Cutting down on your spending can change your life forever.
It can improve your finances – it can help you save more and invest better and in the process bring more wealth to you. It can improve your mental health (yes, you worry less about money. God knows how terribly anxious we are when in need of money), it can improve your general well-being.
Almost everyone know how much better their finances, their lives, can be if they can cut down on their spending.
But then, the lure for stuffs is irresistible. We feel helpless. Always, we are seduced by the things we see in the stores and online, and we spend and spend and spend some more.
So how do we get our head around this? How do we tell ourselves that we want to spend this amount of money and end up spending this amount of money?
How do we put our spending under control?
1. Have a Budget
A budget helps you create a spending plan. It is the most effective tool for managing your money.
One of the great benefits of a budget is that it helps keep you in check. You know at once how much money you have and how much you can afford to spend on things.
And when you are overindulging, a budget will help bring you back to your senses.
It ensures that you spend your money right. It ensures you don’t overspend on things you don’t need.
2. Know Why You Are Spending Your Money
If it’s possible, make a list and go with it.
Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of the things in the stores. They won’t have mercy on your purse. They will want you to buy them until you have exhausted every kobo in your pocket.
When it’s not clear to you what you need to buy, the things you don’t need will creep up to your head, giving you reasons why you want them.
But a clarity of the things you need will ensure you don’t overspend.
3. Avoid Shopping as Fun
Come on, there are so many other things out there you can do as fun. You can scream at yourself in the mirror if you want. It’s fun.
Dressing up just to go the mall to shop, for nothing else than for fun, will ruin your finances.
4. Try to Shop Alone
Go to the stores, pick whatever you want and go home. It’s that simple.
Dragging a friend or a family member with you comes with lots of strings attached. You can become overly indecisive. You can come under pressure to buy things you don’t need thereby spending much more.
Shopping alone take those pressures off, allowing you to spend the least you can.
5. Avoid Impulse Spending
You know that adrenalin rush that attack you whenever you see something on the street or in the stores, or online, not something you need anyway, but something you fall in love with in a sudden whim, right there, that is impulse spending.
Impulse spending is spending without planning.
Remember budgeting? Everything you spend must be planned for and accounted for.
Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of your impulse. You won’t know where your money go.
6. Don’t Respond to Ads
Advertisers and consumers are always in eternal war. Advertisers are doing everything they can to get your money. Consumers are doing everything they can to keep their money.
It’s a shame that advertisers are winning. Always. And they are getting even better.
Take this as an example. Because of the rise of online shopping, advertisers love to advertise to you late at night, when you are exhausted, when all your willpower had been drained, when you are vulnerable and you can’t bring yourself to fight.
They exploit that weakness, causing you to start clicking away, to put as much things as possible into your online cart.
Do not respond to ads. If you can, block them.
Spend on things because you need them, not because the advertisers showed you people, luxuriating in the world the products was able to create.Spend on things because you need them, not because the advertisers showed you people, luxuriating in the world the products were able to create. Click To Tweet
7. Avoid Spending When You Are Lonely
Oh the terrible world of the lonely.
If you’ve been there before, you know how desperate you wanted to get out of it.
It’s easier to go out and shop our loneliness away than to go out and make friends. And so we engage in what is now widely known as retail therapy.
Does retail therapy works? Yes, it works.
But the problem is that it makes us materialistic.
Think about going out to shop any time you are lonely. What are you buying? Things you probably don’t need. Things that fill up your entire home.
When you feel lonely, find other things to do. Go out, make friends, spend time with family members. Those are the best cure for loneliness.
Don’t put the burden on your purse.
8. Avoid Flashy Supermarket.
The thing about flashy supermarket is that it gives you a sense of belonging.
I can afford to shop here, therefore, I belong to that tiny percentage of people who can. I am big, I belong. You wear it as a badge of honour.
It’s like the cult of people using Apple products. They will simply flash it to your face and at once you have a different opinion about them.
The truth is, it’s exactly those kind of stores you should avoid because everything in those stores are geared towards making you spend more money.
From the store design to the placement of the shelves, to the colour of the lights, to the colours of the walls, to the pricing (you know that 99.89) even to the temperature in the store.
Everything is screaming spend, spend, spend.
And you are not even allowed to bargain. Can you imagine that. In Nigeria?
I tell you, if you want to spend less, flashy supermarkets are not for you.
Tell me, what other ways have you found useful to cut down on your spending? Respond in the comment session below.