Are you always running out of cash before the month is up? Do you rely on guesswork rather than a budget?
Spend less, save more: it sounds simple … but dull. It can be easier to turn a blind eye when you’re handing over your hard-earned cash for that must-have item. But, if you want to achieve your financial goals, these three tips to spend less money can help break your overspending cycle.
1. Get your mitts on it:
First off, have a budget. Once all your fixed expenses like mortgage, car, insurance and so on are paid for, what do you have left? Budget for what you’ll allow yourself to spend and then draw it out of your account as cash. If you’re forever using your debit and credit cards, you’ll spend a “plastic premium” according to psychology bods – it’s far less painful to hand over your credit card than wads of cash. I promise, you’ll be far more conscious of your budget if you use cash.
2. Trace your steps:
If, after a couple of months of using cash, you’re still over-spending you may want to track your expenses. Keep it simple, just write down what you bought and when, and how much you paid. It can show where you’re big expenditures are and if they’re ones you’d want to cut back on. On the other hand, it might show that your budget is too tight and you need to allocate more to your spending pot.
3. Ask yourself this question:
If you’re an emotional spender, ask yourself this question each time you’re about to buy something: “do I want it or do I need it?” This can often be enough to be the wake-up you need before you hand over the readies. You could even add a want/need column to your expense tracking list.