Is your money burning a hole in your pocket or bank account? Do you like spending just for the sake of spending? Do you mix between what you want and what you really need to buy? Are you an impulsive spender and brag about it?! No to all? Well, at least you are here for a reason!
If you want to change the habit of spending too much on things you don’t need and get rid of spenders’ guilt for good, there are a few steps that you should take to reach your goal.
Some of us are natural savers, while many of us can’t really help themselves. But, when you have a limited budget, you will be able to learn the art of cutting your spendings after some practice.
#1 – Don’t buy what you want, buy what you need
Isn’t that the kind of advice that you hear everywhere and it makes you ask yourself: “How can I tell the difference?”
For example, you may see a trendy clothing item and want it, you may want brand new headphones, a musical instrument to play in your free time, a beautiful painting to decorate your home with, a unique antique you came across, etc.
We usually want a lot of things that we could do without and have absolutely no problem in our lives! That is how you know that you don’t need it.
Meanwhile, what you need is something like this: A phone when you don’t already have one, a bed to sleep on when you don’t have one, a fridge in your house to store your food, a computer to work on if your job requires it, medicine, water and electricity in your house which you need to pay for, etc.
Now that you know what you want or need, here is the first step to spend less and save more:
You really should stop buying random things in the heat of the moment and feel guilty later! Wait a few days before buying something instead of purchasing it instantly, because you might actually change your mind.
Cancel all online subscriptions you no longer use.
Resist the urge to eat out. Instead, try cooking at home and you will notice that you spent far less than when you do at restaurants and cafes!
If you use public transportation, try taking the bus instead of a cab next time. If you own a car, use public transportation for a while! This way, you’ll be able to save money on both gas and parking.
Sort out your priorities and stop spending money on nonessentials. For example, instead of buying a new cellphone, see if fixing it would cost you less money. Instead of purchasing merch online, save that money for monthly bills and other essentials!
#2 – Get rid of some habits
If you’re a smoker, this might be the chance for you to quit smoking. You will not only save your health but also your money!
Are you aware of how much you spend on cigarettes? If not, it’s time for you to do the math! Calculate the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly amount of money you spend on cigarettes, using the help of apps like Quit Tracker which shows you how much money you could save if you quit smoking.
It is estimated that someone who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day ($6.28), spends around $207 a week and about $10,800 every year.
Instead, you could save the money you spend on cigarettes and turn it into an emergency fund!
#3 – Break free from debt
If you’re carrying the burden of debt on your shoulders, try to get out of it first and start saving up later.
Here is how to eliminate debt faster:
You should set a number to pay off each month and pay more than the minimum amount.
Pay bills on time and, try not to add more debt to the pile you already have.
Get debt consolidation loans to control and pay off your current debt. While getting a loan to pay off debt isn’t always the best option, at least with a debt consolidation loan your numerous payments will be reduced into one repayment which will be easier to keep track of and manage your payments without having to deal with several creditors at once.
#4 – Set saving goals
We all need a bit of motivation to save more, that is why setting saving targets is the perfect way to do it.
Make a budget plan by creating a list of what you need and what you want to spend your money on in the future.
You can download budgeting apps like Mint, Personal Capital or Pokcetguard that can help create a budget and stick to it, and track your spendings.
If you have a big goal like buying a house or car in three years, you have a big reason to save!
Once you find your motivation to save money, you will learn to separate between what you want and what you need and become a careful and expert spender instead of an impulse spender!