19+ Tricks To Stop Spending Money

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You want to stop spending money. That’s a great intention, but it’s also a general one.

To actually accomplish it, you need to break it down into several parts:

  • You have to figure out why you spend more than you should or want to.
  • You need to know ways you can stop spending so much money.
  • You then need to follow through and make it happen.

The Simple Equation

the simple equation to stop spending money

None of your financial goals happen unless you can afford them. That means changing your relationship with money to either boost your income or lower your spending.

Boosting income sounds great, but is it possible? If so, is it worth it? Depending on how you make money, to make more, you’d have to:

  • Get promoted, which gets harder to do every year with career ladders disappearing.
  • Work more hours, which might not be sustainable physically or mentally in the long run.
  • Start a new job, which can be possibly too stressful to be worth it, especially if what you do for a living suits you right now.

On the other hand, any attempt to stop spending money is:

  • Far less dramatic
  • A lot safer
  • Much easier
  • Likely to produce results faster

The Complicated Part Of How To Stop Spending Money

complicated part of how to stop spending money

Many of the tricks to stop spending money listed later are easy to do, but some might also take a bit of work. In addition, none of them will help you if you don’t commit to making them habits, which means you need to spend at least a little time analyzing yourself, so you don’t self-sabotage your attempts at saving money.

How Do I Get Self-Control Over My Spending?

The American Psychological Association illustrates how stressful spending can be, but they also point out various strategies you can use to flex some willpower over your finances:

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  • One Thing at a Time: Facing too many spending decisions at once or closely together can deplete your willpower quickly.
  • Tracking Spending Works: Whether you go all out with an app or website that tracks everything or just list out all your spending on paper on a daily basis, you can quickly see things that you would not have noticed otherwise.
  • Automate Your Savings: Setting up a savings account is good, but creating an account that won’t let you withdraw before certain dates or targets is even better.
  • Preventing Temptation: Leave one or more credit and debit cards in a hard-to-reach place, so you have time to think twice before using them.
  • Surround Yourself With Support: A social circle of friends and family who want you to succeed builds a system that propels you towards your goals.

Psychological Reasons For Overspending

reasons for overspending

You’re not alone if you’re spending too much. Psychology Today reports that one in three adults between 30 and 49 have more credit card debt than they do savings. Overspending can happen for many reasons, including:

  • Credit is easier to spend than hard cash
  • Failing to consider what else could have been done with a sum of money
  • Immediate rewards over future concerns
  • Lack of or just low willpower
  • Lapses in mental accounting
  • Retail therapy
  • Self-justification
  • Shopping addiction
  • Special occasions
  • The effect of ‘why not?’

Is Overspending A Mental Disorder?

Only mental health professionals can diagnose this condition, and that would be done on an individual basis. Given how prevalent overspending is, it’s doubtful that everyone who does it has a mental disorder.

Then again, overspending can be a symptom of bipolar disorder. Brookhaven Hospital reports that nearly 6 million Americans probably suffer from this condition. Chronic overspending might not be a symptom of this condition, but wild swings of dramatic overspending could be indicative of manias.

What’s more likely is that compulsive spending is an addiction, one that can happen for many reasons. If you are concerned about having a mental disorder, then certainly reach out to your doctor or insurance provider about professional counseling.

Reasons You Have Uncontrollable Spending

how to stop spending and stop uncontrollable spending

Uncontrollable spending is also known as compulsive spending. It can result from:

  • Previous addictions
  • A history of personal mental illness
  • Family history of compulsive buying
  • Substance abuse, present or past
  • Getting caught up in consumer culture

Don’t: Try to go cold turkey on this, especially during the holidays.

Do: Address any underlying emotional issues, as cognitive-behavioral therapy proves effective. 

How To Stop A Shopping Addiction

If a shopping addiction is where you specifically waste a lot of money, then consider these steps as a movement towards ending that particular problem:

  • Write Things Down: Write down everything you spend money on during shopping sprees. How many of them are essential items? How many are unnecessary items?
  • Think About Your Feelings: Do you really feel better after spending money on impulse purchases? Isn’t it likely you wind up feeling bad and then respond by spending more money on things? This creates a cycle of overspending.
  • Consider the Wasted Time: On top of tracking everything you buy and how you feel about it, track how much time you spend going on impulse shopping. Could that time be used productively elsewhere?
  • Figure Out the Appeal: Your bad money habits might serve some kind of need. Do you enjoy browsing through things to find what’s right for you? Is it the ability to find great deals on something?
  • Assume Control of Things: If it really is just the thrill of the hunt for bargains or collecting things, could you downshift to yard sales and flea markets? You can still go shopping every weekend, browse lots of things, and find great deals without ruining your monthelor running up huge credit card balances.

19 Tricks To Stop Spending Money

tips to stop spending money

Without further adieu, these are 19 tricks you can use to stop spending money you’d rather keep or apply better to other needs:

1. Make A Realistic Budget

Creating a perfect budget is easy to do when you’re determined to stop spending money. It won’t last, though. Be honest and open enough to create a budget that you’re likely actually to stick with over time. If you need to, track all expenses for two to three months to see what your undisciplined budget is like, and then try to cut 20 percent of your spending in obvious categories.

2. Watch Out For Bad Habits

Many of them are discussed one by one throughout this list and content, but many forms of compulsive or needless spending are just bad habits, more than just mental disorders. That means they’re much easier to fix. Replacing bad habits with healthy habits will do wonders for you.

3. Make Money Decisions Earlier In The Day

Many people stick to their diets until around 4 p.m. Decision fatigue is real, and with each passing decision, choices usually get worse as the day goes on.

4. Don’t Auto Save Numbers On Websites

Don’t let any website automatically save your debit or credit card numbers for easy spending later on. For that matter, don’t let your browser save them either.

5. Leave The Cart At The Door

Grocery stores are an exception, as this one applies to places like Target. You can laugh at an Internet meme about someone going there for toothpaste and then spending $212.45, but you don’t want to be that person.

6. Avoid Endcaps In Grocery Stores

There are always cheaper options up and down the aisles unless it’s the only place in the store to get batteries or light bulbs.

7. Keep Your Phone On You

If you’re shopping for something in a brick-and-mortar store, and you don’t need it immediately, then look it up on your phone. Can you find it cheaper online?

8. Wait 24 Hours

In retail stores, wait a day and come back tomorrow if you still need it. Online, just let it sit in your cart overnight before checking out. Sleep on it.

9. Only Use Cash

Swiping plastic is so easy to do, and there are perks to it. However, using just cash transactions for real-life money matters makes you far less likely to spend the money. Research hammers this point home repeatedly.

10. Think Of The Children

If you have them, consider what you’re spending might do to their college educations. Even if you don’t have kids, do you want to chip in for your nieces and nephews? What about the next family vacation?

11. Review Your Facebook List

For that matter, look over the list of accounts you follow on every social media platform. Unfollow any that are common temptations that get you to spend money. Following coupon and deal accounts is an excellent habit to swap out for.

12. Compute Money Into Hours

Are you considering buying a $600 television for the big game? Don’t look at just the price tag. Figure out how much it costs in hours worked. If you earn $15 an hour, then that television is 40 hours of labor. Ask yourself if it’s still worth it?

13. Think About What You Have

Before you buy yourself a new book, think of the ones you haven’t read yet. Every reader has that pile. If you’re looking at a piece of furniture to spruce up a room, could you just rearrange what you have for a new flow and aesthetic?

14. Go To Swap Meets

Find out the kinds of things they swap, pack up anything you haven’t used in months or years, and then head out to look around and trade.

15. Identify Your Triggers

When you look over your expenses from the last few months, you’ll probably see a few things that pop up more often than you expect. Did you really visit that restaurant that often? Figure out what triggers you to go there, and then work around it.

16. Just Cut Back

If there is a particular restaurant you hit a lot, or you just eat out a lot, then try spacing things out. Instead of eating out five times one week, aim for three or four, never doing consecutive days. You can still enjoy eating out while saving some money.

17. Plan Your Meals

Making a shopping list is a great idea for any kind of shopping, but it makes the most impact when it comes to groceries. Figure out the food you need for a week, and then buy that and only that.

18. Order Groceries Online

Online shopping can bedevil many people with compulsive spending habits, but online grocery shopping that’s delivered to your door prevents any and all impulse buys inside the grocery store. You have to make and review your shopping list before you order. You’ll also know your total at a time when it’s easy to remove items without asking a cashier or bag boy to take something off in front of other people, knowing they’ll have to put it back.

19. Using Your Dryer

A tumble dryer uses a lot of energy doing something nature can do for you. Whenever possible, air-dry your clothes outside instead of running up your electric bill.

Moving Past The Individual Tricks

more advanced techniques to stop spending money

The tricks to stop spending money listed above can save you a little at first and a lot over time. They might just be enough to turn your spending habits around enough to pay down your credit cards and move you towards a specific financial goal in mind.

Having said that, if you really want to attain financial freedom, then you need to use some kind of budget planner to make a realistic budget that lets you escape the debt snowball while also having personal spending money to enjoy along the way.

Breaking The Cycle

If you get to the end of a pay period and have no pocket money, then you’re definitely overspending since you have no fun money left over to enjoy life with. Canceling any mailing lists you’re on might seem like an easy first step, but what about after that?

How Do I Stop Spending Money Recklessly And Living Week to Week?

Track all your spending for one pay period, writing down every expense with every dollar value attached to it. You might even want to extend this out to a month.

Look over everything and see if there’s anything you can apply the tricks to stop spending money listed above. Then, move into the next pay period with mindfulness about all of this, and see if you can’t generate savings of any kind.

It doesn’t have to be much the first time around. Saving $10 the first pay period you do this is likely to be harder than saving $100 several months in.

How To Stop Spending More Money Than I Actually Make

This is easy mathematically but more complicated motivationally. You need to:

  1. Determine how much money you make.
  2. Ascertain how much money that you spend.
  3. Figure out how much discrepancy there is.
  4. Address it.

The last one is where it can get tricky. If you figure out that you’re spending $600 more per month than you make and save $600 after that, you will have balanced your budget, but you won’t be actually saving anything.

You need to save more than $600. Use the tricks to stop spending money to get to that point, but also aim further than that.

Eventually, you might want to wind up following the 50/30/20 rule for budgeting:

  • 50%: Half your budget, at a maximum, should cover your housing costs, including rent/mortgage, insurance, and all your utilities.
  • 30%: This covers your lifestyle expenses, including clothing, your vehicle, the rest of your bills, food, and recreation/entertainment.
  • 20%: The last portion goes to both paying down debt and accruing savings.

Do note that this budget assumes post-tax income.

How To Stop Myself From Spending Money On Phone Games

stop spending money on phone games

The video game industry is bigger than ever, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Once just restricted to computers and consoles, tablets and smartphones are now capable of delivering hours of entertainment with certain gaming websites and apps.

What’s dangerous is how many of these games are called ‘free to play,’ as they are to a certain point. Yet, you might need to pay money to unlock the full game or fall prey to ‘microtransactions’ where you get features, abilities, characters, and other in-game items for small amounts of money.

You might not think that a dollar or two or even pennies and quarters are much to pay for these transactions, and yet that’s the allure and risk at the same time. One, such a transaction won’t bankrupt you, but the video game developers can make quite a bit when it’s done multiple times.

Some good general rules of thumb include:

  • Deleting games, you know you spend too much money on
  • Finding games that are always free to play
  • Only buying games that have no microtransactions after the original purchase

How To Stop Spending Money On League Of Legends

League of Legends is a trendy game with many loyal followers. However, you don’t actually have to give it up if you want to keep playing it, so long as you take a few certain steps:

  • Stop keeping Paypal, debit card, or credit card information on your phone.
  • Cancel whichever card LoL has access to if you can’t delete it in the game.
  • Reinstall the game and start from scratch without entering any financial information.

How To Stop Spending Money On A Call Of Duty Mobile Game

Call of Duty mobile games let users have the chance to vent stress in a shooter without having to be at home at their computer or console. The upside of this is entertainment wherever and whenever you need it, but the downside is getting sucked into loot crates and other microtransactions.

In addition to the steps listed for League of Legends, commit yourself to:

  • A strict budget of certain dollars per week on the game
  • Choose levels, matches, and variants in the game to have fun without spending real-life money.
  • Don’t play the game when you’re tired, intoxicated, or in any other way not able to stay financially mature and disciplined.

Visiting Call of Duty gaming communities online will help you find like-minded players that have learned how to play the game while enjoying it without draining their bank account.

How Do You Stop Spending Money While You Are With Your Friends?

Trying to keep up with the Joneses has been a curse to more American households than you might think. Yet, even 20 percent of millionaire households spend nearly all their income trying to keep up with their friends.

Almost half of the millennials overspend when going out with friends, even though most of them wind up feeling bad about it later. Fortunately, there are many ways to either stop spending money or start saving money when it comes to social situations:

  • Make a Budget: This might be as simple as putting $50 cash in your wallet and saying that’s what you’re allowed to spend that night. When it’s gone, you’re done. Don’t reach for any plastic after that.
  • Make a Plan: Overspending is often just not being honest about what you’re likely to do. If you always wind up having three beers and a basket of cheese sticks, then why not plan on that and save in advance? You can have the same fun you always do without regretting it later.
  • Open Up to Your Friends Honestly: You will probably find that at least half your group is open to saving money if given a chance. It won’t just be the overspenders, either.
  • Find Cheaper Options: Visit second-run theaters when you can. Go to bars on dollar drink night. Take advantage of freebie days at museums and other points of attraction—Dine-in at people’s houses. Pack food and drink when you can.
  • Save Money on Related Expenses: Do you have a wardrobe you use for social occasions? Pare it down a bit, or start buying new pieces more slowly.
  • Transit: Split a rideshare or taxi. Take turns carpooling. Use mass transit.

How To Stop Spending Money Online Shopping

online shopping

Going shopping online gives you access to pretty much everything you could ever need in life. The selection is unprecedented, and in many cases, the prices are unbeatable.

Then again, buying things online that have value or are incredible bargains doesn’t always make that money well-spent. So while some online shopping might be necessary, any shopping that is done just to make you feel better should be avoided by doing other things until the craving passes.

If you’re an ex-smoker, then you might already know this particular drill. But, even if you aren’t an ex-smoker, you probably know someone who can give you some pointers on avoiding addiction cravings.

If you’re an active smoker, you don’t need to be told where you can stop spending money on something wasteful because you already know that.

What Can I Do Instead Of Online Shopping?

When you get the urge to shop online, consider these distractions instead:

  • Clean up your home’s clutter. Just 5 minutes should be enough time to determine if your urge for online shopping is actually a need or just a want.
  • Balance your checkbook and bank accounts. You’ll quickly see if you have any money to spend online. Even if you do, you might appreciate having it enough that you choose to keep it.
  • Scrub your toilet. You can also mow the yard or take out the garbage. Even washing a few pots and pans can work. Just do something that takes your breath away for the slightest moment. That might be enough to work out whatever has gotten into you.
  • Groom your pets. Cleaning a four-legged friend is something your pet needs. Hopefully, the concentration on the task will move your mind past the next pair of shoes or video game you were looking at.
  • Run scans on your computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. Antivirus and malware protection programs are good things to keep updated and run in full regularly. Do so before doing any online shopping just for the sake of security. Use the time to reconsider what you’re doing.

If You Do Have To Shop Online:

Online shopping is somewhat unavoidable these days, but there are things you can do to handle it responsibly:

  • Set a day and time. Schedule it just like you would going to get groceries so you can be at your mental and emotional peak.
  • Only buy things on sale. Try to save money whenever you can.
  • Plan on sales and bargains. Many items have annual or seasonal cycles where their prices are lowest. Deliberately looking ahead is the opposite of compulsive spending.
  • Put it in a cart and leave it overnight. Sometimes, setting something in your online cart and sleeping on it will give you time to think of cheaper alternatives. Also, you might get a coupon code you can use if you come back and finish checking out.

How To Stop Spending So Much Money On Makeup

stop spending money on makeup

If you’re not into makeup, then don’t worry about this one. On the other hand, if you can’t live without makeup, then consider the following:

  • Only buy the essentials you have to have.
  • Get free samples whenever you can.
  • Lower prices don’t always mean lower product quality.
  • Watch YouTube videos to see how you can get your makeup to last longer by using less while still looking great.
  • Don’t buy more until you use what you have.
  • Move the stuff in the back of the drawer or cabinet to the front, so it gets used.

Eliminating Waste

Cutting back on fun money can save you dollars. However, if you first eliminate wasteful spending, you might be able to stop spending money you shouldn’t while still keeping some discretionary income available.

What Should You Not Spend Money On?

There are quite a few things that you shouldn’t spend money on at all. Here are four to watch out for:

  1. Warranties: You should insure your home, your physical health, and your vehicle. Past that, most warranties are just marketing schemes. Replacement costs on most items are actually cheaper than having warranties on everything.
  2. Some Insurance Coverage: Watch out for policies or provisions that cover things you don’t need or might not even matter. Collision insurance might not even be necessary on an older vehicle. Credit card fraud insurance shouldn’t matter since you are legally protected from liability if someone steals your card.
  3. Name Brands: Generics, store brands, and private label products are usually just as good as the name brands. If you do a little digging, you can find out they are made in the same factories as the premium versions.
  4. Single-Use Kitchen Items: A banana slicer might seem like a really cool thing, and it can be. Then again, how often do you slice bananas? You can do the same thing with most knives without wasting money or space in your kitchen.

Products That Are A Waste Of Money

For many people, their three most significant expenses are:

  1. Rent/Mortgage
  2. Student loans
  3. Household products

Household products include things such as groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. These represent a significant opportunity to save money over time if you stop wasting money on the following products:

  • Air Fresheners: Use DIY alternatives, such as leaving some baking soda in a bowl on your counter.
  • Coffee Pods/K-Cups: These are cheaper than stopping at Starbucks every morning, but they’re also five times as expensive as getting a bag of coffee. Even the guy that created the first K-Cup feels bad and doesn’t use them due to the cost.
  • Paper Towels: Dishtowels and washrags are far cheaper, even when you account for laundering them frequently.
  • Robotic Vacuum Cleaners: These are great ideas, but they’re not quite there yet. If you have a home with stairs in it, then you’re just asking for trouble. They don’t do well on filthy floors, and many of them need just as much of your maintenance time as you’d spend with a vacuum cleaner as it is.
  • Bottled Water: Packing a bottle of water or two when heading out might save you money on more expensive beverages where you are going. Drinking several of them a day, especially around the office or home, is just wasting money. You might be able to save $1,400 a year just by switching to tap water.

Stopping All Spending

how to stop spending

How do you know when you’ve mastered your spending? For many, it’s when they can actually stop spending all money for a stretch of time, be it a day, week, or even a whole month.

Stop Spending Money App

You already know that some apps, especially games with microtransactions, can be sources of significant spending for you. However, a handful can help you budget and save, including ones designed just for budgeting into all the different categories that you need or want to spend on.

Options such as Qube Money aren’t always directly targeted towards getting you to stop spending money altogether, but you can use them to stop spending aimlessly. Instead, you’ll spend with purpose and planning, which makes all the difference in the world.

No-Spend Challenge

Your savings goals probably cover many different things that you’d like to have in your life. They might even cover something you would like to free your life of, such as student loans and personal loans.

One goal you should consider is the no-spend challenge, where you don’t spend a single dollar for a certain amount of time. Pulling this off requires not just significant willpower during that span of time, as you also need serious preparation in advance of it to make it even possible.

You might want to start with a one-day no-spend challenge just to warm up. From there, you can move up to multiple days or even an entire week.

The holy grail among people who do this is going a whole month without spending any money.

How Can I Stop Spending Money For 30 Days?

Stopping all spending for 30 days and actually accomplishing it is a surefire sign that you have stopped wasting your money. You’ve also saved up some and have become good at managing the rest of your bills. Consider what this entails:

  • Make shopping lists for all supplies and food you need that month.
  • Not spending any money on food while having a meal plan that includes meal prep multiple times per day.
  • Paying all your bills 30 days in advance.
  • For anything you can’t go 30 days in between, such as filling your gas tank, you have to buy prepaid cards in advance.

In Closing

If you read all the way through this, then you learned:

You might not need to take every single one of these steps in order to get to where you want to be financially, but knowing all of them certainly helps you with the money in your life.

Hint, Hint

While this article was titled 19 tricks to stop spending money and had that numbered list, there were even more tricks that spread throughout the content. Skimming the content once is understandable to pick up main points, but going back through and reading everything, whether it’s the first time or the third, is a minimal investment of time that will save you lots of money in the long run.