How To Stop Spending Money: 18 Key Strategies To Regain Control

Have you ever felt like your money was just disappearing and wondered how to stop spending money? This is a common feeling for many people and the reason can be traced to impulsive spending. Impulsive spending occurs when somebody spends money without thinking about what they are buying, or if they have enough funds in their bank account to cover the cost. Below we will discuss exactly how to stop spending money impulsively.

1. Set Savings Goals For the Short and Long Term

It’s important to set financial goals to ensure you know what you’re saving for. When setting personal saving goals, decide on the total amount you want to save and break down the cost and how much per month this cost could be. When saving money, breaking down the total amount into an attainable timeframe, makes the goal more manageable and less overwhelming.

For example, if you want to save up $10,000 for a car within a six month period, then you will need to set aside approximately $1,670 per month, so that within six months your desired goal is met. This means you can purchase the vehicle without using credit cards or other debt.

The best part about creating savings goals is that you’ll know exactly where your money is going!

2. Create A Budget That Works For You

Another way how to stop spending money is by creating controls on your finances that make sense with your life. For some people this means budgeting every penny while others may just need a little reminder about their spending habits. A budget is beneficial because it helps you to see exactly how much you’re spending and where your money is going. When creating a budget, it is always important to set realistic financial goals for yourself. Focus on tracking what you have coming in and going out. It is also important to consider your spending habits.

If you are struggling to track all of the transactions in your bank account, there are a variety of apps to assist you. These include; Personal Capital or Mint. These apps will help with tracking those pesky smaller purchases like coffee from Starbucks but also larger items such as airplane tickets, which can easily accumulate over time. Creating and tracking a budget may seem tedious at first, but it becomes easier once everything has been tracked and categorized into expense lines including home upkeep costs, car payments, insurance premiums etc.

To Learn everything you need to know when it comes to budgeting, click here. We also cover budgeting categories extensively, here.

3. Create an Emergency Fund

When it comes to creating an emergency fund, we recommend keeping a minimum of at least three months worth of living expenses saved up in case something happens that causes your income stream to dry up. For larger families, it is best to have six months worth of expenses saved up. Emergency funds are incredibly beneficial because they provide protection against overspending in the case of unexpected expenses popping up.

In the event that you do run into any unplanned expenses, like a car breaking down or needing to have some expensive medical procedure done, this emergency fund will help tide you over until things improve. This means you don’t need to rely on credit card debt to get you through periods of time when you are short on cash. It is also important to make sure that you have your savings and emergency fund in high interest earning accounts, so that you are making additional money, while it sits there.

Click here to learn more about how to create an emergency fund.

4. Pack Your Lunch For Work Each Day

It’s the little expenses like eating out lunch everyday that add up quickly over time. Packing your lunch each day can be one way to stop spending money and increase your savings. To make it even more cost effective, pack your lunch the night before so you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything or running out of time in the morning. It’s also a great way to avoid eating just for convenience and be mindful of what you are eating during the day.

Cheap recipes can also help those on a tight budget with little money left over after paying all of your expenses such as groceries, rent, utilities etc. Cooking at home might actually save a lot more than you originally think it will. It may take some planning but eventually packing lunches and making your own coffee in the morning will become second nature and one less expense added each day, which means extra cash saved.

How to Stop Spending Money

5. Eat at Home More Often

Eating out is one of those expenses that can very easily add up over time without you even realizing how much money has been spent. One way to stop spending money on eating out so frequently is by planning ahead, creating a meal plan, going to the grocery store and stocking up on enough healthy food from home. Eating at home more often allows you to not only save a decent amount of money but it also provides you with healthier options.

When you choose to eat at home you will have more control over what ingredients and foods are being used. This way you know exactly how much money is being spent on your food, which means less chance of wasting it. Even though there may be an initial cost to buy the groceries, in the long run this will save a lot of money because now everything is accounted for and not wasted on impulse purchases or eating out at restaurants all the time.

6. Wait Three Days Before Making Purchases

Delayed gratification is a great way to build up self-discipline and how to stop spending money. For an impulse buy to be worthwhile you should wait at least three days before you spend your hard earned money. When you pause and take some time before purchasing something that you want, you are better equipped to make an informed decision.

Instead of buying it now, try these tips:

  • Put the desired item on hold for three days before purchasing it, if you still want it in a few days and have the money to buy it then you can purchase it.
  • If you can buy the item without sacrificing anything else important in life than this is a great way to stop spending. If not then put off purchasing the item and buy something less expensive or more practical first (or forget about buying it all together).

7. Cancel Unused Subscriptions

Reviewing your bank statements or credit card bills from the past couple months can help you determine if there are some unused subscriptions that you can cancel. Most subscriptions are charged on a monthly basis and can be cancelled by simply logging into the account and pressing “cancel.” Make sure that you do this before the next billing cycle occurs.

If there are some monthly charges that were not used this month then cancel them now or set yourself a reminder to cancel them before the next billing cycle.

8. Cut Up Your Credit Card

Late night online shopping or impulse buying when window shopping is easy when credit cards are so easily accessible. By switching to paying with cash instead of using credit cards, it reduces the temptation and ability to impulse buy. Especially when you can purchase something with the click of a button. It is important to spend money that you have available and allocated to spend. If you do choose to use credit cards, make sure that you can afford to pay them off in full without going into debt.

If you want to start spending money on things again, then make sure the credit card is not easily accessible, so it does not provide temptation for impulse buying. We recommend using the cash envelope method when it comes to paying with cash.

The cash envelope method is commonly used by people trying to save money. It works by having all of your money in cash and dividing it into envelopes with specific purposes for how the money is to be spent.

Click here for the complete guide to how the cash envelope system works.

9. Borrow Don’t Buy Items

Borrowing instead of buying pricer items is a great way to stop spending money. If you need something but likely won’t use it more than once or a few times a year, it’s cheaper to borrow it rather than buy it. This is a great way to save money. This gives your budget room for other purchases and reduces clutter in the home at the same time.

Borrowing things may not be as convenient as buying them outright but if someone else has an item that would work well for what you’re doing and they are willing to lend it out, this can be a simple way to reduce spending on items we don’t really need often enough to justify owning ourselves. In addition, borrowing items means less clutter around the house since those loaned items will eventually return their rightful place with its owner when you no longer need them.

How to Stop Spending Money

10. Collect Spare Change Whenever You Can

You may be surprised at how quickly spare change can add up. If you have a jar or other container that can hold spare change, this may be the best option. The idea is to collect spare change by putting all of your coins in one place such as a jar. Work on gathering coins and change every day so that it doesn’t take too long to save up for something particular or give yourself an indulgence from time-to-time with some spending money each week.

If you are saving regularly, but not often, there’s no need to leave the change on display in order to remind yourself because as soon as there’s enough saved up, just transfer it into a savings account and begin again when necessary. However, the idea is simple, put as many coins into the jar as possible every day so that eventually enough money builds up to represent something significant. Many people find that they end up saving more than $100 per month by doing this alone – which adds up over time and helps reduce your monthly expenses enormously.

Learn more about savings challenges, here.

11. Resist the Temptation of Sales

It may be easier said than done but a great way to stop spending money is to only shop when you need something, not when there are sales on. Sales are tempting and they cause people to spend more, not less.

The key to reducing the amount of money that is spent impulsively, which creates a negative financial impact on many people’s lives, is being more mindful and understanding what causes these purchases. By recognizing our triggers, we can take appropriate steps in order to avoid them and keep ourselves from overspending. More often than not, shopping therapy can be an emotional response. People often use retail therapy when they are stressed or emotionally struggling.

It may seem like it would be difficult resisting but with some restraint, planning ahead for potential shopping trips by using lists instead of relying on mental notes about when items are needed again in the future. Make sure to avoid stores known as “sales traps” such as department stores during peak hours where deals are advertised most prominently and as previously mentioned, identify your triggers and work towards resisting those sales.

12. Pay Off Debt and Avoid Accumulating More Debt

Paying off debt and not allowing yourself to go further into debt will help you stop spending money you don’t have. A lot of people like to live the millionaire lifestyle but don’t be fooled, this lifestyle for many people is driven by debt. Learn how to stop spending money that you don’t have, by budgeting and planning for upcoming expenses.

Focus on using debit cards when you are making purchases. This will also help with overspending because using a debit card makes you more conscious of the amount you are spending.

13. Stay Away From Social Media

Social media can make you feel like you’re missing out on life and that everyone is living a better life than you. This can result in you spending more money. So, another tip to stop overspending is to stay off those platforms.

Social media only show the best of what people are doing with their friends, which makes it seem like they have more fun or hangout with cooler people, when really this isn’t true at all. Many times those pictures don’t even represent reality. Social media is usually everyone’s highlight reel rather than the reality of what is actually going on in their life.

It may seem harmless but if your goal is to save more money then stay away from it. Remember, quite often things are not as good as they appear online anyway, so why put yourself through the temptation of being influenced into buying something that you may not even want or even need.

How to Stop Spending Money

14. Create a Shopping List

It is incredibly easy to overspend when we go to the grocery store, this is because we become distracted by sales and comfort food. So, before you head out to do your grocery store make a list and stick to what you have written on your list.

You should also take note of the staple items you need, so that you know what to buy next time. It’s a good idea to give yourself a generous grocery budget for when there are emergencies such as not having enough food in the house or running out. Then you won’t end up spending all of your hard earned cash on impulse buys because now you can just take care of these necessary purchases with ease and convenience.

15. Find a Hobby Besides Shopping

If you find yourself frequently at the mall, try taking up a hobby or another activity where you won’t be tempted to spend money. One of the best ways to do this is by volunteering. This gives you a sense of community and it will give you something that’s not shopping-related to occupy your time with. Volunteering for charity events is one way to get involved as well. There are all sorts of opportunities out there, whether it be through your school or local organizations in town.

You can also find an activity or hobby you love like painting, photography, cooking classes etc., so that when you feel stressed at work or need some “me” time on weekends, then instead of going shopping where it feels impossible to resist impulse purchases simply go home and pick up your hobby or engage in whatever else interests you.

The great news is that you can even monetize your hobby, click here to learn more.

16. Choose To Go Digital

Frequent trips to the local bookstore or coffee shop are another example of how easy it can be to spend money without realizing how quickly you are going through your funds. One solution? Going digital and downloading books from sites like Amazon Prime, rather than paying full price at book stores. Over time this can save a lot of money.

Going digital also saves you money by cutting down on paper. If you want to read magazines, for example, it’s not necessary to buy them in print form. You can purchase a digital subscription and find the same information without wasting money or adding clutter inside your home.

17. Challenge Yourself to Achieve New Goals

When you focus on specific goals, you allow yourself to become more driven and focused in your savings. You can achieve new savings goals through a process called “switching”. This involves replacing your old spending habits with new ones.

Most people know how to save money in the long term, but unfortunately don’t focus on it or make any real behavioral changes. However, by setting attainable goals and changing your behavior for a few weeks, you can create new habits and see some serious savings results quickly without feeling like you’re sacrificing too much of what’s important to you.

And once you accomplish these goals? You’ll feel so motivated that it won’t be hard at all to start saving even more.

18. Complete a No-Spending Challenge

Another way to stop curb your spending is to complete a no-spending challenge. A no-spending challenge is a great way to change yourself and improve your spending habits in one month. A challenge like this is completed by setting specific savings goals and boundaries.

You can set the goal of saving $500 or less each week for an entire month. A more difficult (yet still attainable) goal would be trying to save 20% of each paycheck over the course of four weeks. No matter what you choose, there are some steps that will help make it successful:

  • Find out the amount of money you have saved so far this year and see if you’re on track with your plan for retirement/other future financial goals
  • Decide which category(s) should get priority during your no-spend month–eating out? clothing? alcohol? coffee shop visits?

There are a variety of saving challenges that you can complete, click here to see them all. You may find one that works perfectly for you.

Can Spending Money Be an Addiction?

A commonly asked question is whether or not spending money can be an addiction? It is possible to become addicted to any activity that provides a sense of escape or stimulation. Spending can provide these things, so it’s not surprising if some people get hooked on the instant gratification they receive from buying something new and exciting which makes them feel good about themselves in the moment.

How to Stop Spending Money When it Feels Out Of Control?

This may be the hardest part. There are many different ways to stop spending money, and they all work for some people but not others. It’s worth trying a few of these options listed below to find out what works best for you:

  • Setting up an automatic savings plan with your bank or credit union so that $25 is saved each week without any effort on your end; this will add up quickly over time as you save instead of spend. You can also do it in increments which make more sense given your current financial situation (e.g., saving $100 per month).
  • Adopting a “just say no” mentality by seeing every impulse purchase as just another opportunity squandered, while walking away from temptation
  • Keeping a list of what you’ve already bought, so that when the time for shopping comes up again, you can look at your list and know that you have already bough everything you need so you don’t need to buy anything else. This is also an excellent way to keep track of the amount of money you’re spending on average each month.
  • Learning about your triggers and identifying the things in life which lead to impulse buying (e.g., clothes, shoes) and then make sure they aren’t readily available or accessible while trying not to worry too much about them. It’s hard but it’ll help cut down on unnecessary purchases.

It can be difficult to control spending especially when it feels out of control. However, work on applying the above techniques because they will allow you to set yourself up for a win.

The Bottom Line

To conclude, if you want to stop spending money, make sure to use your credit card responsibly and set up reminders on your phone to pay your bills on time, set boundaries for yourself, create lists so that you will never forget the things you really need to buy before leaving the house, work towards constantly being aware of what you are spending, take time away from malls and bookstores or coffee shops (or other stores where you may sometimes spend without thinking) and focus on avoiding your personal spending triggers by finding new hobbies such as reading or going for a walk. These strategies will help you stop spending.

It is also important to focus on staying out of debt and committing to a budget, understanding how you spend money and sticking with a savings plan. If you stay committed, the truth is that in no time you will discover that saving money will become second nature, you will be able to stop spending money, stop overspending, begin achieving your financial goals and live your life to the full.

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