Do you ever wonder how to stop spending money? I’m usually a pretty careful spender, but every so often I need to reset my spending by having a “no spend” weekend, week, or month. A “no spend” is exactly what it sounds like — you don’t spend money unnecessarily. No Spends are a great practice to reset your spending habits, plus encourage you to use what you have in your pantry and give your bank account a boost.
Designing Your No Spend
How long will your spending freeze last? Personally, I prefer a month-long spending freeze. I feel like this a long enough amount of time to shift my mindset, but short enough that I can be successful. I mean, it’s not THAT hard to not buy clothes for a month, right?
What rules will you set for yourself during your “No Spend”? I try not to spend money on items I don’t need. If it’s “treat yo’self,” (where are my Parks and Rec fans?) it’s against the rules. This post shares the specific guidelines I use for my No Spend January.
Time of Year
Plan your No Spend wisely. December, for instance, is a terrible time for a No Spend. For me, January, June, and October are all perfect reset months — but you may have different preferences. January is perfect because December can be such a budgetary train wreck. We also have a lot of family birthdays in April and May, so by June I’m feeling spent (literally) and my wallet needs a break. October is another month that’s slower than the Back-to-School Spending Sprees from August and September. What works for you?
11 Simple Tips to Stop Spending Money
These tips are helpful for how to stop spending anytime, but I kick them into high gear during my no spend months. They’re also helpful in retraining your thinking.
1. Identify weak spots in your spending.
Do you have a hard time resisting the Drive Thru after preschool pick up? Do you get a weekly manicure? Are those magazines in the grocery checkout aisle hard to refuse? Identify your weaknesses is half the battle. Now that you’re aware of where you spend, you can change your habits.
2. Avoid temptation.
Don’t kill a half an hour wandering around Target. Don’t spend your Saturday morning at the mall because you have no other plans. Set yourself up for success by avoiding places you needlessly spend money.
3. Meal Plan
It’s much easier to grocery shop when you’ve got a meal plan. You can plan a week at a time or a month at a time, but whatever you do, make a list of foods you need and STICK TO IT.
4. Shop your pantry and freezer for meals
Take meal planning a step further by shopping your pantry for ingredients. Not only does this save you a ton of money, it gets the older foods out of your pantry so they don’t go to waste.
5. Grocery Pick Up
You’ve planned your meals and made a list, now it’s time to shop. Check to see if your local supermarket offers grocery pick up. It ensures that you’ll stick to your list and avoid those impulse buys. I pay a $3 fee for grocery pick up and I guarantee it pays for itself.
6. Get off Social Media
If you have a hard time not comparing yourself to others, take a social media break. Social media is full of people sharing the best of their lives, which isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s hard to see when you’re trying to save money. Tina got a new car? Who cares. Debby bought her son an expensive gaming system. Not your wallet, not your business. But all that is much easier said than done.
7. Snooze or Unfollow on Social Media
If getting off social media altogether is too hard, maybe curate your accounts a bit. Do you have any friends that make you feel bad about yourself? Do you follow any of those “deals” pages on Facebook? How about influencers who always have a new product you “need to try”? Give them the boot, or at least snooze them for 30 days while you’re retraining your mindset.
8. Unsubscribe from sales emails
You won’t miss the influx of annoying emails AND the sales won’t tempt you. It’s win-win.
9. Find a “No Spend Buddy”
I’m betting if you chat with some of your friends, you’ll find you’re not alone in wanting to save money. Find a buddy and work together to hold each other accountable. If you’re feeling tempted to spend, shoot a quick text to your buddy and they’ll talk you off the ledge.
10. Grab a few library books
A lot of time, people spend money out of boredom, longing, or lack of anything better to do. Get a few (FREE!) books from the library and get lost in a story. It will keep you busy and it’s impossible to spend money with your nose in a book.
11. Keep a List of What You Want
Every time you think about heading to amazon, head for a notebook instead and write that item down. I’m betting you won’t want half the items on your list in a month. If you do still want/need that item, buy it knowing you purchased it with intention.
How to Stop Spending Money
In a society that emphasises material goods, it’s hard to know how to stop spending money, but doing so has so many benefits. Do you have any other tips on how to stop spending money? I’d love to hear about them.