Can you remember every purchase you did last month? Most people can’t, and thousands of dollars are wasted every year on unnecessary things such as clothes, drinks, and fast food. You can create a monthly budget and try to control your spending, but even with a step by step plan, it’s very easy to lose control.
You have to want to take control of your money before anything can change. Wasting money can lead to stressful situations, and if you’re going to have a good night’s sleep, you should solve your money problem, starting today.
7 ways to stop wasting money
- Hide your credit cards
When using a credit card, you put your finance in a risky situation. It’s easy to spend more than you first planned. If you spend more than your monthly income, and you can’t pay your credit card bills in time, you have to pay high-interest rates. Paying interest on things you bought last month is the same as wasting money.
You need the self-discipline to use a credit card. If you can’t trust yourself, use a debit card. It’s much harder to overspend using a debit card, and if you know exactly how much money you have, you get a better overview and can set spending limits easier.
- Start a saving plan
Set a savings goal and decide how much money you need before you can realize that goal. It’s hard saving money without anything to look forward to, and it is also helpful to have plans and dreams. Creating a solid saving plan can open many doors in the future.
You should compare saving accounts or learn how to invest in stocks and bonds. The interest rate on savings accounts is meager right now, and if you want better results, you can’t leave your money in your account. To earn higher interest, you need to learn more about different saving methods.
- Pay your bills first
Don’t start spending money before all your monthly bills have been paid. Then you know how much you have over to put in your savings account and how much you can spend on food, clothing, entertainment, etc. Paying bills first will help to avoid delayed payment interest and fees.
If you don’t get all your bills at the same time each month, you need to calculate how much you’re going to pay and use separate accounts for bills and ordinary expenses. When you have control over your monthly costs, it’s easier to stop wasting money unnecessarily.
- Sleep on it before you buy
Sometimes you can’t resist spending temptations. But if you can create rules that force you to think about your next purchase overnight or after a couple of days, you can stop yourself from wasting money on impulse buying.
It’s easy to give in and buy things you don’t need but are eager to get. The happiness after such a purchase is short, and the money you spent is lost, which can feel stressful. Try to overcome your need for spending and save or invest your money. That will make your life easier later on.
- Pay with cash only
If you pay with your phone or credit card, it’s very likely you overspend. Going out and dining and drinking alcohol using only digital alternatives when paying is a bad idea. You likely buy more drinks than you planned, and that can hurt your budget for the rest of the month.
If you bring only cash, you can set limits and only take with you enough money that you can afford to spend. You can apply this rule on all your monthly purchases and prevent your budget from going overdrawn.
- Manage your paid subscriptions
You might save hundreds of dollars each month if you unsubscribe from services you hardly use. Try to see if you can share, for example, Netflix, Spotify, or YouTube subscription with family members. Many streaming services offer family plans, and you can save a lot of money by just sharing one service.
You can also see if you can lower your monthly phone and broadband bills. Maybe you don’t need the most expensive plans. Make sure you have been using all features; otherwise, you are just wasting your money for no reason.
- Be a Smart Consumer
Always search for discount coupons when you want to buy something. Use coupons when you buy groceries, too, and try to buy clothes and gadgets on sales. Why pay more when a little research can help you save some money every time you spend money.
A big waste is to buy the latest gadgets. If you buy the previous generation of a Smartphone, you get a lot of value for a lot less. Remember that there are only small improvements in new generations of hardware, and the cost is often too high.
Stop wasting money and start investing money
You should keep track of how much you save if you don’t’ purchase unnecessary things and fast food. Put that money you saved in a savings account with a decent interest rate, or if you want a more significant return, look for investment alternatives. The stock market has a higher risk, but if you learn how to trade long-term, you can minimize that risk.
By investing small amounts every month into an index fund, for example, Vanguard S&P 500, you can create a passive income stream. These kinds of investments are passive, and you don’t have to do anything after you deposit money. Index funds often have low risk compared to other stock investments.
Most people look for stable and low-risk investments. A savings account is best if you need money short-term, but if you save for retirement, long-term is the way to go. If you don’t need the money you invested right now and can wait a couple of years, to place your money in a low-risk mutual fund or index fund gives you better return historical.
If you take control of your financial situation and stop wasting money, you have a better chance to live a better life. By making your money grow instead of slipping away, you can buy what you want or retire earlier. Don’t waste that chance.