While creating a budget is a noble ambition, many people find it hard to stick to their strict financial goals throughout the week or the month. Especially if you’re trying to break some bad spending habits that you’ve been building for years, it can be a real challenge to retrain your brain to learn how to reduce your spending and make smart, healthy financial decisions. So if you have the best of intentions but have struggled with executing your budgeting goals, here are three things you can do that will help you control any unnecessary monthly spending you’re currently doing.
Start Using Cash Only
One of the best ways you can keep track of all the money that’s going out of your accounts and wrap your brain about the physical amounts, according to Debra Pangestu, a contributor to My Money Coach, is to start using only cash and quit using debit or credit cards for anything. By doing this, you’ll force yourself to only be able to spend whatever amount of cash you’ve taken out of your accounts. Additionally, seeing the physical cash in your hand shrink as you make purchases will encourage you to only spend whatever’s necessary in order for you to hold onto whatever you can. So after you get paid, make a stop at the ATM and take out only the cash you’ve budgeted so you can keep yourself honest as you pay for things during the month.
Don’t Go Off List
While your budget should be something that you stick to in general, this doesn’t necessarily help when you’re making those day-to-day purchases for things like groceries or other items. So to encourage you to only spend money on the things that you need and that you’ve planned for, SaveUp recommends to the Huffington Post that you always create a list whenever you go out shopping anywhere and only purchase what you’ve written on the list. Regardless of what else you see when you’re out shopping, commit yourself to only buying what’s on the list. This can help take the emotion out of your shopping experiences, which is likely what got you into spending trouble in the first place.
Cancel Your Loyalty Subscriptions and Members
Just like how creating a shopping list can help keep you from making impulse buys, Kit Yarrow, a contributor to Time Money, shares that you should also cancel any of your email subscriptions that you get as a loyal customer to brands or stores you love. In these emails, you’ll receive news about sales or discount offers, all meant to entice you to spending money that you otherwise wouldn’t. Once you’re no longer receiving these emails, this temptation will disappear along with them.
If you want to find ways to reduce your weekly or monthly spending on non-essentials, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you do just that.