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Spending & saving

How to Stop Spending and Start Saving

We live in a world of instant gratification and this often makes it hard to control how much you are spending – even when trying to be frugal.  As such, many of us end up living in debt.  This is not to shirk responsibility for this debt, rather it is a realization that most of us need some help to stop spending and start saving.

Why is Saving Important?

Most of us work (some of us more than one job) only to see our paychecks disappear almost as soon as they hit our bank account.  The result is that you are not really working to make a better life for yourself or your family, you are working to keep the bill collectors at bay.

In many ways our ‘modern’ life has become something out of a Dickens novel – fortunately, we don’t still have debtor’s prisons.  While this is the reality for too many of us, it doesn’t need to be like this and the way out of this vicious cycle is to look for ways to save money.  It doesn’t matter if it is only a few pennies,to begin with, starting to save is the best way to free one’s self from debt.

Therefore, saving is so important as it is the only way most of us can achieve financial freedom.  It could be saving enough money for retirement or to help to set up an emergency fund.  Either way, saving money, as opposed to spending it, will allow you to make choices about what you want to do with your money.

What We Are Fighting

Even though most of us live with debt, the credit card companies have made it easier than ever to get one or ten of those little plastic cards.  In doing so, they have fed the frenzy of impulse spending that fuels our economy.

Maybe it is getting something you really don’t need on your phone while waiting for the doctor, or it is buying something just because it is on sale.  Either way, our fight is against the constant temptation that is impulse buying with credit cards.

Sure, you can buy it today but then the bill comes and so do the headaches as you finally need to pay for that shiny new thing.  As such, leave your credit cards at home and only shop online when you really need something.  In fact, cancel your Prime subscription if that will help you to better control your shopping impulses.  If not, then you might need to consider an option such as https://www.getfreeofbills.com/ to get out of trouble.

Some Ways to Stop Spending and Start Saving

While clothing sales are bad, sales at the supermarket can be your best friend.  The reason is that these are savings you can eat and not the luxury of another sweater or whatever it is.  To make this happen, you want to watch the circulars, coupons, and even the apps which will give you an idea of what items you need are on sale at your local supermarket. This can be a great way to save money on the things you use every day and such should not be overlooked.

Another way to start saving is to start bringing your own lunch to work. Sure, brown bagging it might not be the most glamorous option – especially if you cannot find your way around a kitchen – but the average lunch can cost $10.  This means you are spending roughly $50 per week for food that probably cost $15.  As such, if you are serious about saving money, then you will want to start bringing your own lunch to work.

Speaking of your cell phones, did you know that they can be used to help you save money?  Sure, you can sign up for apps which track the lowest prices in your area, but there are also several apps which will help you to track your expenses.  This is useful as a key step to getting into the habit of saving money is knowing exactly what you are spending your money on.

Beyond this, a trick to get you into the habit of saving is to never spend your $5 bills.  Instead, put them in a jar at your house and when they add up you can put them in your bank account.  Now, this does not mean that you should ask for your change in $1 bills.  Instead, embrace not spending $5 notes and use this to curb your spending and kick-start your saving.

Tina Roth

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tina roth

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