Wondering how to stop spending money? It can be SO easy to find a purpose of new items and create a lifestyle where more is better. But how do we really evaluate what we need and whether it is a necessary purchase? Check out this ultimate guide and simple tips on how to stop spending money, and how it can prepare you for long term decisions.
Know How Much Comes In Every Month
The key to not spending much is firstly to know how much you earn. This can be from wages, pensions, benefits, side hustles – everything. Having a figure in mind is essential towards understanding where corners can be cut. This also gives you a figure of the maximum amount you can spend every month – without causing any additional harm.
Know How Much You HAVE TO Spend Every Month
The next step is finding out your essentials payments. This could cover:
- Car Payments
- Food (essentials only)
- TV and Broadband
- Credit Card Minimum Payments
- Phone Bills
- Rent / Mortgage
Essential payments change for everyone, but really evaluate this. What is the actual figure of direct debits per month – and how much do I need to put aside to afford this? Knowing the amount that isn’t to be touched is essential to ensure that you do not overspend.
What Do I Like To Spend Money On?
Do you have vices? I am sure we all do! Do you like buying clothes, or are you the betting, or smoking type? Find out your expensive habits, and how much you spend on them. It can be so easy to lose track – causing a larger financial deficit. Recording your expenditure – however heartbreaking, can be the best way to strategise the system.
Consider a Minimalist Lifestyle
The Guardian define “minimalism” as a lifestyle of living with less and being happy with, and more aware of, what you already own. Let’s be honest, with lockdown and many spending more time in their home, clutter is a pain, and many have sought to rectify it. Fewer items give you more space to work with – which means that you could survive better with less space. It is also cheaper – sometimes less is definitely more.
Can Any of Your Expenditure Be Strategized?
Does your Wi-Fi need to be that quick? Can your cigarettes be bulk bought? Reducing your essential and non essential payments could be a simple way to reduce your monthly expenditure.
I use Calculator.me to manage my finances. Not only does it help to know how much I have allocated for disposable spending and financial planning, but it allows me to keep the cost down as lockdown is ending and normality becomes more costly.
Bulk buying can be a simple way of keeping your spending down. Although it would cost more in the short term, overall you will save more – and do not have to worry about replenishing stock for months. See if you can bulk order from the same places to save on shipping. Buying from the internet can add up if you are purchasing from many places, so look for sites where you can get multiple items.
This is one of the best ways to not only rotate what you buy, but ensure you do not pay full price. Look for discounts and offers to purchase items cheaper. Also, just because a product is on offer, does not mean you need to purchase it. If you were never going to buy it in the first, consider whether you need it at all. Otherwise you will find that you are spending way more than you ever intended to. Check out Money Saving Expert to see some of the best discounts!
This is one of the easiest ways to run out of money, and fast. If you carry more money than you need with you, it is easy to be more inclined to spend. If you are spending, make the most of student discounts. Find hiding spots for your money or stick it in your bank account and leave your card at home, anything to stop spending on wants rather than needs.
Loyalty cards are an efficient way of being rewarded when you do spend. Use loyalty rewards to get items cheaper, and base what you buy by what’s on offer.
Manage Your Grocery Store Spending
Food can get expensive right? Even just going out for dinner can be a costly task. Food should be something enjoyed – and can be so much more valuable if you shop around. Consider going to more than one supermarket and choose loyalty cards with the greatest benefits. Purchase ingredients that can be used more than once – and batch cook and meal plan so food goes further. Not only does this save time and make things more convenient, but it saves pennies too.
For me, this is one of the best ways to save money. When shopping, do not aim to fill your trolley with everything under the sun and aim to buy only what you really need. This can be achieved by making a list of the food ingredients for every meal, plus a few additional snacks to complete your weekly shop. Stick by the motto “If I don’t put it in the trolley, I won’t have it when I get home”, and compromise.
Use Actual Cash Instead of Card
Having a card can be so convenient, especially as you don’t have to worry about cash in your wallet. Keeping track of cash is an easy way to monitor how much you have, and how much you need to spend. Budget yourself to a limited amount, and do not go over unless it was essential.
Put Cash Into Accounts You Cannot Access
The easiest way to manage your spending and have more in your wallet – keep the money away from easy access. If you keep money that is extra from all the bills separate, then you will be less inclined to spend it.
Prepare For A Rainy Day
One of the most important reasons to have money in your pocket is for rainy days. If you never know if a pandemic will hit, a tyre goes flat or you have a hole in your shoe, having your money set aside for moments like this relieves a lot of stress. Aim to spend less, to account for rainy days in case it happens.
Have a Side Hustle
There are many unconventional ways to make money, and they can be an easy way to save cash you were not expecting. You can complete surveys online, dabble in gambling (responsibly of course) or start your own online business. The world is your oyster, and if you have a talent, utilize it. Many side hustles do not need a massive internal investment, so do not be turned away by that. Most of the time, the effort is all your project will need to do well. Find additional ways to fund an expensive lifestyle, but do ensure that 1. It is not a detriment to your dailyy activities and 2. You don’t spend more for the sake of it.
Know When You Are Overspending
This is the primary reason for tracking your spending. You need to note when you have gone too far. Sometimes, especially around birthdays and Christmas, things can get so pricey. Without spending limits or uncontrollable funds, it can be nearly impossible to hold back the reigns on spending. Aim to have household conversations about this, and open when the purse needs to be tightened a tad. I learned this the hard way when trying to save money as a student – it is very difficult having lump sums in the bank and a refresh every 10-11 weeks. Have an ideal figure of where you want your bank balance to be and try and stay around that figure, and try to limit credit card spending during these periods.
Set Targets and Financial Goals
Know what is going well – this is the best way to track your progress. Celebrate each £100 as an achievement, because it is! Know what you want to achieve, and think about the best ways to go about it. Consider getting a cheaper car, or walking more to reduce petrol prices. Saving can be so tough, especially during economic times like these – so be proud of yourself when it is going well!
Hopefully, this guide help you when understanding how to stop spending money. What are your spending habits like?
Written by Sophia Patel