- Use cash. Instead of charging things to credit cards or debit cards, use cash for non-bill spending such as eating out, gas, and groceries. Spending cash makes the spending more real, and thereâs an added advantage of knowing when youâre out of cash, instead of spending more than you
- Stay home. Going out makes you more likely to spend unnecessarily. You eat at restaurants, go to the mall, and stop at the gas station for snacks. Itâs hard to avoid spending when youâre on the road. Instead, stay home, and find free entertainment. Itâs also a great way to bond with your family.
- Keep a 30-day list. If you have an impulse to buy something you donât absolutely need, put it on a 30-day list. You canât buy anything but necessities â everything else goes on the list, with the date that itâs added to the list. When the 30 days are up, you can buy it â but most likely, the strong urge to buy it will be gone, and you can evaluate it more calmly.
- Cook at home. I know, it seems more difficult than eating out. But it doesnât have to be hard. Throw together a quick stir-fry with frozen veggies and either boneless chicken or (my favorite) tofu with soy sauce or tamari. Make home-made pizza with a ready-made crust, some sauce, cheese and veggies. Put some spices on something and throw it in the oven while you cook some brown rice. Not only is this much cheaper than eating out, but itâs healthier.
- Exercise. Staying healthy is the best way to avoid costly medical bills later.
- Pay savings and debt first. When you sit down to pay your bills (I do them all online), make the first bills you pay be your savings transfer and your debt payments. If not, if you pay them last âŚ youâll often end up shortchanging them. But if you pay them first, youâll make sure you still pay your rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries and gas âŚ so youâll just cut back on other spending.
- Lend and borrow. Give books and clothes and toys you donât need any more to your friends and family. If you need something, send out an email asking if anyone has it. Chances are, theyâll give it to you for free if they donât use it anymore.
- Find happiness in life, not spending. Many times people buy stuff because they think (subconsciously perhaps) that it will bring them happiness. They just HAVE to have the latest gadget or shoes or cars. Itâs so fun! And yet, you buy that stuff, and youâre only happy for a day or two at most. Then you just need to buy more. Itâs a never-ending cycle. Instead, learn to love life. Find joy in nature! In the people around you! In doing something you love! In exercise and meditation! Thereâs so much in life to make us happy, thereâs no need to find it in spending.
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