How do you stop spending in a time when spending and acquiring things is in the forefront of our minds. We are bombarded with adds at every turn, in the news, on television, our cell phones, our emails, there is now place to get away from the constant sales pitch. This is all designed to get you, and your money to part ways. You have to wage a good fight against these clever marketeers as they are quite skilled at convincing you to spend your hard earned money on their wares. But there are ways to fight back.
[Read: Basic Steps to Drastically Reduce Your Spending]
Factors To Consider
- Your Income
- Your Expenses
- Your Monthly Budget
- Your Spending Emotions
The raw numbers part is easy, look at your net income, your current monthly expenses and your budget get the graphs and spread sheets together and get the plan set out. Now you have to look at your emotional aspects of spending. This is where you talk yourself into buying that new jacket, or new pair of shoes, even when you already have a closet full of them. Are you buying to fill a need of some kind, are you bored, there can be many reasons why, and this is not a psychological exam, but you have to look to your motives as to why you spend.
You have a budget in place, but you still seem to spend more than the budget and your pay check allow each week, month and year. How is that happening, well one way is that you are not keeping track of the “little” things that keep siphoning money out of your pockets. Trips to the coffee shop, or the quick mart all add up, and are not usually earmarked in your monthly budget, keep track of all of them, keep a pad of paper with you, or record them on your smart phone, and tally all them up, you would be surprised how much extra you spend on the little things.
WHAT IS MAKING YOU SPEND
There are complex emotions swirling around in our heads each and every day, some of which make us do things that we later wish we hadn’t. It is important to try and stop to think just as you are about to spend that money on the next big thing, why you are there, what is going on in your mind that drove you to this point, is it sadness, or stress? These things can trigger you to do things subconsciously and when you are able to figure out what they are you can change that pattern, and find a new outlet for that emotion.
SURVEY THE DAMAGE
Once you have started to keep track, and you understand what triggers your spending habits you can look at past months and see what the financial damage was. This is where you then can go back to your budget and reassess the items that you have in there already, and see if there are any categories that you can cut out now, or eliminate all together. Once you have tweaked your budget you can move on armed with the knowledge of your spending habits and the triggers that get you there.
STICK TO THE BASICS
You have to rid yourself of all non essential items in your budget to get rid of the unnecessary expenses and trim that budget down. Take time to list out all those extras that you found in your budget and see if they really are that important, you can save, for example twenty or thirty dollars every week by just eliminating coffee, and making it at home. Coffee is one the worlds most popular drinks, and not coincidentally one of its most expensive to by, Starbucks ring any bells!
[Read: Stop Those Bad Spending Habits]
One last thing to mention before we conclude is if you can get rid of those credit cards, they make for to much temptation and will kill any well thought out budget and spending reduction plan. When you are setting out to tighten your belt and cut out those unnecessary expenses, you should start with your raw numbers, your income, and expenses and plug those into your monthly budget. Set those out for yourself each and every day to look at and to remind you that you have to cut out the little stuff.
Sit back and contemplate your emotional state of mind when you feel the need to purchase something. In fact see what state of mind your are in even before you go the grocery store, as that can impact spending on frivolous things. There are many pitfalls and sand traps that can befall you in a grocery store, and knowing that you have a certain mind set will improve your spending habits. You can do this, good luck.