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How to Stop Spending Money

Help for Habitual Shoppers

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Are you a shopaholic or habitual shopper who cannot afford your bad habit? Here are tips which can help curve the temptations to spend money.
    • Know What You Own
      Take some time to organize what you own by straightening and inventorying from the pantry to your closets and drawers. The next time you decide to go shopping check out what you already own. By the time you finish looking through all your past purchases you will be too exhausted to go shopping for more things you do not need.

    • Get Rid of the Plastic
      Adopt a "cash-only" policy or use your debit card when you shop. Credit cards add to the temptation to spend more than you can afford. Close your department and chain store credit cards. Not getting the coupons in your monthly credit card statements from your favorite stores will help cut the temptation to shop.

    • Avoid Shopping When Bored or Depressed
      Hitting the stores when we are down in the dumps or just plain bored can result in buying more stuff we do not need. Divert that unspent energy into something more positive and self indulgent such as taking a long bath, browsing the library for a good book or movie, exercising, or inviting a friend over for coffee and good conversation. If you find you have a lot of time on your hands try volunteering for something that interest you.

    • Bring a List
      Whether you go to the grocery store or to the mall, take time to make a list of the things you need - not things you want. It is helpful to make the list, then edit it and make a second list. Once inside the stores, stay focused and only buy the items on your list. See something else you think you need? Go home, check what you have and make certain you really do need it. You can always go back the next day to buy it.

    • Watch Where You Shop
      When it is time to go grocery shopping, go to a grocery store. When shopping for groceries at stores like WalMart and Target the temptation to pile non-grocery items into your cart can be too much for even the average shopper. The savings you might find on food will quickly disappear with the other non-food items you've loaded into the cart.

    • Avoid Shopping With Other Spendaholics
      Shopping with someone with bad spending habits will influence our shopping habits. You can always go do something else with that person which doesn't include spending money recklessly. Instead shop with a frugal friend who often leaves stores empty handed.

    • Remember - You Don't Need it Today
      Many times when we allow time to think about our purchases, we end up realizing it is not something we really need today. By putting the item on hold or just leaving it until the following day, we may decide it isn't something we really have to have. Used to using the, "I can always return it" logic? The fact is, spendaholics almost never return anything they purchase, at least not within the time limits for a full cash refund.

    • Pay Your Bills Before You Shop
      Going to the mall with friends? Allow time before you go to pay your bills and review your checking account and current credit card balances. A dose of reality before you hit the stores will help curtail the desire to spend money on non-necessities.

    • Identify the Purpose
      Part of breaking the habit of shopping is by knowing why you are buying something. When identifying the purpose of what you are buying ends up being vague, put it down. You can always go back and buy it when you know why you need it.
      • Examples of buying an item for a purpose:
        - I need a present for a baby shower I am attending next week.

      • Example of buying an item without a purpose:
        - I may need a baby shower present next year.
    • Try Shopping Like Most Men
      I know this will be a difficult one, but here is how a lot of men shop: They drive to the store, go inside, get the item they came for, go to the check-out, pay for the item and leave. They don't have to walk down all the aisles in the store! They don't shop, they buy. I know, boring, but it saves money.

    Utilizing tips to help handle the temptation to wasteful spending can result in bringing back the real pleasures of buying something we need and not just want.

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