Great 'How do you stop yourself spending?' Hunt

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  • sobrique
    sobrique Posts: 5 Forumite
    Separate out my accounts - my personal account (into which I get paid) has my pay transferred out immediately, and into either a joint account (for household/bills) or a savings account (for anything left over).

    At the end of the month, the contents of the saving account gets moved into an ISA, unless I've a known upcoming expense.

    Each week - or as I need it - money is de-staged from my savings into my 'personal' account - which I typically have to go home, and log in to do, which in turn usually means 'coming back tomorrow'. Usually, that means I've had a chance to reconsider my impulse purchases.
  • Hovel_lady
    Hovel_lady Posts: 4,291 Forumite
    I get out the cash we need on payday - housekeeping, petrol & personal spending money. Don't carry round cards after that. Keep a spending diary. Am also keeping a diary on the DFW board. Make a shopping list and don't buy anything else.
    Keep out of the shops!
    And, most of all - remember that it will all help to pay off our debt so we can swap our hovel in the city for a hovel in the hills :D
  • harryhound
    harryhound Posts: 2,662 Forumite
    hovel [ˈhʌvəl ˈhɒv-]n
    1. a ramshackle dwelling place
    2. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Agriculture) an open shed for livestock, carts, etc.
    3. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Ceramics) the conical building enclosing a kiln

    vb -els, -elling, -elled US, -els -eling, -eled to shelter or be sheltered in a hovel[of unknown origin]


    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
  • midgetessa
    midgetessa Posts: 113 Forumite
    I've discovered that I was spending a worryingly large amount on the gifts/presents/bottles of wine/cards etc that are associated with birthdays/Christmas/invites and associated ocassions.

    I save a lot of money by buying cards/wrapping etc from places like Home Bargains and buying gifts when I see them at bargain prices rather than last minute. I also bulk buy decent wine (Tesco's finest etc) when they are half-price and keep a store of it at home and even one or two in the car so that I can grab one when invited to someone's home for dinner etc. As I don't really rink at home this is not a problem.

    I suppose it's just a matter of better planning, really.
  • Cyril
    Cyril Posts: 583 Forumite
    Another good one is to do a car boot sale.

    Selling little used / worn £50 tops for a £1 soon puts things into perspective.
    :beer:
  • Blairweech
    Blairweech Posts: 1,379 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Cyril wrote: »
    Another good one is to do a car boot sale.

    Selling little used / worn £50 tops for a £1 soon puts things into perspective.

    Having gone through a massive clearout recently, I now think of things in terms of 'reselling' i.e. getting rid of it when I don't want it anymore and the hassle involved, which usually helps me to stop buying useless junk ('carboot fodder')
    We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment
  • Contrary to popular wisdom I've cut spending by ONLY using my debit card and not taking cash out unless it's for a specific reason for immediate use.

    I find that 50p here, 50p there seriously add up, and it's a lot harder to justify handing over my card for something worth that little. A hand in the pocket for a couple of coins is easy, but actually typing in my PIN for a bar of chocolate...!!!
    It's only numbers.
  • Pmarmalade
    Pmarmalade Posts: 175 Forumite
    edited 6 July 2011 at 9:58AM
    I don't use any bank account trickery or the likes, I just keep an Excel spreadsheet to track how much I spend on what each month and I can see which areas I went a bit over on compared with previous months.

    In the spreadsheet I have the following columns:
    • Income
    • Monthly / Regular payments (rent, council tax, bills etc.)
    • Online Purchases (Play, ebay, Amazon etc.)
    • Food/household shopping
    • Lunches (this column is almost empty every week now as I take a packed lunch and that is included in food shopping))
    • Drinks, socialising, fun activities
    • Misc purchases/payments (clothes shopping, car maintenance etc. - this column is the one the various most)

    I bold and colour red any big one-off purchases so I can quickly see where money has gone and I have a notes section down the bottom where I put reminders about money people owe me etc. and carry it over each month. My outgoings are all added up and subtracted from my income automatically and I also have a workbook at the start where I put all my yearly expenses (can insurance, car tax, contents insurance, estimated birthday and Christmas spends etc.) and devide by 12. After a few months of this I knew how much I was spending each month as well as my yearly expenses/12.

    I have a shortcut to the spreadsheet in my start-up folder so it loads up every time I start the PC (every night) and reminds me to update. I have a template that has all the regular payments already inserted (rent etc.) and I make a copy of it at the start of each month so I also have a full history of expenses, which is always useful to have.

    I live well within my means but leave myself a cushion of £500 in my bank account (to cover my rent, which comes on on the 1st of each month) should my wages be unexpectedly delayed. When my wages come in anything that is over my wages + the £500 cushion goes into my savings account. Any big expenses go on the credit card so if I need to take money out of savings to cover an unexpected expense I have 30 days to do so.

    Having learned to control my daily spend so well I feel I am a lot less stressed about how much money I have in each account and whether a bill payment will bounce. I had an ex who used to put a few hundred pounds into her saving account at the start of every month and by the end of the month she'd be worrying herself sick about how little she had in her account and whether everything was covered. I'm naturally a worrier and definitely don't need to encourage it so I avoid that kind of system.
  • SparklyJB wrote: »
    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!!

    i use a combination of different accounts too and record all financial movements on a spreadsheet. It's not obsessive just wise spending and savvy saving. The key is finding a system that works for you!
  • **Juice**
    **Juice** Posts: 490 Forumite
    babyshoes wrote: »
    For any item over about £2 I go away and come back to it later - whether that is the £3 item I come back to at the end of doing other, needed, shopping, or a larger item I will come back to another day.

    I have also started reviewing my basket in cheapy / pound shops on my way around or when I get to the queue, and ask myself if I actually need or really want each item. Quite often I will take something out just before I get to the tills, usually thinking 'naaah, I don't need that'...

    I do something similar - I rarely tend to buy things there and then, I'll go away and have a think or see if I can find it cheaper online/on Ebay/elsewhere. If it's clothes, I always try it on before I buy to save having to return it/spend money in the first place. I have a student card and NHS discount so I use them wherever possible too! I've also recently moved to somewhere where it's less easy to access the shops :rotfl:

    I tend to review my shopping basket too if I've got a few things in there (especially in Primark) and whittle out the unneccessaries before I hit the till.
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