10 Ways to Avoid Spending Money

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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.

ways to avoid spending money4) 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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Money

Derek

AUTHOR Derek

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.

20 Comments

  1. Staying at home on your days off is a great way to save money. I also try to avoid going anywhere on the way to or from work, or going anywhere on my lunch break as well. By not being in places where I can spend money, I just simply don’t spend it on the frivolous things many people do.
    Lance @ Money Life and More recently posted..Best Gas Credit Cards – November 2013

    • Yes, staying in for lunch is incredibly important. If you’re heading into town every afternoon, there is a much better chance at buying something than if you eat a home-made sandwich in the courtyard.

  2. Excellent tips to keep a lid on ones spending. My biggest has certainly being a realization that true happiness lies in relationships & experiences…the novelty of things tends to wear off easily. That, and chosing friends super wisely.
    Maybe to add, avoid going shopping when you are depressed or stressed…you end up buying so many unecessary “consolation items”
    Simon @ Modest Money recently posted..Is Peer To Peer Lending Worth My Investment?

    • That was huge for me too Simon. I was challenged by my professor to come up with my “most wanted item” and it was honestly hard to come up with something! I have been so blessed already – there’s really no more need for “stuff”. Once you get to this stage, keeping money in your pocket is easy.

  3. I also like the idea of staying home on days off.
    When my other half, who worked on Saturdays, would come home he would say,”You haven’t moved your car all day?”
    My answer? “If the car moves out of the driveway, it’s a minimum of $50. no matter where it goes”

    • Hahaha. I love your response to your hubby’s question. I bet he ended up thanking you for not moving it. 🙂

  4. Staying away from the advertising is huge. Avoiding newspaper inserts and unsubscribing from store sale emails has helped me.

    • It sure is Bridget! Advertising agencies know that they need to get the message in front of our faces for them to be effective. If we ignore the areas where we know the ads reside, then we can more likely avoid buying the products altogether!

  5. Staying home on your day off, or doing something other than shopping, works really well for me! I went on some errands on Sunday, though, and it was like I hadn’t been in a store in eons — it was tempting to browse and see what’s new. Luckily, I packed my afternoon with so many errands that I just didn’t have time to go to another store just for “fun” or try on a shirt.

    And having no TV commercials is one of my favorite things about Netflix — especially when it comes to children’s programming for my son.
    Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions recently posted..Necessary Artists: What the Quilters of Gee’s Bend Taught Me About Finance

    • I watch Netflix too, and it sure is great for avoiding commercials. I hardly ever see advertisements anymore, and let me say, it’s wonderful! 🙂

  6. #2 and 4 both talk about going shopping due to boredom. Really? I personally hate going to the mall. It’s just too crowded and their whole reason for being is to separate you from your money. I’m happy to leave the house on a day off, but it is to go for a hike, or a bicycle ride, or to visit friends. No cost there. If you have a need to obtain more junk, check out freecycle.org.
    Bryce @ Save and Conquer recently posted..The Right and the Wrong Way to Treat a Customer

    • I hear you Bryce. A day at the mall is not my idea of a good time, but lately I have been prone to a Menards (hardware store) trip or a Big Lots run, not to mention TJ Maxx since I need some sweaters for winter. I need to be careful that I don’t continue to go to these stores after I have already purchased what I need.

  7. I keep my wallet in the car a lot. it’s helpful. Although I am scared about my car being stolen/broken into!
    Stu @ Poor Student recently posted..Should Students Have a Car?

    • Haha. Good point Stu! If you drive a 2001 Honda Civic like me, you probably wouldn’t worry about that too much. That is the beauty of driving a plain old, still dependable car.

  8. i use to be one of those name branders,off the rack buyers,now within the last 8 years of bills and overspending,i had to go apply for some help and list my bills fixed etc. and was truly embarrassed when at end of my appointment,person helping me stated YOU ARE LIVING WAY ABOVE YOUR MEANS here i was at this time unemployed i realized ,1) No more excess spending,2)Stay out of stores,3)Take in a certain amount and if you spend it all $0.00 is your balance.4)Avoid Try this ad’s;Thrift stores ,yard sales, estate sales,and consignments are your friends,MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK.

    • Sounds like you’re on the right road now Angela. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

  9. One more thing T J MAXX ,MARSHALLS,BIG LOTS ,ROSES KMART WALMART are stores you can build a stock pileand maintain a budget ,opps so sorry i missed my all time fav FREDS love this store and remember your discount cards opps again CVS has the best rewards and fyi use coupons!!!

    • Big Lots is my all time favorite store! I first stepped in there last year when I need a toaster, space heater, and a blender. I walked out of there with everything I needed for under $50! I was elated! 🙂

  10. My husband and I do not own a TV, so we are not tempted. We do have a computer so we see the ads,, but have discovered the difference between a “need” and a “want”.

    • You sound a lot like me Rebecca. I don’t have cable and really have only one channel. I see very few ads and have come to the realization that there are very few things that I really need. Coming up with a Christmas list this year will be incredibly difficult. 😉


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