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5 Top Tips to Curb Personal Spending

by Sara Westbrook
December 10, 2009
The rise of spending habits during the past couples of years have just proven how shopping have become the new pastime of the people. Sure, we all have our "wants", a whole list of stuff ranging from clothes, gadgets, furniture, vehicles and the like. The very problem of "wants" is that the list seems all so endless! And even if we do scratch off one item at a time, there's always another item waiting for us to include in the list.

It doesn't help too that we are oversaturated with advertising in print, television, billboards and more. These advertisements are carefully made through creative brainstorming on how to manipulate the minds of people to spend on their products, attaching emotional meaning to it and making it seem that if we buy all these stuff, we instantly will be beautiful, successful, interesting and attractive!

More and more people are also attaching not only emotional meaning to material stuff, but it they also put a status symbol to luxury items. This is the reason behind it; with so many people vying for attention and fulfillment in their lives, they are susceptible to hoarding stuff that they don't need at all. There are also people who spend when they feel happy, buying nice stuff every time they want to feel happier. Spending spirals out of control and debt piles higher and higher.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT THIS? You have to stop making things worse:

1. When we start attaching happiness to mere items, or the thought of acquiring them for ourselves that is when it's easy to slip to a buying frenzy. First and foremost learn to recognize your spending habits, understand how emotional spending gets you to spend indiscriminately.

2. There's nothing wrong with buying luxury items once in a while as long as you can actually afford it or you've saved up for it and you're not in financial constraints. But when you're spending more money than usual on unnecessary things that's a really bad sign of bad budgeting.

3. If you really want to shop, then opt to shop smart. Never buy luxury items like designer clothes, bag and shoes, or even expensive stuff like the latest items without getting a discount through a sale or a special promo to save you money. Consider using paper coupons when you're shopping in groceries, or use online discount coupons. Find bargains as you shop, because buying expensive items just for the sake of the brand is not smart at all. And don't even justify it by saying that if it's expensive, it must be high-quality. Always browse around for good but cheap alternatives when it comes to apparel, furniture and other stuff. If it doesn't need to be brand new, consider buying in thrift stores.

4. Limit Temptation! Curbing spending is easier said than done, and one way to truly be successful is to limit your exposure whether it be advertising, to internet ads and shops, or going to the mall and surrounding yourself with the items you are itching to buy. To change your habits, you have to commit to solving your overspending and understand you behavior. Keep out of temptation and be good to your wallet by halting the root of impulsive buying.

5. Keeping a sensible budget is crucial to the rehabilitation of your funds. Budget is a shopaholic's best friend and worst enemy, as it is the best guide to oversee the spending habits. If one is successful in sticking to a good and debt-friendly budgeting then its likely to help the situation over time. List your monthly expenses and savings, centered on your specific income. Make sure that there's a big margin for saving as well as debt settlement, and be tight around spending and extras.

There are people who are drowning in debt, with nothing in their bank accounts, credit cards maxed and the interests on it are soaring. With no intervention or no help from a finance professional, their spending habits and dire financial situation will stay the same. If you find yourself in this situation or something similar, hopefully those tips above will help you in finding a solution to this problem!

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5 Top Tips to Curb Personal Spending

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