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We all had it happen before you go shopping and suddenly you spent more than you were planning on. Maybe you saw how much money you had in your checking account and then went and spent the excess.
Whatever the reason at some point you probably spent money just because you had it.
I don’t like admit this but I am still trying to find ways to stop money from burning a hole in my pocket. I still spend because I have the money.
So how do you stop money from burning a hole in your pocket? Here are a few tip and tricks along the way I learnt over the last few years.
Don’t depend on self control
Self control is an amazing thing. When it works you say no to things that are bad for you in the long run and yes to things that might suck in the short run.
But you should never depend on self control alone. Why? Because self control isn’t perfect it’s you trying to make the right decisions 100% of the time. So it shouldn’t come as surprise if it doesn’t always work?
My self control drops if I’m hungry or cranky. I can talk myself into things real fast at that point. The kicker is that these things happen more then I would like to admit.
I often get hungry when shopping even if I did eat something beforehand. Sometimes shopping itself can make me tired and cranky.
I know I can’t always depend on my self control so I work out ways to get around it. So when I do have self control it makes the rest easier but when it is gone I don’t self destruct.
Don’t carry a lot of money with you
Carrying less money with you is an obvious way to stop spending just because you have it. And for me personally, I hate asking others for money. So if I don’t have it on me I’m not going to spend.
Another thing that trips me up is knowing I’m carrying a high checking account balance. So I try to not carry a high checking account balance and put money into a separate savings account.
The harder it is to access your money the less likely you are to spend it. Which leads to the obvious way to spend less, simply leave your money at home. You can’t spend if you don’t have a means of paying for anything.
Give every dollar a job
Ok, full disclosure this is something I learnt from YNAB but it so important to do this. A couple of cool things happen when you give every dollar a job. First of all, you actually have to think about what do I want to do with my money.
You should take some time with this step and make your spending will align with your values. For example, if you consider giving back to be important budget accordingly.
Once you give every dollar a job you no longer have piles of money in your accounts. Instead, you have savings for an emergency fund so you can quit your job.
You may have high checking account balance but you know so much of that money is allocated for groceries and so much for clothes.
Once you give every dollar a job and have it separate in your budget you can also separate the money if real life if you want too. You could make a million accounts for every little thing in the budget.
Right now only my vacation fund and retirement account is separate. As my other saving categories get bigger and have more money in them I might separate them out too. It just not worth it at this time.
A good way to give every dollar a job is with a budget. Here how to start budgeting.
Don’t shop unless you’re prepared to spend money
If you don’t have the money to spend try to cut back on shopping. I know shopping is fun and it can be a way to hang out with your friends but remember you can’t buy. And sometimes you just want to shop so how do you do that.
If I want to shop for myself and I don’t have the money at the time I do a bit of online shopping. I will look at my favourite stores pick out things I like but not purchase anything.
Please don’t have your credit info saved while doing this because the important thing is to exit the website before you buy anything.
Secondly, if I’m shopping to hang out with someone else I try to focus on them. So if I shopping with my friends I only look for things for them and I don’t look at stuff for me.
It boils down to this don’t rely on your self control. Give every dollar a job and avoiding shopping in general. Hopefully in doing so money will stop burning a hole through your pocket.
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