If you’re guilty of saving what is left after spending, this post is for you.
We often get pliant when it comes to spending money. We become Frenzy which leads to spending more than we save. It becomes difficult when we have not identified the points that break the budget and lead to overspending. That certain point when we are accustomed with the problem – bad spending habits. Yes, it happens to everyone, we become naive about the whole situation, we pretend and shove it off. We remind ourselves everyday we need to take action but a day or two after these resolutions, we’re back to old spending ways. Living the “omo baba olowo” (A rich man’s son) life only to be “humble” days after when the account is red.
You might be telling yourself you have enough to spend lavishly and still not go broke but no matter how rich you are, proper finance management is essential.
Here, I came up with seven ways to reduce bad spending habits. They’ve worked for me. Follow them religiously and I’m certain they’ll work for you. Let’s dive in.
- Develop a plan: In order to save better, you need to develop a plan by prioritizing based on what is important. A list should be created. Having the most important things at the top of the list and the least at the bottom, you will be able to understand where to reduce your spending in.
- Take only the cash that’s needed: Yes, no credit cards or debit cards, just cash. Lets paint a scenario of you going grocery shopping and #50 has been budgeted which you already withdrew from the ATM and all your credit/debit cards are back home. You get to the store, picked up a few items and you are about to pay when the attendant tells you its #65 and you only have #50. Normally, if you were with your card, you would have either paid the extra #15 or just pay the whole sum with your card but today you don’t have any of your cards with you. so what do you do? Leave without buying anything? or start prioritizing the items in your cart and putting things back. So with only cash to work with, you need to start making things work. Of course, before going shopping, you should have made a list (we’ll get to that in a bit) identifying what’s most important and what’s negligible as stated in the first point.
- Spending Triggers: We need to start avoiding spending triggers, that is, things or individuals that make you spend unnecessarily. We all have that friend, even if you have prepared yourself to buy nothing, they always have that way of getting you – ” Ohh my !! those shoes look cute on you, you can’t leave without buying them, someone else might buy it, it might not be here tomorrow, i think this is the last pair”. Yes, we need to have control over ourselves, If its not important you shouldn’t buy it. Don’t just buy it to satisfy your friend or desire for ostentatious things and then dump it at home and never wear it. You should be smart about your spending and reduce it. Always prioritise and be disciplined.
- Be accountable to someone: This works for me. I always have this urge to buy food, makeup and hair. I just can’t stop thinking about them, sometimes I window shop online and put things in my cart until I have enough money to get them, but then I speak to my friend and he doesn’t tell me not to buy them. He asks,” why do you have to buy it?”. So if i don’t have a valid reason or if he doesn’t see the importance, I end up not purchasing the items. This really puts me in check and he reminds me of my current money goal (reduce unnecessary spending).
- Shop with a list: Always write down a list when shopping. It is normal to get carried away without a list because you start buying irrelevant things and most times you forget the main reason you visited the grocery store for. With a list you are more focussed with finding the items and crossing them out which reduces impulse buying.
- Don’t shop while you wait: This is very tempting, it happens to everyone (I am not an exception). I tend to shop while waiting for someone. I find unnecessary things to buy, so as to let time pass by and not stand awkwardly somewhere. In order to stop this, you can read a book, talk to someone new, call a friend and so on. it should help out in passing the time. Waiting idly can open the door to big spending.
- Track your Spending: Taking notes helps with tracking how much you spend. You need to jot what money comes in and what’s going out. This allows you to be conscious and know if you have spent beyond your budget. If you are too lazy to note down these things, you can opt for an app. I use an app called Mobills and it has been of immense help in keeping my finance related excesses in check.
You’re not going to change your bad spending habits in a day, it would take a while. Just as it took a while to create them, it would take a while to break them.
Increasing your income and saving money aren’t the only approach to make a difference in your financial plan. How and when you spend can influence the amount of cash you have to work with in achieving your money goals.
The points given above definitely aren’t the only ways to reduce excessive spending. How have you tried to curb your spending habits? Share below.