Save Money By Reducing Frivolous Spending

| March 9, 2012
Save Money By Reducing Frivolous Spending

Save Money By Reducing Frivolous Spending

 

 

All of us have those moments where we make an impulse purchase that we had not planned and that we had not needed to make. We might be strolling through the mall, walking down the street, or on our way home from work when we suddenly decide to buy an article of clothing or an item of food. Such spur-of-the-moment purchases cannot be faulted when they occur on an infrequent basis.

But some people have the tendency to impulse buy on a regular basis. This habit can cross the line into frivolous spending by taking noticeable bites out of a person’s long-term budget. How can this practice be avoided? How can one take concerted steps to reduce their frivolous spending and save some money?

Here are a few tips:

-Carry cash. While credit cards are certainly easy and convenient, they make it possible to feel detached from your actual spending. A piece of plastic, after all, doesn’t have the tangibility of coins and paper bills. Leaving your credit card at home when you run errands may initially seem like a burden, but a greater connection to your money may help substantially reduce frivolous expenses.

-Tie down your money. Some people spend frivolously simply because they give themselves too much expendable or “unaccounted” income in their monthly budgets. Rather than simply having cash on hand or money sitting in your checking account, put a greater percentage of your wages towards investments and retirement accounts. You can also check out CD rates if you don’t want to tie your money down for too long (Australians can check here).

-Make plans. Studies have shown that shoppers with lists spend less at the grocery store than those who arrive with only a conception of what food they need to buy. The lesson here – that a prepared shopper is usually a more prudent one – can be applied to any other place we may go with the intent of making a purchase. Before you go out on an errand, then, make sure that you know exactly what you plan to buy.

-Avoid key spending locales. Some frivolous spenders are responsible with their money 95% of the time – but they have an Achilles heel. They might be frivolous everywhere but at the mall, for example, or they may have a strong affinity for coffee or desserts. If this sounds like your situation, making a concerted effort to avoid such tempting locations can go a long way towards cutting those unneeded costs.

These are just a few ways to try reducing frivolous expenses. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging and treating yourself from time-to-time, it’s important that – as with everything – our unnecessary discretionary spending never gets too far out of control.

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