Why Control Spending
You say “It’s my money and I can do with it what I want.” That is very true, but what do you want your money to do for you? Money is only as good as what it does for you. It might take you to Starbucks or out to eat or get a better apartment or even a better car. Starbucks is cash out of pocket, a better apartment means you have saved for the deposit and a better car comes when you have developed credit.
Start by setting some goals: both long term and short term goals.
Evaluate needs vs. wants
Don’t go shopping unless you have a reason. Ask yourself that question about every purchase: do I really need it? Possibly. Or do I just want it? Put off purchasing the things you want and focus on what you absolutely need right now. Even for necessities like clothes and food, you can often find ways to spend less. When sales come along yuo will be happy.
Brown-bag-it more often
Eating out is probably one of our biggest expenses? Take your lunch to work occasionally and you could easily save $30 or more per week. Make eating out a once-a-week event for your family rather than once-a-day, and you could save hundreds more. When you do eat out, use coupons.
Shop sales and second-hand shops
Don’t pay full price for anything. Take time to comparison shop so you aren’t fooled by advertising. Look for good deals. Shop second-hand stores, even garage sales, for clothing, furniture and appliances.
Don’t window shop to beat boredom
Wandering aimlessly around store aisles is hazardous to your budget. The temptation to make impulse purchases may overcome you.
Make a list before shopping
For groceries, plan a week’s worth of menus and try to shop only once a week with list in hand. Stick to the list. Knowing what you’re going to cook in advance also reduces the temptation to eat out again.
Investigate more ways to save
Google “frugal living” and find tons of creative ideas for ways to cut spending and save. Or make a free appointment with one of our certified counselors. They’ve helped thousands of people get on the path to better money management.