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How do I spend less and save more money? What are the most reliable methods to balance my “needs” and “wants?”
Spending money on yourself and your family can make you feel good. For instance, when you feel sad or exhausted, you think buying something you want will reduce stress and give you peace of mind.
However, this happiness is temporary. Research shows that 62% of people in the United States purchase things to feel better. Most psychologists call it “retail therapy” because shopping can bring happiness.
Emotional or impulsive spending is the leading cause of soaring credit card debt. The problem worsens when this prevents you from paying the monthly bills on time. At the same time, this behavior/attitude can take a massive toll on your budget. Here are a few ways to stop spending money. Read on!
Identify your triggers and emotions that drive you to spend money. Ask yourself, “what situation or mood tempts me to make unplanned purchases?” When you know your spending triggers, you can find solutions to avoid these temptations.
Common triggers include sadness, stress, fatigue, and happiness. For example, when you are happy, your brain tells you, “I deserve to buy a new smartphone.” Thus, this attitude gives you temporary happiness, but over time, you find it challenging to streamline your budget and cope with financial issues.
Evaluate your daily spending for at least 30 days. You can use the traditional “pen and paper” method or a smartphone app to track spending. The purpose is to determine what makes you vulnerable at certain times to purchase things you don’t need. There are numerous ways to reduce impulsive spending.
For instance, the 48-hour rule is an excellent method to reduce emotional spending. Instead of focusing on your “wants,” you should emphasize your needs. So, create a list of necessary grocery items and skip adding unnecessary things. Give yourself 48 hours to make a specific decision and its impact on your budget.
You have 48 hours to determine whether you need this specific item. So, this rule gives you enough time to fight the temptation and maintain a healthy distance from your emotions.
Sticking to your budget is a proven method to stop spending money. Focus on the Envelope Method to limit your daily spending into different categories, including food, gas, insurance, and entertainment. Stop spending on gas when the money in that envelope is gone.
Again, focus on your needs instead of your “Wants.” Learning the difference between “needs” and “wants” can help you make informed decisions. Moreover, purchase a prepaid credit card for a specific dollar amount.
So, when the card reaches its limit, you can stop spending. Remember, this is an excellent way to save money, mainly if you are a retired person living on a fixed income. Moreover, spend cash to limit your emotional buying. Studies show that paying cash naturally causes people to spend less money.