Do you ever find yourself spending more than you like? Our easy guide can help you stop spending money - and help you save up for what you really need.
Withdraw a budgeted amount of cash to prevent impulse spending
‘Impulse spending’ is where you find yourself struggling or unable to control how you spend money. For many people, this means being unable to say ‘no’ to buying popular items, eating out when you may not have the money to, or spending where it might otherwise be better to save your cash for something more important.
If this sounds like something you battle with, you might often find that having a debit or credit card available is tempting – where you can simply swipe to buy and worry about your account balance later.
A good strategy to deal with this is to simply withdraw a budgeted amount of cash for each day (or for a special occasion) and use that to pay for what you need – you’ll find that as your impulse to spend increases, you’ll remember that you only have a limited amount of money on your person that you can actually part with.
This way, you can ensure that you don’t over-spend, and you can rest assured that in each occasion, you have spending money that you can actually put to items, events, or things that you actually want to buy and will use.
Re-negotiate your premiums
Most of us will enter into contracts on a month-to-month basis, for various services or facilities (the most common of these being some kind of insurance, such as medical aid or automotive insurance). While we will usually try and source the best deal possible when we’re prepared to start or take out a new contract or scheme, we don’t often review these expenses once we’ve signed up for them.
This means that large medical aid or insurance debit orders can often take their toll on your monthly bank balance and budget, and yearly increases often mean that you can end up spending far more on these contracts than you have originally planned for.
If you find this is the case, it’s important to remember that cancelling a contract within certain time frames can involve a hefty cancellation fee. However, you can always attempt to re-negotiate your premiums with a provider if you find that your coverage is too expensive.
Most major insurers will usually allow you to renegotiate your terms of cover or your monthly debit order if you happen to find a better offer elsewhere. You may find that you are paying for services which you either use sparingly or haven’t used at all, and cancelling these items can help you curb your spending each month.
Cancel your under-used subscriptions
If you find that you pass each month paying for subscriptions that you don’t often use, you can attempt to cancel them.
While cancelling a subscription in-term can involve a cancellation fee, some services operate on a ‘month-to-month’ basis, where you cannot be charged for cancelling your subscription so long as you give as much notice as your original content advises.
This means that if you don’t happen to use all the services you pay for – be it a television subscription, an internet streaming service or an online gaming platform – you can easily cancel your monthly payment and find yourself with extra cash each month.
Doing so can also be a great way to prevent yourself from incurring additional expenses, such as in-app purchases or add-ons that you might find in popular smartphone app stores or in other services.
When cancelling a service, remember to always approach your service provider directly instead of simply cancelling a debit order; you’ll need to legally end your contract to prevent your chosen service provider from attempting to collect your next payment as your agreement might outline.
Repay your debts timeously
If you’ve taken some form of credit – be it a personal loan or a bond – the best thing you can do to control your monthly spending is to ensure that you always meet your scheduled repayments.
This is good practice not only for the fact that it means you’ll be paying off your debt as you agreed, but also for the fact that you won’t fall behind with your repayments or go into arrears – where you can often be charged higher interest rates (or simply be charged more interest over a period of time) as compared to your original agreement.
By repaying your debts timeously or even ahead-of-schedule, you can save more money each month on the interest and fees that you might have paid. If you have a personal loan with Wonga, we encourage you to repay your debt earlier – you’ll save on interest and fees if you do.
Take the ‘No Spend Day’ challenge
If you absolutely struggle with impulse spending, another great idea to try is to challenge yourself to a ‘No Spend Day’ – where you commit to spending money on nothing, or nothing other than budgeted items.
If you often find yourself eating out when you could be at home, or buying clothes or gadgets you don’t really need or use, taking the ‘No Spend Day’ challenge can help you curb your spending – where, after a day has passed without any unbudgeted expense, you might find yourself with more money in your bank account than you originally intended!
Keeping true to yourself can be difficult, so one great way to follow the No Spend Day challenge is to ask some friends to do this task with you. You’ll often find that together, you’ll be able to keep yourselves accountable and on-track.
Stick to a budget
If you find yourself living month-to-month unable to control your spending – where you often don’t take a look at your bank account and just hope for the best – one of the simplest and most effective things you can do is to follow a monthly budget.
If you can take the time to draw up a simple list of expenses and then prepare a monthly game-plan for how you expect to spend your money each month, you’re already off to a winning start!
A monthly budget can help you not only keep track of how your spending is going but can also help you determine what is really valuable in your day-to-day life. If you find that you’re paying for things you don’t really use and are ready to examine your spending, why not check out our in-depth guide to budgeting, where you can find some handy tips to get you started?
If you’re ready to take a deep dive, you can download our monthly budget planner, which will give you all the tools and space you need to draw up a winning financial game plan that you can use to wrangle your spending.