Do you find yourself with more things than you will ever need? It may because you are mindlessly spending.

I fell into mindless spending. I spent money just to spend money. When I moved across the country, I had to pack up all the stuff I had accumulated over the years. I ended up giving a ton of clothes to charity that still had the price tags on them.

We all have different reasons that we got into mindless spending, but let me tell you, there is a way out.

I felt such relief when I broke the cycle and below are the tricks I use to stop mindless spending.


Stop and ask yourself is this a want or need?

Is what you are considering buying a want or need. In order to start spending less, you need to understand the difference.

A need is something you have to buy in order to survive or stay on the good side of your bills, like paying your electric bill or buying groceries.

A want is something that doesn’t fall into the need category. It isn’t essential for your wellbeing or your families care. This includes things like another pair of shoes when the ones you are wearing are fine or tickets to a movie.

When you need to stop spending money, look at every item you are purchasing a decide if it’s something you really need or just want. You can get by without the want.


Record all your purchases

A smart way to stop spending money is to record everything you buy. This creates a very good picture of where your money is actually going. If you want to stop spending money, you need to know what you are spending it on.

Record all of your purchases for a whole week and then a month. Chances are you will be able to identify where you are wasting a ton of money. How many times have you splurged when you were out on things you didn’t need.

Go through your purchases and highlight every purchase that wasn’t necessary. This will be a big eye opener.

Once you understand where your money is going, you are going to be in a much better spot to avoid making the same mistakes again.


Avoid Temptation

If you are trying to stop spending money, then avoid going places where know it’s going to be hard.

Why put yourself in the line of temptation. Don’t go into a department store know you shouldn’t be spending money. If you are someone that has to buy something when you go to the store, then don’t go in.

Have a list on hand when going to the store and stick to that list. Don’t wander up and down aisles. Go straight to your purchase and get out.

If you know you are someone who can’t go into Target without coming out with a shopping cart full, then send in your significant other. Just avoid the temptation until you have your spending under control.


Try using cash rather than a card

If you are someone who is continually shocked by how much your credit card bill is each month, then stop using the card and switch to cash.

Take out an appropriate amount for the week and use only cash. Every time you look in your wallet, you will know exactly where you stand when it comes to your budget.

Using a card is too easy. You don’t need to keep track of your spending store to store. Purchases can add up really quickly when you aren’t keeping track. At the end of the day, you may be shocked at just how easy it was to spend $200.


Stop buying things just because they are a great deal

This is a trap that I fell into myself. It’s hard to pass up a good bargain. We are driven by thinking we got a great deal. It’s a thrill.

That’s great, as long as the item that is such a great deal is something useful.

I used to work at a clothing store and would buy clothes when they went on clearance. I just couldn’t pass up the great deal. Do you know what happened with all those great deals? I never wore them and eventually donated them with the tags still on.

Don’t waste money on something that is a great deal if you don’t need it or even want it. Before purchasing ask if this is actually going to benefit you in any way. If the answer is no, then pass o the deal and save your money for something worthwhile.


Turn dollars into hours

Another great tool to stop spending money is to turn those dollars into hours.

What I mean by this is take the item you are buying and divided by how much an hour you make.

Say the item you are looking at is $100 and you make $15.00 an hour. That item will cost you a little over 6.5 hours to earn. This isn’t even taking in the tax taken out of your paycheck.

Is that item really worth the 6.5 hours of your time you gave up to earn that money? If it is, then go for it, but if not, then it’s not worth your time and money.

Looking at your spending in terms of how long you have to work to earn that money will open your eyes and make you reconsider spending money on things you don’t really need.


Take 24 hours before making the purchase

When making a purchase, big or even small, take a cooling off period before purchasing.

If you are an impulse buyer, this will be a great way to curb your spending.

I love to take a cooling off period to determine if what I am going to buy is something I want in the moment, or if it’s actually something I really want 24 hours later.

I love doing this with online shopping. You can put your purchases into the little electronic shopping cart and come back the next day and they will be waiting for you. Chances are, you aren’t still going to want them. Even fake shopping gives you that rush of adrenaline you get from purchasing an item without having to actually buy it.

We don’t need most of what we buy and this gives you a chance to really assess if it’s worth your money.


Don’t save your credit card numbers

Most websites have the option of storing your card details for faster checkout next time you shop with them.

That’s great for them, but terrible for us consumers. Having one click checkout makes it way too easy to impulse buy.

When you have to put in your credit card details, the purchase becomes much more real. This is real money that you are giving them. Having to manually type in your details gives you that moment to reflect and decide if it is worth it.

Don’t save your details to stop spending money on things you don’t need.