Have you ever shelled out money that you never planned on spending? I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all have. We leave the house with intentions of only getting groceries, and somehow we end up with a new guitar. Others go out for some lip balm and they come home with a wide selection of shoes and handbags. It happens all the time. Is there any way to avoid it? Sure there is! Here are 10 ways to avoid spending money.
1) Don’t Watch Television – I know this step seems ridiculous for some, but it is absolutely a downfall for many of us. Do you know what tends to play during our favorite TV shows and sporting events? Commercials! We might think that they have no affect on us, but when we get to the store and happen to see that iPad that was advertised on TV, we are suddenly more aware of it than if we hadn’t seen the commercial. If you cut out TV from you life, not only will you save money, but your life will have more meaning as well (this could be an entire article on its own, but I’ll leave it at that for now).
2) Don’t Leave the House on Your Day Off – When you get a day off from work, you might have some honey-do lists to accomplish, and I’m certain that there’s work around your house that needs to get done. But, inevitably, we get bored being at home so we decide to go out and browse a few stores. This screams DANGER DANGER! Haha. Now, of course you’re going to have to go out from time to time, but be sure to have a purpose.
3) Direct Transfer into Savings – With most corporations, you can decide to put your paycheck into multiple accounts. This generally means that you can put some into your checking account for the bills, some into your investments, and hopefully a large chunk of it goes directly into your savings. The idea is, if you don’t ever see that large amount in your checking account, then you won’t be inclined to spend it.
4) Keep Your Wallet In The Car – On those rare occasions when I just head to the mall out of boredom, I make sure to leave my wallet in my car. If I find something that is truly an amazing deal, then I will tromp out to my car and grab my wallet. Most of the time though, it just isn’t worth the hassle and I leave with nothing, just as I intended when I went in.
5) Find It For Free – Do you know how many people just give things away these days? As the wealth continues to rise for some, getting $50 for a used items means less and less. If you discover their need to get rid of something before they pitch it, it could be yours for free (or you could check craigslist.org – my all-time favorite site).
6) Learn What Truly Makes You Happy – I used to think that a brand new Mercedes was going to make me happy, but after wising up I now realize that friendship and relationships are far more important to me than stuff. As they say, the best things in life are free. Come to that realization and you will find it very easy to avoid spending money.
7) Freebie Fun – I’m not sure if my girlfriend has caught onto my cheapness yet (shhhh, she’s sitting right next to me), but I have found so many things for us to do over the past few months that cost us absolutely nothing! Hiking, disc golf, dune climbing, free beaches, tennis, volleyball, jogging, and the list goes on and on. We have a ton of fun and it often doesn’t cost us anything.
8) Money Making Hobbies – Do you know what’s fun for me? Creating money out of nothing (seemingly). I had a blast creating this website and it’s a great past-time to keep it going year after year. If you enjoy wood-working, writing, car repairs. You could not only avoid spending money, but you could have some fun while making a few bucks.
9) Choose Your Friends Wisely – Your friends have a huge impact on your financial decisions. If you have three friends that have all financed a boat recently, chances are that you will soon do the same. If, however, your friends are all sitting around talking about their latest investments, then you will be much more likely to invest your money. Pick quality financially wise friends and you are likely to follow suit.
10) Spend with Cash, Not Cards – There is a much more emotional affect when you spend all $40 out of your wallet and leave it empty vs. putting $40 worth of purchases on your card. If you are constantly spending money on pointless items, I would advise that you give yourself a budget in cash and once the cash is gone, you’re done. It’s very simple and you will quickly realize how quickly you are spending money.
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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.