If you’re a free spender, you may find yourself having month at the end of the money a little too often. With a new year coming, you might be considering some new spending habits to help you get your budget in order. Check out these tips to help you spend less and save more.
If you need to put a stop on your spending and tighten up your budget, start by using cash when you shop. You will have to think a little more about a purchase when you only have a set amount of cash to spend.
Save Your Change
Once you start using cash, make a habit of saving up your change. It will add up quickly and give you a little nest egg. One easy way to save up change for that nest egg is to never use exact change when you pay for things. If the price comes to $19.12, pay $20 and pocket the 88 cents in change. Do this every time and your change jar will fill up quite fast.
Here is my favorite savings jar. It keeps your running total and is pretty fun to use too!
Give Yourself a Spending Allowance
If you’re a free spender, it may be especially difficult to change up your spending habits. Take baby steps and start by giving yourself a spending allowance — cash only, of course. The allowance should feed your spending need while keeping you in line so you don’t blow your budget entirely. A set allowance will help you get used to sticking to a budget and eventually you may decide that you want to change your spending habits entirely.
Stop Using Credit Cards
Remember that cash only policy? Couple that with a commitment to stop using your credit cards and pay down those debts. Put the cards away and stop using them. If just putting them away is a temptation, then try a more drastic measure like freezing them in a block of ice or putting them into a safety deposit box. If they’re not available, it will be easier for you to resist the temptation to use them.
Think Before You Buy
You’ve got your spending allowance, but maybe you want to try to curb some of that free spending. Here’s a little trick that will help you do that. If you’re prone to impulse buying, force yourself to take some time to think it over before you spend that money. Aside from regular necessities, make a commitment to think over a purchase before you make it. Plan to come back in a week and if you still want it, then buy it. If it’s a special sale or an item that you know won’t be available in a week, then walk out of the store and sit in your car for a little while. Distract yourself with some other task then after a given amount of time, decide if the item is worth going back into the store to buy. You may decide that you don’t need it after all.
If you are ready to reign in your free spending ways this coming year, try a few of these tips to help you get a handle on your budget.
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