Spending money has never been easier than it is in today’s time. From online shopping to swiping your debit or credit card, spending is as simple as entering a few digits. And even if you don’t use electronic payments, spending cash, especially if you’ve just been paid, can feel so rewarding and fun. But how do you control how much you spend and make sure that you’re spending responsibly? Read on for some handy tips on how to make sure that you aren’t overspending.
Understand your spending triggers
Often times we go on a shopping spree as a way to feel better about ourselves. If we have an argument with our significant other or are just in a bad mood, there’s nothing that can make us feel better than going out and spending money. Some scientists believe that spending actually releases serotonin, a feel-good chemical in our brain. However, these spending sprees can often get out of control. Understanding what it is that is triggering this desire is one of the first steps to controlling it. So for example, by recognizing that you tend to spend more if you’ve had a bad day at the office, the next time you see that you’re having a bad day, you can actively try and find another way to help ease your mood.
Track your spending
Making sure that you are aware of how much you spend and what you are spending on is a great way to help control out-of-control spending habits. Keeping track of your spending can give you a clear view of what you are able to cut back on and also allow you to try to find cheaper alternatives for the items that you do need. Also, keep track of the time that you spend. For example, if you find that you spend more when you shop around lunchtime, and you find that most of your spending is on snack items such as chips or chocolate bars, you can then try and go shopping later on in the day when you are not hungry and are therefore less likely to spend on these types of items.
Stick to cash and stop relying on credit cards
It’s easy to spend money on a credit or debit card. You simply swipe the card and voila -you have a new item. This is because you aren’t forced to evaluate the cost of the item versus how much money you have available. This is why you should try and spend as little on your cards and use cash when shopping. It’s much harder to spend $50 when you can see that you only have $70 on hand. Credit cards also pose a problem in that they allow you to spend money which you don’t actually have. They are great for emergencies but other than that you should avoid using them as much as possible and rather stick to cash.
Give every dollar a job
This may sound silly, but giving every dollar that you have a specific purpose can drastically help reduce your spending. Take a look at how much money you have and assign a job to each and every dollar. For example. If you have $300.00, go through your expenses and make sure that each dollar goes towards a specific item. This way you can see how much you are spending unnecessarily and reduce the excess spending.