If you are looking for advice on how to stop spending money, you’ve come to the right place. These eight tried-and-true tips will help you not spend money on the extras. There are different ways to set a budget and stick to it but one of our favourites for its simplicity and success is the Cash-Only Budget. You can choose to include “wants” in your budget but we recommend that the first time you try this you remove all wants and focus only on essential needs.
Overall, some of the takeaways and tips we’ve gained from using cash envelopes to stay on a budget made this challenge worthwhile in more ways than one. Combine a cash-only budget with any of the eight tips below or pick your favourite tip to try to stop spending money on unnecessary purchases.
Meal planning is a great way to save money. Avoid overspending on groceries by only buying what you need for weekly meals. Use any gift cards you have on your essentials as opposed to buying things you do not need, and use all of your change from the jars around your house to pay for this weeks’ groceries. You never know how much is lying around.
Boredom can be one of the biggest reasons people tend to overspend or live outside of their means. To keep your mind off of spending money, try to find free or inexpensive activities within your local community. Did you know that you can now borrow passes from some libraries to visit popular attractions like museums? Visit your nearby “Little Free Library” or have a picnic in a nearby park to put things in perspective. Besides, some of the best things in life are free.
When you are struggling to find best practices for saving money, it never hurts to educate yourself on new ones. Take a free online course or try reading a blog post (like this one). You never know what kind of information is out there until you try. The best part about it? There are lots of free financial education options available.
When weekends come around, we are always looking for things to do. More often than not, these activities end up becoming costly. Cleaning your house may not sound fun, but it can be oddly enjoyable and a great way to burn off energy and stress. Borrow Marie Kondo’s book on decluttering and tidying up, or binge-watch her show and get inspired to go through your home room by room. You might actually have things to sell, in turn, making you money! Cleaning up old stuff can also make you realize how often we buy things and then forget we have them. Perspective is important.
One of the best ways to save money for goals or stick to a budget is to find a financial accountability buddy. Check-in with one another once a week, or contact them whenever you are about to make an impulse purchase. They’ll ask you the right questions and remind you why saving that money was so important to you in the first place.
Try creating a progress bar to make sure your savings goals stay on track. Seeing those numbers every day can be great motivation! This can also become a fun and frugal activity that you and your family can try together.
If you do have to buy something new that is going to be costly or affect your budget, the first thing you should do is compare price tags at various stores across your community. Are groceries cheaper elsewhere? Are there coupons or flyers? Always double-check for savings before making a large purchase.
Habits are one of the most challenging parts of life. We have to learn how to make them and, even tougher, how to break them. Ask yourself what the hardest parts of avoiding spending are for you. From there, try to adjust your days to change any bad habits or slip-ups that may have occurred previously.