11 Simple Ways to Curb Your Spending Habits

11 Simple Ways to Curb Your Spending Habits

For the past five years, I’ve become really conscious about my consumer decisions and spending habits. It’s partly due to a few Environmental Studies subjects that I took at university, but also because it sucks to see the money in my bank account deplete.

Curbing my spending habits has been difficult. We live in a society that depends on trade and money… so naturally every single company in the world is trying to trick us to believe that in buying a certain product, we can live a better lifestyle.

With my new found desire to live a more minimalistic life, I’ve become a lot more determined to say no to unnecessary purchases. Sometimes I still fail and a sparkly new Google Pixel phone might just coerce me to part ways with my money. Hey, we’re humans and we’re flawed.

That being said, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better in walking away from buying unnecessary items. A few weeks ago, I was walking through the IKEA Marketplace and I actually walked out without purchasing anything. THAT, is a big feat for me (I accept your applause, thank you).

Anyway, there are a few things I do to help stop my shopaholic tendencies. I thought I’d share them with you because let’s be honest – we can all make better consumer choices no matter who we are.

Here are 11 simple ways to curb your spending habits:

1. Unsubscribe to email lists and email marketing from retail stores.

Unsubscribe to email lists and email marketing

Out of sight, out of mind. I used to be easily persuaded by email campaigns from my favourite brands telling me that I can save up to 70% off. And then I realised that every single damn week, there was a sale of some sort. It’s just not worth it – the money you save from a sale will only be spent at the next sale. Unsubscribing from email marketing has played a HUGE factor in curbing my online shopping habits.

2. Unfollow brands AND social media personalities that give you the urge to splurge.

Unfollow brands and social media personalities that give you the urge to splurge

Another out of sight, out of mind technique. I used to follow a lot of fashion bloggers on Instagram that really portrayed a life of excess. It often gave me an urge to go online shopping so I could be ‘in trend’. If you find that you’re following personalities on social media that make you feel even an ounce of inadequacy, then perhaps it’s time to hit that ‘unfollow’ button.

3. Make a list of things that you can and can’t buy.

Make a list of things you can and can't buy

Usually when I travel, I always end up buying postcards. It’s the weird ‘collector’ inside of me. But now that I’m in my room, I look at these postcards and think what a waste. So, I made a comprehensive list of the things that I can’t buy. Once you have your list, it’s easier to avoid stores that sell these products.

4. Set yourself a budget – and stick to it!

It’s the oldest trick in the book. When you set yourself a budget, you become more conscious of what you’re actually spending your money on.

5. Avoid using your card and use cash instead.

Avoid using your card and use cash instead

It’s the oldest trick in the book. When you set yourself a budget, you become more conscious of what you’re actually spending your money on.

6. Be aware of the tricks that shopping malls and stores make to blur your consumer decision making.

Stores will always put the most desired items at the back so that you have to walk through and browse at other items. They also tend to use bright lights and play loud music so that your senses are overwhelmed. When you’re in a mall, make sure to remember that your decision making skills are hindered. Really re-assess whether you’re purchasing something as an impulse.

7. When you feel the urge to shop, watch some educational videos instead!

This especially applies to online shopping. Your time spent browsing through asos.com could be better spent watching something educational. Go on TED or National Geographic to find a good video that can stimulate your mind rather than your consumer ego.

Here’s one of my favourite National Geographic talks of all time. It’s by the inspirational wildlife photographer and filmmaker, Mattias Klum.

Trust me, you’ll definitely lose your urge to shop after watching this.

8. Ask yourself: do you really need this item? Where does it fit in your life? Will you still love it in five years?

So you’re about to head to the counter with an impulse purchase. Ask yourself: do you really need this? Can you visualise a place in your home where this item will actually go? And most importantly, is it something that will still give you a buzz after five years? If you hesitate while answering these questions, chances are that you shouldn’t be forking out your money for it.

9. If you do want to buy something, try buy it second-hand.

If you do want something, buy it second hand

There’s so many unnecessary items being produced every single day that you can purchase second-hand. Not only will it be a cheaper alternative, but you’ll also be re-using, repurposing and recycling! Why do we need to buy something brand spanking new when it’s already out in society waiting to be loved?

10. Tell others your plan to stop spending money on unnecessary things.

When you tell someone what you plan to do, chances are that it will help you stick to the plan. They’ll hold you accountable. Also, if you go against your word you’ll feel like a complete failure. And who likes feeling like a failure???

11. If it’s not LOVE at first sight, drop it and walk away (with sassy attitude, preferably).

11 Simple Ways to Curb Your Spending Habits

This tip is pretty self-explanatory. If you pick up an item and you’re like WOW but then you try it on and you’re like EHH. Put it back on the shelf and back away. If, after a few days the item is plagued into your mind, then go back and see if you like it or not. More often than not, you would have totally forgotten about it.

Those are my tips! Remember, don’t beat yourself up if you succumb once in a while to your materialistic desires. It happens. The most important thing is being self-aware and conscious about your consumer habits. It’s the first step to actually making a change in your lifestyle that’s not only going to make your wallet happy, but also the environment.

If you have any other tips on how you curb your spending habits, please share them in the comments! I would love to know as I’m always looking for new ways to beat that unhealthy consumer mentality.

 

Hope you’re having a lovely day,
Leonie xo.

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