THE BLOG
12/10/2013 06:58 pm ET | Updated Feb 09, 2014

8 Ways to Prevent Unnecessary Spending

If you're trying to save money, but can't seem to stop yourself from spending on indulgences, here are a few tips to help fake self-discipline. Baby steps!

1. Limit How Much Cash You Carry

Keeping your wallet cash-free as often as possible prevents you from quick and mindless spending, in addition to forcing you to avoid those cash-only convenience stores that sell nothing but treats! One benefit of using your debit card is that you can really see where your money went without having to hold onto all your receipts.

2. Make Lists Before Going Shopping -- And Stick to Them!

By making a list of necessary items before hitting the store, you can prevent yourself from impulse purchases. Just follow your list and don't add anything to it once you're in the store.

3. Keep Your Credit Cards At Home

Whenever possible, avoid carrying your credit cards with you. By keeping the cards out of your wallet, you limit yourself to what's on your debit card and any cash you may have.

4. Remove Your Card From Online Accounts

With inventions like "One-Click Purchasing," it's just too easy to impulsively buy things. To avoid the temptation of impulse spending, remove your stored card information from online shops you frequent. This will force you to contemplate each purchase you want to make, as you'll have to re-enter all card information every single time.

5. Tell People You're Saving

If you let people know you're trying to save money, you're more likely to hold yourself accountable for your actions. Also, friends and family can be very supportive when it comes to financial matters and some may even join you in your budgeting efforts.

6. Walk to as Many Places as Possible

By walking to complete errands, you limit your wandering range to stores that you don't need to go to. Also, this can help avoid impulse purchases, as you won't have the luxury of a car to transport extra items.

7. Stay Busy

The busier you keep yourself, the less time you have to spend money. This means that you can check out a couple of books at the library, or concoct a project of some sort to avoid down time where you may want to treat yourself for no justifiable reason.

8. Avoid Too Much Time With High-Spending Friends

You don't have to stop seeing your friends just because they spend more money more often, but you should be aware of the peer pressure such associations can have on you. Either spend little time with such circles, or create situations where money is not applicable (like a movie night, potluck dinner, or hiking adventure). Or even letting these friends know you're on a budget (tip #5) can help set the right expectations. Real friends won't judge you!

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