Submitted Date 08/20/2019

If you're like me, having money in the bank simply fills my mind with endless possibilities (of purchases, not savings). While a shopping trip or online order can give you a buzz of joy, the feeling is temporary. Once that feeling goes away, the easiest way to fix it is with another purchase. However, spending sprees lead to insignificant possessions and a lack of funds when something you really want or need presents itself. Not to mention, it's never fun to be the friend who is always borrowing money or skipping out on fun nights due to a low budget. The worst part of being a spender is not having back up cash when you are faced with a situation where you really need it. Here are some tips on how to turn your spending habit into a savings lifestyle!

(1) If You Can Forget It - You Don't Need It

A great shopping tip to save money is to take a picture of something you are tempted to buy, then walk away. Wait a couple of days after your shopping trip and look back at the picture of what you wanted to buy. Ask yourself: In the past couple of days, was I thinking about how badly I wish I bought this item and ogling the picture I took on my phone? Or, did forget that I was even going to buy it? You'd be surprised, more often than not you will have completely forgotten about your almost-impulse buy.

(2) Record Every Purchase/Deposit

Balancing a checkbook may sound old-school, but it is way more helpful than you may realize. If you don't feel like writing and calculating every purchase, try using an electronic spreadsheet to track your account. Sometimes, our online-banking balance may not be accurate due to changes that haven't come through yet, which leads us to spend money we don't actually have. If you want a reliable representation of your balance, it is best to keep track of it yourself.

(3) Ask Someone Before Buying

While us spenders may not have the funds to afford a money manager, we do have friends and family that can help us realize when or when not to buy something. Parents and some friends are great for this responsibility. Before you purchase, start a new subscription, or order something online, call a friend/family member of your choice and tell them. Surprisingly, hearing it out loud may make you realize that it isn't worth it. Especially when you call your parent to let them know you are about to spend $32 to get $15 worth of food delivered. Second opinions on purchases that aren't necessities can save you a lot of regretful spending.

(4) Make a Grocery List

Instead of going shopping for groceries (so you can avoid ordering Postmates every night) without a list and just picking up whatever looks good at the moment, you should take the time to plan out what groceries you will actually need. Making a list will help you avoid needed to make a second trip to the store because you forgot something, while also giving you a better idea of the amount of money you'll be spending at the cash register. Without a list, it is pretty difficult to calculate the price of your groceries in your head so you might be in an upsetting shock at the cash register. Plus, you might end up with a bunch of tempting treats instead of real groceries that can make actual meals.

(5) Eliminate Distracting Expenses

There are plenty of apps, websites, and sales that can make it easy to buy things on the spot. Food delivery apps and websites are probably the most popular, especially when they constantly send you notifications of limited-time promotions. The best way to have self-control against these apps is to delete them (even better, delete your account). However, there's still the enticing emails from your favorite stores with subject lines like "60% off this" and "$20 off when you spend this" which seem impossible to resist. Want to resist them? Send their emails to spam so you don't have to see them ever again and then you'll never know what sale you will be missing out on this week.

(6) Constantly Rethink Your Subscriptions

We've all been there. You sign up for a free trial, forget to cancel, then by the time you forget about the subscription you get a large and unexpected charge. To avoid this, keep track of your subscriptions, cancel those you don't need, and set reminders for when your free trials end.

Saving money is hard, especially when you love the thrill of spending. But in the long run, saving is always the better option. Follow these tips and start saving in no time!

Hopefully, you found these tips helpful and inspiring. Feel free to comment your thoughts and let me know if you would like to see more posts that expand on this topic in the future! Also, follow me on Twitter (@emilyokonsky) for updates on new articles and writing projects. Thanks for reading!



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