The holidays are one of the biggest spending times of the year to spend money. This time of year is also one of the easiest times to spend money on things you don’t really need. According to a study done by Magnify Money, the average debt incurred for 2015 for the Christmas season between gifts, holiday parties, and food was $986 with most of that being placed on a credit card. Couple that with the interest you would pay for using a credit card and you could easily spend months paying off that debt. In this post, you will find tips on how to stop spending money and avoid going into debt on things that may not be necessary. These tips are not only helpful for the holidays, but all year long.
How to Stop Spending Money
Get Organized. Get everything around your home exceptionally organized. If you do this, you will know exactly what you have and what you need when you actually need something. Being organized isn’t just good to find things when you need them, it helps you save money in the process.
Go through the numbers. Go through the past month of what was actually spent. This was eye opening for me. I was crushed when I realized how much money I spent and I couldn’t even realize what I spent the money on or I threw it away already! I feel like I wasted so much money on just stuff!
Related Post: 7 Easy Ways to Save Money this Christmas
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Have a clear vision for what you want for the future. The more my husband and I talked about our future, the more we realized that we wanted to travel and retire early. If we were going to continue spending the way we were (by we I mean me) then it was not going to happen. That was a huge reality check for me. Yikes! Our vision was the biggest thing that helped me get over spending.
Don’t shop when you are emotional. Yes, I have done this and I am so not proud of it. It is like spending money makes me feel better in some strange way. The endorphins are released the same time I put in my Pin number for my debit card. Avoid shopping when you are emotional. Better yet, plan what you will do the next time you become emotional (instead of go shopping). Impulse buying is a real thing and when I learned strategies to avoid impulse buying, it was a game changer for me to stop spending money.
Discover your purpose. Life has a way of passing us by too quickly. We never get to fully enjoy life as it was meant to enjoy when we get caught up in smart phones, video games, or having the newest and best stuff. We often forget to be thankful for the little stuff. When you feel unhappy, really sit down and figure out why. Yes, being in debt will make you unhappy, but what got you there in the first place? Are you unhappy with your relationship or job? What do you need to do different to really be happy? When we feel fulfilled and thankful, our perspective on life as a whole changes and we don’t need to rush out and spend money to make us happy.
Ask yourself if the purchase is something you want or need. Before making any purchase, ask yourself if it is something you truly need. If the answer is no, put it back. Get used to putting stuff back on the shelves. This actually helps empower you to avoid spending. You can also do a no spend week, month or year to really get your budget set. Basically, you don’t spend any money on anything except things that are necessities like food, regular bills, and gas for the car. You can see your money add up quickly when you aren’t spending it on other stuff.
Create a spot in your budget for you. One of the best ways to avoid going crazy on spending money is to make sure you have a little fun money for yourself. I recommend having it in cash and when it is gone, it’s gone. This helps you stay motivated to pay off debt because you are not giving up on everything you love. If you don’t have any money in your budget for fun, do a no spend challenge and get your bills paid down until you can find the extra money. Here is a list of ways to reduce your monthly spending.
Learn to love what you have. Go through your closet, your kitchen, your decorations, your entire house and remember why you bought what you bought. Be thankful you have what you have. If your decor has changed, consider doing some DIY as it will be cheaper to update your home in this fashion. Buying new can be really expensive. It can be really fun to repurpose something you already have in your home.
Take a hard look at your relationships. Take a hard look at your life. Do you see any unnecessary factors in your life that you can get rid of? Is there drama in your life that you would desperately like to get rid of? Is there a relationship in your life with someone who is less than supportive of the goals that you have? The people you hang out with will affect your success in sticking to a budget. If you find yourself spending money when you hang out with certain people, it will affect your long term goals unless you are very comfortable with saying no. Look around and make sure you have a support system that is geared toward helping you achieve what you want and not keeping your from it.
Simplify your life. I am not saying get rid of your cell phone or shut down social media accounts, but I am saying that sometimes we get so distracted with what everyone else is doing that we forget to be thankful for what we have. It is ok to shut out the world in order to find your inner happiness. Being thankful for what you have truly helps you be at peace and helps you look at the bigger picture. When you are happy with the things you have around you, you don’t see the need to keep up with everyone else.
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