Do you often feel the urge to buy stuff? You’re certainly not alone and most of us can agree that buying things makes us feel good (if only for a little while). The science for this is simple, when we make a purchase, we get a little rush of dopamine which gives us that happy feeling.
However, regularly splurging on unnecessary things can hinder your saving efforts and even land you in debt. If you want to improve your money management and check your spending impulses, take a look at our guide for how to stop spending money on unnecessary things below.
1. Sleep on it
If you see something you want, try to avoid buying it straight away. You should definitely sleep on it and see if you feel the same in the morning. If you can wait a couple of weeks, even better! You may be surprised by how many things don’t seem as attractive the following day.
2. Calculate how many hours you need to work to pay for it
Is something really worth the time it will take you to earn the money to buy it? Getting into the habit of calculating how many hours you need to work to buy something is a useful way to stop potential purchases in their tracks. For example, if an item costs £70 and you earn £6/hour, you’ll need to work for over 11 and a half hours to pay for it.
3. Check your subscriptions
There are a ridiculous amount of subscription options available to us now. These include gyms, entertainment hubs, music, magazines, fast delivery and more! While it’s great to have so much choice and subscriptions can be cost-effective, it’s extremely easy to end up continuously paying for services that you never use.
Keep an eye on regular payments leaving your bank account and if there are any subscriptions that you don’t use anymore, cancel them!
4. Plan your food shopping
Overspending on food is an easy trap to fall into if you don’t prepare well for your shopping trips. Before you leave the house, set your budget, and write a list of the items you need. If you need to be strict with your budget, use a calculator as you shop to keep you on track. Also, avoid browsing and being sucked in by deals. They’re not good deals if you hadn’t planned on buying the item in the first place and you’ll end up spending more.
5. Do your food shop online
If you find it difficult to stick to your shopping list and you wander around the supermarket, try switching to online grocery shopping instead. This way you will be less tempted to buy extras that catch your eye.
6. Use cash
While paying by cash seems to have become archaic, it can be a really useful budgeting tool. If you’re going for a night out with your friends and don’t want to spend any more than £50, take that money in cash and leave your cards at home. You may also think twice about a purchase when you have to part with physical money.
7. Avoid shops
While it may be necessary to enter some shops for essentials if you’re trying to stop spending money on unnecessary things avoid the places where you’re likely to splurge. If you simply love shopping, it may be time to find a new hobby to fill your leisure time.
8. Give yourself pocket money
A great way to keep your spending in check is to set up a separate bank account (Monzo is a favourite of ours) where you can give yourself a set amount of money to spend on whatever you like. Make sure your bills are paid first, save if you can and then determine your pocket money.
9. Take a packed lunch to work
You’re probably well aware of this tip, but sometimes we need a little reminder of how much money we could be saving by preparing a packed lunch. Coffees and sandwiches from shops and delis quickly add up over the week so get into the habit of taking lunch with you to work.
10. Make your own at home
If you’re a sucker for a takeaway pizza or frothy cappuccinos, have a go at recreating your favourites at home. It’s likely to be a fraction of the cost of eating out/ordering in.
Stop spending money on unnecessary things
These tips should put you in good stead so you can stop spending money on unnecessary things. Do you have any to add? Leave us a comment below with your suggestions.