It’s easy to let your spending get out of control. After all, spending money is part of most social activities in our lives. How many times have you cringed when someone asked to get drinks and you said to yourself, “I really shouldn’t, but I will anyway”?
Spending money is a big part of putting things off, or just being bored. Don’t feel like working? Shop online. Not sure what to do on Saturday? Head to the mall, or out to eat, or out to a movie — all things that involve spending money.
Here are a few tips that will make it easier to reduce the amount of money you’re throwing away each week.
Avoid mindless Web browsing.
One of the surest ways to empty your wallet is to browse retail sites out of procrastination, curiosity and straight-up boredom. When you feel like taking a break from work, or when you’re at home looking for something to do, instead of heading straight to yourfavoritestore.com, read the news online or check out your favorite blog instead. That way, you’ll avoid making unnecessary purchases that you wouldn’t have thought to buy anyway.
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Stick to cash or debit.
Nothing demonstrates the difference between needs and wants like handing over cold-hard cash, according to retail credit card company Comenity.net. So often, we think of credit cards as free money, forgetting we’ll have to pay it back later. When this thought enters your mind, quickly force it out, and put the card back into your wallet (or don’t carry it around in the first place). Having and using credit cards is good for building credit, as long as you’re not overspending and you’re paying the balance in full each month. If you’re afraid that having a credit card could lead to one too many hefty expenditures, it’s best to go with cash or your debit card.
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Be mindful of what you can spend daily.
You may have a budget that you follow monthly or even weekly, but do you know how much you can spend daily? Figure out exactly how much you have to spend each day and try to spend less than that amount. It’s a good way to be mindful of how much money you’re going through every day and it also helps cut back on spending.
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Trim your budget where possible.
Do you really need to fly first class on vacation this year? Is your premium gym membership really that much better than the standard? Was it necessary to upgrade the car you’re leasing? Why did you pay full price for that designer bag when there was one just like it at your local discount store? Find luxury items in your budget that you can — dare I say it — downgrade so that you’re spending less on stuff you simply don’t need.
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