing so you can stop yourself.
Create a Budget Plan
Don’t know how to change your spending habit?
Then create a monthly budget so you know how much to spend on essentials like food or utility bills. Put your financial goals at the top of the list (e.g. debt) so you’re pouring most of your salary into that.
Get into the habit of tracking your spending to avoid any mishaps. For instance, if you’ve visited Starbucks multiple times in a month then you know to avoid it. Or those who love gambling should find the best betting promotions so it doesn’t affect their budget.
You could also set aside a small chunk for fun. This is so you can still have a monthly date night or have a meal at your favorite restaurant without feeling guilty. Plus, when you give yourself leeway then you won’t be tempted to overspend.
Only Carry the Cash You Need
Break bad spending habits by withdrawing enough money for the month and keeping your credit card at home. For instance, if you’ve dedicated $100 for groceries then only bring that so you’re not tempted.
You should also place friendly reminders in your wallet. Write “do I need this?” or “will these eat into my budget?” onto pieces of paper and bring these out when you’re contemplating buying an item. In most cases, you don’t need an extra t-shirt or a new purse.
Always Create a Grocery List
How many times have you wanted to buy milk but you’ve ended up with 10 other items? We’ve all been there.
But you can stop buying unnecessary items by creating a grocery list. Write down the essentials and stick to them. Or, if that’s difficult, ask a family member to go shopping for you.
Change How You Think About Sales
Sure, there is a sale for 25% off pants, but do you need them?
Regardless of the discount, if the item isn’t in your budget then step back. The problem with sales is that you often buy double the amount because it’s cheaper. But that will likely exceed your budget so refrain from making any purchases, even if they’re in the sales.
Plan Your Meals
On average, Americans dine out five times a week which can get expensive.
To prevent this, plan your meals and get the ingredients on Monday so there’s no need to eat out. And when you do eventually dine out, avoid getting side dishes or an appetizer as they quickly add up.
Visualize Your Financial Goals
Not sure how to watch your money spending?
Write out your financial goals and hang them in a prominent place so you have to look at them. This could be a photo of your dream home or car which will remind you why you’re budgeting when you’re tempted to spend.
Sleep on Every Purchase
Before you buy those shoes, force yourself to think about it. Put the item back and wait at least 24 hours until you buy them. We often succumb to impulse purchases so give yourself time to figure out if you need them and if they align with your budget.
You should also research the item and compare prices with other stores so you make a better buying decision.
Avoid Your Spending Triggers
Whether it’s a morning takeaway coffee or a purse you’ve had your eyes on, we all have triggers that encourage unnecessary spending. The goal is to limit your contact with these so you’re no tempted.
For instance, avoid your usual coffee spot or the shoe store by taking another route.
If you’re struggling with spending, confide in your friends and family so they can support you. Instead of going to the mall, your loved ones will suggest other forms of entertainment like going for a stroll or hosting a potluck.
You could also nominate an accountability partner whether it’s a buddy or your spouse. They should discuss your financial goals and remind you of them when you’re tempted to spend.
Practice Gratitude Daily
Every morning, list everything that you’re grateful for. It could be having a great home or a decent salary. Plus, when you appreciate what you have, then you realize how little you need.
That’s How to Curb Your Spending Habit
Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know how to curb your spending habit.
Figure out where you’re overspending and create an ironclad budget so you can track your money. You should also sleep on every purchase, lean on others for support, and constantly visualize your financial goals. Good luck!
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