Money is a subject we can never get away from. It’s something we need to survive. Learning how to spend it will determine if you view it as a good or bad thing.
Learning to manage money is not easy. We have a tendency to go over our budgets and spend more than we have. Educating ourselves on how to stop spending money is very beneficial.
It doesn’t mean you are spending irresponsibly, it just means you need to learn what to spend money on. It’s not about having enough money. We all have the ability to live within our means. But if you don’t have a plan for spending money in place, you will end up in debt.
This topic hits close to home because I used to be a huge over spender. I had to learn how to stop spending money because I was accumulating debt that I could not pay off. Eventually, I was a slave to credit card debt and I ended up paying huge amounts of interest in the process.
Are you Spending More Money than you Earn?
We all know how much we are getting paid so you should have a clear idea of how much you earn. It’s easy to lose sight of spending money if you aren’t tracking it. This is where spending more than you earn becomes a problem.
The only way you will know if you are spending more than you earn is if you are in the negative each month. If you are using credit cards to supplement your income, you will have devastating consequences.
Stop Spending Money
If this sounds like you, you need to stop spending money. I’m guessing if you are reading this that you are having some sort of struggle with money. So the best thing for you is to not spend money and reevaluate your situation.
The good news is I’m going to help you learn what to spend money on so you can live at peace with money. I have a lot of experience in this area because I used to be in this exact spot.
Reasons Why You’re OverSpending
If you want to know how to stop spending money than it’s important that you understand why you are overspending. There are many things that influence the use of money in our lives. There are ads everywhere and emails that are constantly trying to get us to buy something. It’s exhausting. Here are a few reasons you may be overspending.
Social media can be a fun way to interact but did you know that it’s one of the top ways for advertisers to get your attention? Your intention is to go to your favorite social media network and catch up on the latest trends or see what your friends are up to. You usually have no intention of spending money.
Then BAM! An ad for a super cute shirt comes up and they are offering “free shipping” if you buy it today. You tell yourself that you have to have that shirt and you need it now because it’s “free shipping”. This is an example of what you may face every day on social media.
Not to mention, social media is a place where people are showing off their new stuff or the vacation they just went one. Keeping up with the Joneses is a real problem. Things like this kill your budget and keep you further from your future goals.
If you’re going on social media, be prepared to face this challenge. You may decide it’s a better idea to call a friend to catch up.
2. Emotional Shopping
The feeling of shopping can be comforting. Sometimes I get this feeling that I want to go shopping and get what I want. For some reason, I think it will make me feel better.
Thankfully, I’ve been able to battle that feeling. I’ve acted on that feeling before and realized that it actually made me feel guilty to spend the money because I knew I didn’t have the money.
Spending money for pure entertainment is usually a bad idea. If you want to stop spending money, this is something you should stop.
3. Paying with a Credit Card
There’s something different when it comes to paying with a credit card or paying with cash. It’s much easier to spend money with a credit card because you don’t physically have the cash. When you have the cash, it’s harder to let go of because you physically see it and touch it.
If you aren’t treating a credit card as cash then you shouldn’t use it. Using a credit card takes a lot of responsibility. You should only allocate spending the amount you can pay back each month. If you can’t do this….don’t use it!
Ways to Stop Spending Money
As you can see spending money will never go away. Making the decision to learn how to stop spending money is the key to having financial freedom and reaching your goals.
I’m going to share multiple ways to stop spending money in hopes that they can help you see what you should be spending money on.
Taking the time to create a budget is the first thing you need to do so you can stop spending money. Knowing exactly what your “needs” are each month will give you a better idea of what to spend money on.
We all have “wants” but our “needs’ have to be met first. Creating budget categories is necessary so you can make sure your “needs” are met. Then add some categories for your “wants”. The key is to stick with the budget you create every month so you don’t go into the negative.
2. Determine Your Financial Goals
Gaining financial freedom is one of my financial goals. I’ve put goals in place to accelerate paying off my mortgage and to get rid of anything besides my mortgage that accumulates interest.
Have you thought about your financial goals? If not, you need to. Staying focused on goals is a huge motivator to stop spending money. I personally love accomplishing goals and I’m sure you do too.
3. Keep Track of Money You Spend
Getting your budget set up is a great accomplishment. Once you have that set, you need to keep track of the money you spend. The only way you will know if you went over your budget limit is if you can keep track of it during the month.
Once you hit your budget limit, you need to stop spending money. There are multiple ways to keep track of your money. My favorite way to do this is with free budget apps. If you prefer to keep track of your spending on paper, you can grab one of these free printable budget forms.
4. Live Within your Means
Let’s face it, everyone has different income levels. You’ve chosen the income level you have. Looking at other people’s possessions can make you want more.
It’s important to face reality here. You need to focus on what you have and spend within your means. Only you can change your financial situation. Be thankful for what you have and don’t go into debt by trying to keep up with the Joneses.
5. Sleep on It
We all have financial decisions to make in our lives. I’ve learned that it’s better to take time and think about purchases. Learning how to stop spending money is a discipline. It comes down to a choice you need to make.
If you take time to think about if you really need the item, you may decide not to get it at all. I’ve had this happen multiple times where I thought I needed the item but after thinking about it, I didn’t buy it. It’s a great tactic to stop spending money.
6. Figure Out How Long you Have to Work For It
This applies more to the “wants” in your money spending. If you want something you should figure out how long you’d have to work for it. Take the item you want and divide it by your hourly wage. Calculate how many hours you’d have to work to get the item.
This is what my husband does and it works for him. I don’t work so it doesn’t work for me but if I did work, I would definitely adopt this method. It’s a great way to determine what to spend money on.
7. Meal Plan
Eating is obviously something we need to do multiple times a day to survive. We used to eat out a lot and it ate up our budget fast. After really thinking about what to spend money on, we decided that eating out wasn’t an area we wanted to spend our money on.
Each week I make a meal plan so we can eat good food from home. We do eat out once a week and it doesn’t break our budget. Eating out with a family of 5 can easily cost $100. So once a week is comfortable for us.
8. Stick with “Needs” not “Wants”
Like I mentioned before, “needs” must come before “wants”. If you don’t have enough money for “wants”, then you need to stick with “needs”.
We have a tendency to think we can’t survive without “wants”. That is not true. The most important thing to do is to take care of you and your family so everyone is healthy and thriving. Be thankful for what you have.
9. Save then Spend
The purpose here is to save for the item you want first and then spend the money to buy it. If you buy before you have the money, you risk going over your budget and accumulating debt. You don’t want to do this. Trust me, I’ve suffered the consequences of doing that.
10. Take Your Lunch to Work
If you cook at home often like I do, taking your lunch to work shouldn’t be an issue. My husband works close enough to come home for lunch every day but some people don’t.
I have a friend who packs her husband’s lunch for him every day and most of the time its leftovers. If you don’t have leftovers to take to work, make sure you have stuff for sandwiches or whatever you like. Eating out every day for lunch is a budget sucker and it’s probably not a healthy choice either.
11. Shop with a List
I make lists often because I tend to forget things. This comes in handy when I go shopping because I have a list already ready. If you plan on shopping you need a list to keep you focused on what you need.
This is a great rule of thumb for any type of shopping. I save money at the grocery store because I shop with a list and preplan what I’m getting.
12. Cut Cable TV
We cut cable TV a few years ago. We currently have Hulu Live (so hubby can watch sports) and Disney+. We have been very happy and never see ourselves going back to cable.
Every year there are more and more options for streaming services. Cable TV is definitely something you should stop spending money on. You are technically paying for tons of channels you never watch.
There are also several ways you can watch TV for free.
13. No Spending Challenge
A no spending challenge is a great way to learn how to stop spending money. We do this often if spending is getting out of control and the kids get are getting super needy.
Kids can struggle just like we do with spending. It’s important to teach them what to spend money on before they move out.
This is really simple to put in place. Just stick to a plan and only buy what you “need”. Put the “wants” on the back burner during this no-spend challenge. Then decide how long you will stop spending.
Sometimes we do a week, two weeks or even a month. You will be amazed at how this keeps you from spending money.
14. Do Your Own Yard Work
Getting in the habit of doing your own yard work is rewarding. Often times we are particular and want it done a certain way. What better way than to do it yourself?
Getting a little exercise and sun is really good for you. Try it and see how you feel. You may really enjoy it!
15. Cancel Unused Memberships
We all know it’s easy to sign up for memberships. Sometimes we sign up to keep ourselves accountable which forces us to use it. This doesn’t always work. This is something you should not be spending money on if you don’t use it.
Once your budget is in place, you will see the memberships you are paying for. Stop spending money on them if you aren’t using them.
How to Stop Spending Money on Entertainment and Lifestyle
16. Stop Impulse Buying
I can’t tell you how much money my kids spent on impulse buying. They go to a store and see something they want and instantly need that item.
We can fall into the same trap. If we don’t plan our shopping trips before we go, we may see something we think we “need”. The truth is… if you weren’t thinking about it before you don’t need it.
This is another great way to learn how to not spend money. You should be able to recognize your weakness if you fall into this category.
17. Stop Shopping
Sometimes it nice to shop around and check things out at a store. The problem with this is if you don’t have the will power to not spend money on something, you should not be doing this.
This is a trap and sadly my daughters fall into it often. They always want to check the clearance rack at stores. While clearance racks are a good thing, they still tempt you to spend money you weren’t planning on spending.
18. Buy Used Clothing
We all need clothing but that doesn’t mean we need new clothing. I tend to buy new clothes because they last a long time and I haven’t changed my style in the last 10 years. I prefer more of a simple lifestyle so I don’t have to make a bunch of decisions.
If you change your style often you should buy used clothing. There are some cleaner thrift stores and online stores that offer used clothing that is good quality. My daughters do this often since they love to change their styles multiple times a year.
19. Go on Free and Cheap Date Nights
Date night is one of my favorite things. Having my husband to myself without any interruptions is so much fun. We like to go on date nights often but quickly learned that we were having to spend a lot of money in the process.
Instead of spending money on date nights, we found ways to go on date nights that are cheap and free. This makes it so we can still go on dates often without breaking our budget.
20. Read Free Books
I’m not a huge book reader but I know a lot of people are. Books can get expensive if you are reading through them often. You can stop spending money on books and read free books instead.
There are tons of free books online that offer several different genres.
21. Start a Hobby
Sometimes we spend money out of pure boredness. If this is the case, you may want to start a hobby to keep yourself occupied. Hobbies don’t have to be expensive.
Think about something you love to do and put it in action. I love to share the information I’ve learned so I started a blog. It’s a cheap hobby that helps me relax and feel accomplished.
How Have You Stopped Spending Money?
These are all the ways that have helped me. I’d love to create an ongoing list so if you have any suggestions I’d love to add them.
If you’re looking to save money, check out how I live frugally while living to the fullest.