Spending less clearly translates into saving more (you have to spend less if you want to save more). Saving more means a better financial future and the ability to pay for unexpected expenses and emergencies as they arise. It is therefore important to know some ways that can help you spend less, without even compromising the kind of lifestyle you are currently leading.
Below are some of the secrets to spending less:
DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN WANTS AND NEEDS. Before you buy an item, ask yourself if you really need or just want it. If you just want it, then you can definitely live without it, which means you might as well not pay for it. For instance, do you need another vehicle when you have one that is running well? Do you need all those TV programs that you barely watch? Look around your household and you will realize that there are lots of items you didn’t need in the first place. If you were to add up how much they cost, perhaps you would think twice the next time you go shopping. Even when an item is on sale, leave it alone, unless you really want it.
COMPARE PRICES, LOOK FOR SALES AND USE COUPONS. It is a great idea to compare prices between stores carrying a similar item. Sometimes stores within the same locality can charge different prices for the same item, so you should take a few minutes of your time to do your homework before you head out for shopping. Store sales are also common, especially for groceries and other household items that we use all the time. Coupons are also a great way to help spend less when you go shopping.
CONSIDER GENERIC ITEMS. There are lots of generic products that yield the same value as name brands, yet costing the customer less money. So when you go to the grocery store, don’t hesitate to check out the available generic goods. You will be amazed by what you can get for so much less.
KNOW WHERE YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY. Have a list of all your expenses. This is the first step in knowing where you need to make adjustments, if necessary. If you don’t know your expenditure patterns, you could be wasting money on unnecessary stuff.
FORCE YOURSELF TO SAVE so you don’t spend all your income every month or pay period. The best secret is to have part of your money taken away from your checking account or paycheck every month, and don’t include such money in your budget (just imagine you don’t even have it). This gives you the ability to work with less money, thus making smart choices when spending because you assume you just have less money to spend.
AVOID DEBTS. If you can, just use your own money. Do not use a credit card for everyday purchases. The interest paid is not worth it when you have some cash that you would otherwise spend. If you have a credit card, pay it off and do not use it unless you have an emergency and you don’t have enough funds to cover that. If you are not disciplined enough and you think you might be tempted to use the card, just destroy it.
MAKE A LIST OF ITEMS before you go to the store. Do not just head out without writing down what you need to buy. Walking into the store isle to isle usually means that you buy items that you don’t need. At the same time, it helps you remember everything you need to buy, so you won’t have to make multiple trips to the store.
BE SMART WITH YOUR UTILITIES. Electricity, water and gas bills constitute a significant proportion of our monthly bills. It is wise to devise and develop habits that can help us save on them. For instance, turn off the lights you don’t need, do not leave your gadgets on when not in use, etc. Learn more about ways to save on your energy bills here. Also, shop around for better rates.
As you can see, there are lots of secrets to spending less. Try them out and they will surely work for you.