I’ve got a confession to make: I’m a born spender! Clothes, jewellery, household stuff – pretty much anything on Amazon! And it doesn’t stop there! I have four growing kids to buy for and I like them to have all the nice stuff. That’s why I’ve had to teach myself how to stop overspending and start saving money.
If you’re struggling with overspending and want to start saving money, then you’re in the right place. Over the years, I’ve battled hard to get my spending under control and get my savings on track. I’m going to share my top tips for taking control of your finances and becoming a savings ninja.
1. Make a weekly budget to start saving money
If you’re a born spender like me, then it’s really easy to let money slip through your fingers. If you have a monthly income, you can easily get to the end of the month and not know where all the money has gone. Oops! Overdrawn again!
Personally, to stop this from happening, I’ve been keeping a weekly budget for years. I transfer a weekly allowance to a separate account and that’s my spending account for food, clothes and any extras. It helps me control my spending because it’s much easier to keep tabs on my spending this way.
If you don’t want a separate bank account, you could use a budget app or withdraw cash. If the money runs out and you need something else it’s usually easy to wait for a few more days.
2. Work out your spending triggers
For me, the spending trigger was definitely stress. Had a tough week at work? Pop onto Amazon. Feeling tired? Start browsing Asos. For you, it might be something different. Common spending triggers are stress, feeling happy, feeling down, being out with friends and walking past your favourite shop.
If you understand your spending triggers, then you can do something about them. Planning ahead when shopping often helps with saving money. When you go out with friends, take a set amount of cash to limit your spending. Plan something for the evening if you’re feeling stressed so you don’t just scroll the night away on your phone, spending money.
3. Hang out with frugal friends who like saving money
We’re social animals and we love being with friends. That’s great, but the problem is that we can also start spending like our friends. Have you ever been chatting to a friend who brings up their next holiday? If you’ve booked a caravan in Bognor Regis and they’re going to Spain, you can feel a bit silly. It’s easy to push the boat out with spending just to fit in.
There are two ways to approach this. Either start hanging out with your more frugal friends so you can share your new frugal habits. Or, tell your free-spending friends that you’re on a money diet. Explain that you need to stop overspending and start saving money. Maybe they will want to join you!
4. Don’t buy now!
The problem is that it’s so much easier to spend money these days. We all hold the internet in the palm of our hand with endless spending possibilities. In ten seconds, you can think of something you need, pop onto Amazon and bam! It’s ordered. We sometimes do it almost without thinking.
I’ve noticed that it really helps to put down my phone in the evening when I’m watching TV. If I do need something, then I pop it in my online basket and come back to it the next day. Sometimes, I realise the next day that I don’t really need that fifth pair of jeans after all!
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