Are you starting to feel as if your spending is out of control? Maybe you need to put yourself on a spending diet. Here’s a flexible and effective spending diet that can help put your spending back on track.
A spending diet is not like a New Year’s resolution that you stop sticking to after a few short months. The diet is a way for you to start fresh and to take responsibility for how you spend your money. It is never a good idea to use your credit card thinking that you can pay for it later, and then take from your savings to do so. But it is possible to change these habits if you pay careful attention to how you spend.
To change your spending habits and your relationship with money, try adopting the idea of mindful spending. Think carefully about each and every purchase before you make it. When you do, you’ll become more mindful of your spending, you will experience less stress, feel more empowered, and help to improve your savings.
Kicking off your spending diet means reducing the amount that you spend immediately. This can include some of the following changes:
- Avoid buying lunch at work, and pack a lunch instead.
- Instead of buying books, go to the library, a second hand store, or exchange with friends.
- Wait for an item that you have always wanted to go on sale rather than paying full price.
- Plan holidays around visiting with relatives rather paying for expensive hotels or rentals.
- Arrange a movie night in with friends, buy snacks at the discount store, and pop your own popcorn rather than going to the theater.
- Make your own coffee and take it to work rather than picking some up on the way.
- Try walking or riding your bike rather than paying for taxis or transit.
- Instead of going out for dinner, plan a potluck and ask everyone to try out a new recipe.
You might not be able to change all of your spending habits immediately, but by adopting a mindful spending diet, you will be on your way to getting your spending under control.