Stop spending. It’s much easier said than done, that’s for certain. Sometimes cutting back on your providers and switching and ditching various money drains just won’t be enough to improve your finances. It’s important to work out how this is happening – are you overspending? Perhaps you’re not tracking your outgoings?
If you can’t answer the question ‘what are your debts from’ then you may have a problem on your hands. Things could very quickly spiral out of control, and you could end up having to use your whole paycheck to pay off your debts.
At times like these, you’ll just need to stop. But how?
Whether you need scaring into it, or you simply want some top tips about how you can stop spending, this article will take you through everything you ever wanted to know about how to stop spending, with some handy ideas on how to curb your spending and get yourself out of the red.
How much will it cost in ‘time’?
So you’ve spotted something that you don’t think you can live without. Do you really need it though? Often it is worth sleeping on something before taking the plunge, and seeing if you still really want it in the morning.
If you’re still tempted, another way of considering if you need it or not is by figuring out how much it will cost you in working time. For instance, if you get paid £5 an hour and the thing you want costs £200, that’s the equivalent of 40 hours work. It makes you think!
Start planning your meals
This may seem extreme – but planning your meals before you go shopping can save you lots of cash in the long run. By having all the necessary ingredients written out for each meal you plan, as well as taking stock as to what is already in the cupboard, can mean you save a shedload.
Visiting the supermarket later at night is also a great idea, as quite often they’ll have discounts on things going out of date on the same day. And if you spot any shopping coupons here, there and everywhere, definitely take advantage of them. You can save a whole load. It’s also never a good idea to go to the food shops while hungry – you’ll just get tempted!
Are you using all the subscriptions you pay for?
We all sign up for subscriptions – it’s part of our everyday life. Some things we might end up using every day, and so they’re worth every penny – however, there could well be some subscriptions that you’ve signed up for, and pay for, that you simply don’t use. This is effectively flushing your hard-earned money down the toilet.
Double-check your account and note down all the outgoing sums of money, cross-referencing them with what you know you’re using. If they’re not worth it, cancel them. Similarly, you may find that you’re overspending on your gym membership or your chosen film or TV platform. There are lots of free alternatives, so if you need to tighten the belt buckles, you should consider those.
Out with the old, in with the new
This can be a great way to stop too much clutter gathering in your house, plus you might be able to sell off the bits you don’t want. Every time you are considering something new, go through what you already have and see if you can get rid of some bits. Selling these old items could also go towards covering the cost of the new bits, meaning overall, you’re spending a little bit less.
Have you switched it off?
One of the most common ways that we burn through cash that we don’t even realise is via our bills. Saving energy is such a straightforward way of stopping spending, and it’s not just about getting better deals on your utilities.
Switching off lights whenever you leave a room, switching appliances off instead of putting them on standby, turning down your thermostat – all these things will stop you from spending money.
Cutting back at home
You might not realise it, but there are a whole load of ways you can cut back on costs from the safety of your own home. How to stop spending on unnecessary items? Try making them yourself. You could try your hand at baking your own bread, growing your own veg in a window box or an old container, or even brewing your own beer!
Look after those pennies
All of us find that we have loose change just floating about. And when you take into account that households in the UK collectively find over £3 billion a year in loose change, it makes sense to start putting it somewhere you know where to find it. Keep a jar to store all your spare shrapnel, and when you’ve filled it up you can take it to the bank and use one of their automated machines to pay it directly into your account.
Do you need to spend every day?
Try challenging yourself once or twice a week with a ‘no spend’ day. These are days where you don’t dive into your wallet at all, and while it sounds easy on paper, it can be really tricky to stay regimented about it. Often you’ll find that even spending a little bit on one day can lead you to spending more. A great way of weaning yourself off the habit of spending is by having these ‘no spend’ days, and is a really good method as to how to stop spending.
Pretend your credit card is your debt card
It’s worth reiterating that every penny you spend on your credit card isn’t yours until you pay it back. Every time you use your credit card, that’s then money that you owe. So a great method to stop spending is to try and pretend that your credit card is actually a debt card. This way, you limit yourself to how much you spend on it, as the more you spend, the further into debt you’ll go.