Do you have trouble controlling your spending habits?
Oh, how I wish I could offer you one magic pill to help you out of your struggles.
I know you’re here for some inspiration.
Maybe some practical tips you haven’t tried.
If I’m being honest though, the chances are almost everything has been said and done.
You’ll unlikely find new bright ideas.
But I know one thing.
You can fix your spending habits. And it’s not as hard as you might think!
When we want to change or try something new, the beginning is always the hardest part. Once you decide to stop spending though, I know you’ll do it.
Because, hey, you’re here, which means you’re already halfway in!
Make a firm decision NOW, review your spending habits and create the lifestyle that your future self will thank you for (and be proud of).
Below are 6 super simple ways to do that.
6 Super Simple Ways I Stopped Spending Money
I brazenly said super simple.
If you think I’m being way too positive about controlling our spending impulse, I promise you that these are that simple.
You can do it straight away.
How do you do it?
Kick your emotions off the curb.
Don’t um and ah about it. Just decide and do it.
Let me repeat: don’t let your emotions get in the way.
(And that’s how I did it.)
So let’s get to it.
Here’s the first thing I did to stop spending money.
1. I Made Spending Difficult
I removed all my bank card details from online retailers.
The primary culprit was Amazon. I simply love Amazon.
See the present tense there? The temptation is always present. That’s why I had to remove my cards.
One fine afternoon, I had a sudden zest for fitness, pressed “buy now with 1-click” and found myself bouncing on my new mini-trampoline the very next day.
As much as we enjoy Amazon’s superb service, when we want to fix bad money habits, Amazon Prime is just bad news.
The convenience and efficiency of the service make you spend more. There’s no getting out of it but removing the temptations out of our life!
So after ordering my trampoline, I cancelled Amazon Prime and removed my card.
Kindle Unlimited is a different story.
If you read more than 2 books a month, it’s a steal.
But wait, it can be free… for a month!
Sign up for Kindle Unlimited 30-Day free trial. Cancel it and still enjoy for the entire month.
Amazon sends out offers regularly. Sometimes, 3 months’ trial! I’m currently on 3 months’ trial which is amazing.
If you’re a book lover like me, you’ll love Amazon Kindle Unlimited and it’s one thing you won’t feel guilty about.
So find which online retailers have your card details stored and remove them.
Remove every card.
2. I Stopped Using Credit Cards
I stopped using credit cards when I decided to deal with my ever-growing debt, once and for all.
The increasing debt forced me to take my finances seriously.
Credit cards had to go.
I’m not against credit cards.
But had I gone back to the first day of being offered one, knowing what I know now, I’d have thrown away. Seriously.
I had earned a few thousands of dollars in rewards from various credit card purchases over the years.
In hindsight though, those rewards too played a role and facilitated my lifestyle inflation.
Using credit cards for the sake of cashback or rewards does no good to your money habits.
3. I Re-evaluated the Meaning of Being Wealthy
We live in a material world where our worthiness is measured by material possessions.
Money distorts a lens through which we see and experience the world.
For example, most of us would consider someone living in a small village in Africa to be VERY poor, even though the man is happy and content.
He sends all his kids to the public school. They’re funded by chickens and cows he raises. He feeds his family with bountiful fresh fruits and veg planted in the backyards.
He has no cash. Doesn’t need it. He has no stress. He’s content with his life.
Is he really poor?
How about some people in the USA who’re living below the poverty line?
Yes, they’re poor, right?
Except some people are happy and content with their life.
- Food on the table
- Clothing to wear
- Wi-Fi to surf the net
- Clean water
- Heating and electricity.
- Plus good friends and family who are eager to help him if he ever needs.
Then there are people who earn thousands of dollars more, living in a property that screams prosperity to the outside world.
They would be the first to display either contempt or pity towards “the poor” described above while they’re up to their neck with debt, playing games to catch up with the Joneses.
I realised I had a very wrong perception of being wealthy.
4. I Decided to Love and Respect Money
I didn’t hate money. But I didn’t love, nor did I respect it.
Had I loved and respected money as it deserved, I’d have studied, learned everything about it, and utilised it to my advantage.
If you misuse and abuse money, the money will misuse you too.
That’s what happens to so many people under an ever-growing mountain of consumer debt.
I don’t worship money, but I’ve learned to love and respect money as a wonderful tool to buy the ultimate prize:
Choice and freedom
Isn’t that what we all want?
5. I Imagined the Day I Moved to My Current Home
When was the last time you had to pack everything to move?
Had I moved around more, I’d have learned sooner how much junk I had accumulated.
OMG, the moving crew I had hired ended up demanding more money when they turned up because the job demanded far more work than I had described over the phone.
I couldn’t argue. They were right. It shocked me too. Ha.
That was AFTER I had thrown/given away tons of stuff.
We don’t notice stuff hidden from our sights.
We buy new shiny things, stash them away and buy more. They pile up. We don’t realise the magnitude until we have to pack them all.
The moving day was very hard and tiring.
So I remind myself of that day.
I really don’t want to buy stuff unless I strictly need it. I still have tons of stuff that Marie Kondo would lovingly label under “don’t-spark-joy”.
How about you?
6. I Imagined My Life 10+ Years
This is one of the most powerful ways to stop bad spending habits, although it applies to every choice we make, not just money.
Let’s say you’re living paycheck to paycheck right now.
Maybe your salary is very low. Or it’s a fat paycheck.
You spend (almost) every penny as you earn.
Fast forward 10+ years, imagine living the same life.
Would you be happy? Would you like to see the same bank balance as you do now?
I definitely don’t want to have my debt being carried over that long, nor do I want to make my life all about clearing debt.
Whether you’re buying stuff to make you happy temporarily, impress others or out of boredom, you know your spending habits are getting to you.
Today is the best time to shift your attention from consuming to learning.
And resolve to learn everything there is to know about money.
Don’t deprive a long-lasting pleasure of accumulation from yourself owing to a short-term gratification.
Fix your bad money habits today.
You can do it.
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