9 Ways to Spend Less
Everyone wants to spend less. In our culture, it is hard to get away from ads that beg you to spend more and more. The biggest way to blow your budget is to give in and buy things you don’t need. Even the most meager budget can still find ways to spend less.
Here are 9 Ways to keep a tighter hold on your spending and help yourself gain more financial security.
- Do a weekly budget. Decide what you will need to buy that week and only have that much money on hand. You may even go as far as to stick it in envelopes marked as “Entertainment”, “groceries”, “Gas” etc. To make sure you stick with it, leave your debit cards, checks and credit cards at home. Out of sight (andwallet), out of mind.
- Whether you are going shopping for groceries or household needs, make a list and estimate what you will need to bring with you to spend and only take that with you. If you don’t have the money on you for things you don’t need, you are less likely to buy them or come back for them. If you find something you really think you must have, put it on layaway. This way you can still change your mind when the rush of buying it is over. You may decide you just don’t need it.
- Don’t fall for retailers tricks to get you to spend more. If something is $3.99, it is $4. Don’t think it ischeaper just because it ends in a “9”. Don’t give into pressure buys in ads. Many times, retailers will have ads that say “Buy this, get this for free”. If you don’t need the first item to begin with, it is wasted money.
- Price Match and compare. With so much competition today, many stores are willing to meet their competitor’s advertised prices and even lower them. Don’t pay full price for something when you could have just done your homework and gotten it for a lower price. This is especially true on larger purchases, but even small ones add up.
- Buy in bulk only when it makes sense. If you can’t use all of the product before it goes bad, it is not worth the cost as wasted product is wasted money. Also, make sure you have proper ways to store your bulk purchases so you get the chance to use them up in time. This means storing dry goods like pasta, cereal and rice in plastic containers away from pests.
- Look for ways to get things for free or nearly free. Go on Craig list, Freecycle and look in your local newspaper for an item you are thinking of purchasing before you head to the store. You may be able to get it for free on one of these places and save yourself the cash.
- Look online. Many times there are deals that are available online that may not be in stores. Make sure not to get caught up in high shipping costs, though as this can kill any deal you get. Also, be aware that many stores offer coupons to use online by just signing up for their newsletter.
- Make financial goals. You are more likely to spend less when you have a goal in mind. If you are saving up for something special, you will find ways to cut frivolous spending out of your budget. Just make sure it is something you really want or need so you stick with your goal and don’t make excuses not to save.
- Track your spending. You will be surprised where your money goes and be motivated to change your bad spending habits.