Great 'How do you stop yourself spending?' Hunt

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  • Fredrico
    Fredrico Posts: 36 Forumite
    Just don't go to the shops! Take up walking instead!

    I enjoy a walk but most times it involves walking past the shop!
  • GlasWolf
    GlasWolf Posts: 143 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Posted this in another thread quite a while ago, but it works for me.
    GlasWolf wrote: »
    Lots of good practical advice in this thread, but I agree with jamesd: your attitude to money is the most important thing of all. Like everyone else I allow myself the occasional little treat, but my personal pet peeve is similar to mostlycheerful: throwing away small amounts of money on stupid things. I despair at folk who come in to work every day with a starbucks coffee/tea, then go to the shops at lunchtime to buy sandwiches or salad (or a pie or pasty) and a bottle of water, and maybe a magazine to read while they're eating. That's £5 - £10 EVERY DAY just thrown away because they're "too busy" to make sandwiches at home and refill their water bottle. My individual daily food spend is probably less than their lunch budget.

    So regarding this "money sense", well I don't know if this concept will work for anyone except me, but think of it this way: imagine I gave you £1 (which is pretty unlikely, but stick with me on this one ;) ). Now say you don't spend it, and instead sagely put it in your savings account. The next time you look at your account balance, it will be £1 higher than it would have been had I not given you that £1. Obviously. But when you look at it again in a years' time, whatever your balance may be after all the incomings and outgoings, it will still be £1 higher. And it'll be the same in 5 years, 10 years... in fact, that £1 will now follow you around for the rest of your life!

    Ok, so now imagine that tomorrow you're tempted by an impulse buy: say a magazine that you'll half-read then throw away, or a coffee that you don't really want but you have time to waste before your train arrives. This time, just remember: that £1.50 (or whatever) will be debited from your account balance; today, next year and for the rest of your life. Every time you look at your bank statement, it'll be £1.50 "short". Now imagine how much higher it would be had you not made all those daft purchases day after day. You'd be rich! Doh! Well it's never too late to start saving, so start now. Surely buying a house and food for your family is more important than a cup of coffee, or watching TV for 5 minutes instead of making a round of sandwiches for the next day's lunch? And if you're good at it, you'll very quickly find that you can buy yourself a little treat here and there and still make a profit on your overall balance. It's like free money!

    The wisest financial advice ever, is "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves". Or, if you're from my part of the world, "many a mickle maks a muckle".
  • lilac_lady
    lilac_lady Posts: 4,469 Forumite
    I agree with you Glaswolf but life can be short so I think it's best to factor in a little treat now and again. (not Starbucks and bought sandwiches though!) Carry cash, not cards - it's harder to spend when you're actually parting with money.
    " The greatest wealth is to live content with little."

    Plato


  • PudseyDB
    PudseyDB Posts: 1,144 Forumite
    Have kids!!!

    I regularly go without stuff, so I can afford to take the kids out or treat them. In 5 years time I'll remember that day better than the drinks, magazines, sandwiches etc I might have bought otherwise!!
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  • surfsister
    surfsister Posts: 7,527 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
    well research shows that it is experiences not things which make people happiest so I only go into town to buy food or shoes.

    I always look at the deals here and elsewhere and take advantage of £20 off £40 shops at Ocado etc and tesco wine deals but just don;t buy clothes/cd's etc any more.

    If I go to town I treat myself to a posh coffee and sit and people watch. Also using cash makes one feel that the money is really being spent whereas a card is so easy.

    The people pn here are great and so are their excellent tips!
  • I used to have one bank account into which my salary went every month and then I would roughly work out how much would go out and how much I could freely spend which usually left me overdrawn as I never got it quite right! When I bought our flat a few years ago, I really wanted to take control of our finances and read about the piggy bank technique which I now swear by - I hold several accounts with two banks and each one has a specific purpose, i.e. holidays, food shopping, christmas/birthdays/special events and an actual 'piggy bank' for my little luxuries. Every pay day, my salary gets divided up between the accounts, with all direct debits coming out from the main account on same day each month so I know when to expect the money to leave. I then also know how much I have to spend on the food shopping each week (divide it by 4) and I use moneysupermarket.com to get the best deals (I am no longer a loyal supermarket shopper, I'm a deal hunter!).

    Only 2 of the accounts (piggy bank and food shopping) have debit cards so there is no chance of me 'accidentally' spending money from the other accounts whilst out shopping - and if I do see something I 'can't live without', I have to log on to my online account and transfer the funds, by which time I've probably already decided I didn't need it anyway! I also no longer carry cash to avoid small impulse purchases which all add up.

    Friends think I'm mad and a little bit obsessed (probably am, but at least I'm steadily saving each month!), but by using this technique, I know exactly how much I can spend on various things each month and I never go overdrawn anymore.

    Organisation is definitely the key!!
  • Willow92
    Willow92 Posts: 2,186 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I wish my OH would do something like this Sparkly.
    Savings £8,865.22 £/15,000 Aiming to save enough for a house deposit.
  • heloid
    heloid Posts: 472 Forumite
    Separate account for spending with your budgeted amount in it. When its empty, no more luxuries.
  • Someone on the No More Toiletries thread has a sticky note on their debit card which simply says 'NO!' to eliminate impulse purchases. Easy and effective :D
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
    Married my best friend 1st November 2014
    Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
    Lose = the opposite of find/gain (eg "I'm going to lose weight this year")
  • PennyPurple
    PennyPurple Posts: 61 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I keep a note of the things I think I want to buy on a 'gift list' and then when my Birthday and Christmas come around and people ask me what I want then I can give them an idea from the list.

    Even if I think I'll buy it myself, e.g. something more expensive than a gift, I still add it to the list, knowing that I can look at it later and it won't be forgotten. Only if something has been on the list for a number of weeks and I'm still constantly thinking about getting it, then I go and buy it (so long as I've budgeted for it or can easily afford it without giving up my regular savings to pension & long term savings).

    You'd be AMAZED how many items have been put on that list and removed eventually, or still sat there and I don't think about them and don't miss having them!

    This idea has saved me LOADS and keeps my relatives happy as they know the idea I give them isn't frivolous but really thought about.
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