How To Stop Spending And Save Money

Save money. It’s easy right? I mean I am sure all of us have six months of income set aside for an “emergency fund”.

Oh, you don’t?

I suspect that not too many folks do.

Well why not? Well you, like many others, may have too much debt, too little income or a combination of the two.

How much money do you have in your bank account right now? Are your bills all paid and up to date?

How much consumer debt do you have?
How much do you earn each month? (A lot of people don’t know)
How much do you spend each and every month?(75% of people underestimate their monthly spending)

These are just a few of the questions you could ask yourself to help you gain a clearer understanding of your financial situation.

I am not a money expert. I am not a financial planner. I have however educated myself on my own income and spending habits. I make a certain amount of money each month and I do not spend more than I make. It did take me a while to get to this point.

I was just like a lot of people out there. I was unhappy with myself as a person and unhappy with my life. So to try and make myself happy I wanted to spend money. Go on trips, buy cars, new clothes, etc, etc.

Anyone else out there like this??

Well the amazing thing is that spending money really never made me happy. I was still the same person on the inside. I still had the same problems with my relationships. The other thing is I would now have more stuff to try and find a place for!!

We live in a society that puts money and possessions on a pedestal. The more stuff you have, the bigger house you live in, the more successful you must be, right? This is the common perception. We want to climb the social ladder and be perceived as successful in the eyes of our peers. And we are conditioned from birth to spend. Advertising is everywhere.

I sometimes think that even on a deserted island they would get to you, always coming up with some new product that you must have today.

No wonder it is so hard to save money. You really do have to be disciplined.

The way of society is so powerful. Even the school system fails us here. How much real money management are we taught in school. Yes we learn some basic stuff. But what about the real nuts and bolts about having a mortgage and credit cards and interest. How about just spending less than you make.

Not much attention is given to this.

Shakespeare is given more attention than basic life skills!(Hey I like Shakespeare!)

And when students head off to university they are encouraged to get a credit card. The race is now on. We do not understand the credit card or the interest on that card, but we can go and buy…whatever. And once we enter that race it becomes harder and harder to exit. Before we know it debt has been accumulated, bills have not been paid, we are living beyond our means and we are miserable.

They say that the number one cause of divorce is money. I believe it. There are eliminate debt type of shows on television that show this clearly. Some of these shows involve people who are planning for their wedding! They will be in 15000-30000$ in debt from their wedding! Good luck with that marriage.

Tips To Save Money

Get rid of your credit card AND debit cards. They are just too convenient for getting us into trouble financially.

Go into your bank and get your weekly budget in cash. Put this cash in jars with labels. So much for gas, so much for food, for clothing. These are your variable expenses. You cannot spend more than the weekly allowance.

Take extra money that you are now not spending and pay off your credit cards and other debt. Highest interest debt gets paid first. You have to start somewhere. You will feel better when you do this and you know it.

Still keep track of every expenditure to make sure you understand where your money is going.

Try to come up with other ways to make some extra money. Work some overtime. If you have a special skill, use it. DJ a wedding, mow some lawns, etc. Use this to pay down your debt.

Sell stuff you no longer need. Have a yard sale, list the stuff on Craigslist or Ebay.

Cancel magazine subscriptions and premium cable services(or cable altogether!)

Just stop spending. No more toys, fancy clothes, new shoes or purses, or the latest phone or electronic gadget. Trust me, you just don’t need it!

It may not seem easy at first but after just a week of living on cash only and sticking to a budget, most people find that it is not that bad.

If you are serious about getting out of debt, stopping the spending and saving money, you will do what is needed.

If anyone has any tips to save money please share in the comments. Thanks.

Please share this on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, or any other social network.

“Live Simply

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About minimalistlifestyle

My name is Mark Lowe and I live in Nova Scotia, Canada with my teenage son. This website is mostly about living a minimalist lifestyle. From time to time there will be other topics such as healthy living, dealing with clutter, how to save more money, happiness, contentment, simple living, frugality, and maybe even minimalist decorating and design ideas. It's about clearing the clutter, both physical and mental, so we can focus on what is truly important. I am not an extreme minimalist, but I certainly have a lot less stuff than most folks and I love my own minimalist lifestyle. I want to live consciously. This means I want to be present in every moment. So what's in this for you? I think you will read something here that helps you or maybe even inspires you to take action. Remember that you are amazing. Don't miss out on all the action. Subscribe to this blog and don't miss a minute of fun. "Live simply."
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11 Responses to How To Stop Spending And Save Money

  1. Diane says:

    Great post! I will be tucking away my credit and debit cards this very day. Thanks.

  2. Meg says:

    We’ve gone nearly a year and a half without credit cards now and it’s been great. Still don’t earn quite enough but that should be changing over the course of the next few months (oh man I hope so). We squiggle by. We feel lighter and sorta even cleaner for not buying on credit. Amazing, really.

    • Good for you Meg. I don’t even have a credit card anymore. Very liberating to save for things and not use a credit card. And squiggling by is better than behind under a mountain of debt. Keep up the great work and thanks for commenting:)

  3. O'Shea says:

    I just found your blog while doing a search on a particular subject. I’m so surprised to find out you discuss so many of the things I think (ok, obsess) about. So far this is the only topic with which I’ve had some positive experience. So, here goes…

    Pay yourself first. Every payday, set aside a percentage (10% would be GREAT) or a flat amount of your pay. Putting it in a savings account is best, but if you don’t have one, just stick it in an envelope, seal it up and hide it in a safe place. I started doing it that way and eventually opened a savings account. Even if you can only put aside $5 at a time, you’ll be amazed at how proud of yourself you’ll be for setting a goal and sticking with it.

    • Agreed. It is unfortunate that people don’t get in the habit of doing this at an early age. I am lucky that my employer also matches (up to a certain $ amount) Our RRSP AND pension contributions. Pretty amazing really.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. Pingback: how to stop spending money

  5. Jennifer G says:

    I love the *idea* of cash envelopes/jars, however, I have taken my “allowance” in cash for a little over a year now because I was concerned about my “cash” account being compromised as every time I tried to log in to check my balance I was locked out for too many login attempts (someone attempting to hack my account???). But I find since switching to cash, my money flies out of my wallet and I have no idea what it is being spent on. When I was having to track a balance in an account I was much more conscious of how much I was spending and where it was going. I am actually about to open a free checking account for this very reason.

  6. Kimmi says:

    I’ve been using cash envelopes for many years.. I look at my pay-stub a day before I get paid and I divide it by 4. Gas money, food, savings and bills (needs and debt as well). I also give myself a $40 biweekly allowance on ‘wants.’ So I can enjoy that starbucks meal or eating out without the guilt.

    If we didn’t have all the unnecessary wants, there wouldn’t be a need to declutter :)

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