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Want to save money, achieve financial security, and chip away at your debt? Stop buying stuff you don’t need. Marketing companies are very proficient at convincing the public that we need to constantly be spending our paycheck on the latest fashions, new cars, and the newest diet trends to be happy.
Saving money is an important part of your financial health status and helps protect you in an emergency. Saving money helps you avoid debt, pay for large purchases, and reduce financial stress. So, if you want a greater sense of financial freedom, money-saving methods should become a part of your life.
Some say to stop buying things to save money. Is this true? Yes, it is because overspending is a huge problem that can lead to late bill payments, inability to pay off debt, frequent overdraft, and higher credit card balances. But how to stop buying stuff? Change your lifestyle, buying behavior, and purchase patterns.
To change our spending habits we must also change the way we think about consumerism. It is possible to balance being mindful of our spending habits with living a fulfilling life. You can start your journey to financial freedom today by reading our list of things to stop buying to save money.
How to Stop Buying Things You Don’t Need
To figure out how to stop buying stuff you don’t need, start with determining what you do need. Write out a list of your necessities: food, water, transportation, entertainment, clothing are a few examples of things that you may consider necessary. After you make a list of things you need to spend money on, you can start to assess your unnecessary spending to figure out things to stop buying to save money.
After you determine what you do and do not need, you can go even further into examining your spending habits by finding ways to minimize the expense of the necessities as well. Eating at home instead of eating out, brewing your coffee, bottling your water, cutting back on streaming services/monthly subscriptions, and buying second-hand instead of new are a few ways that you can save money on necessary expenses.
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How to Stop Buying Clothes You Don’t Need
Clothes shopping can be addictive for a lot of people. Fashion may be important to you, but that doesn’t mean that you need to give in to the impulse to buy expensive brand name clothes every time you have extra cash (instead of using it to chip away at your debt and achieve financial security).
Here are a few ways to knock out the temptation to spend money on new clothes constantly.
Buy Second Hand
When you need or want new clothes, try to buy second hand. You can find designer garments at a fraction of the market price on eBay, Poshmark, Depop, and a plethora of other online shopping services. Hit up your local goodwill or thrift store and recreate the looks that you want without chipping away at your savings.
Buying second-hand clothes doesn’t mean that you have to start wearing worn out, holey, or stained clothing. You can buy clothes second hand that have only been worn once, or still have the tags on them, and nobody will know that you didn’t buy them new unless you tell them.
Get over the notion that buying second-hand clothing makes you less than people who get all of their clothes brand new. In the long run, buying second-hand means you will end up with more money in your pockets and you can still have good quality, fashionable clothing.
When you stop buying fast fashion, you are also helping reduce waste.
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Tips For Cutting Back On Clothes Shopping
- Spend less time on social media
- Buy second hand
- Sell your old clothes before you buy new clothes
- Have a minimalist mindset
- Don’t make impulse buys
- Think sustainable
- Read and watch youtube videos from minimalist lifestyle coaches
- Always choose quality over quantity (don’t shop from fast fashion brands)
How to Cut Back On Food Spending
We all know the dreaded words from our childhood, “we have food at home.” To cut back on food spending, you should take that phrase to heart. Going out to eat is an experience that many people love and look forward to. It is possible to find a middle-ground between eating nothing but rice and bananas to stick to a dollar a day eating budget and going out to eat three times a day for every meal.
Why Going Out to Eat Is Addictive
One of the reasons why going out to eat is so addictive is because restaurant food is typically not as healthy as the food we make at home. Unless the restaurant is specifically geared towards healthy eating, they probably load up the portions with sugar, and other unhealthy additives which scientists have shown are addictive.
Health reasons alone could be motivation for you to stop eating out so much, but we are here to talk about money. Consider the fact that going out to eat three times a day, even at the cheapest food joints, means that you are spending at least twice if not ten times as much money on food as you would eating at home.
Tips to Stop Eating Out So Much
- Consider the health benefits of cutting back on eating out
- Save eating out for special occasions so it becomes a treat instead of a routine
- Learn how to make your favorite restaurant dishes at home
- Buy premade meals for when you’re feeling too lazy to cook
- Make cooking into a fun activity; cook with your spouse, kids, friends, or have a date night with yourself
How to Save Money On Groceries
Cutting back on eating out is an obvious way to save money on food expenses, but your grocery bill could be just as expensive if you are not mindful of where your money is going.
Tips For Saving Money On Groceries
- Order groceries for pick-up or delivery instead of going to the store
- Make a list before going to the store
- Don’t shop for groceries when you’re hungry
- Buy generic brands (it’s the same food as brand names)
- Stop buying bottled water
- Stop buying avocados
Being mindful of your health and financial goals when you are grocery shopping will keep you on track with your food spending. Try to avoid giving in to marketing tactics aimed towards making you buy the stuff you don’t need by following these tips.
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Stop Buying New Cars
When you buy a new car by financing you will end up owing more money on the car than it is worth after only a few years of payments. It is not a smart investment to buy a new car considering how fast the value depreciates the second you leave the car lot. When you are trying to reduce debt or save up money, buying used cars is the way to go.
A used car is often just as good as a new car, with many of them being in greater condition and also having far less wear and tear than you would expect. You can find them at a cheaper price if you absolutely have to purchase a car, but there are a few things you can do to make an older car work.
Learn About Car Repairs
Car repairs can cost a pretty penny if you are not prepared for them. However, instead of taking your car to the shop every time something goes wrong, you can save some money by trying to fix it yourself. Break out your tools and try to research what could be wrong with the car, because there aren’t a lot of options.
You can narrow the problems down to the engine, the motor, the electronics, the wheels, and to any other place in the car. You just need to use the process of elimination and some common sense, and then you can easily figure out what part of the car is not working as intended.
You can expand your knowledge about the vehicle that you are driving, and also fix some of the minor repairs yourself. Even if you can’t fix the underlying problem that is damaging your car, you can still make some repairs. Plus, anything that you’ve already done in the car repair process is something that a repairman doesn’t have to do. That shaves a bit off of your bill.
Tips For Buying A Used Car
- Don’t be fooled, get a car that is good quality and cheap
- Have an idea of the type of car you want, and your budget
- Shop around a bit and get some good quotes before you decide to buy a car
- Keep it up to date with maintenance and repairs, before you go to a repair shop
Stop Buying Things You Can’t Afford
It is very tempting for everyone to want to give into marketing tactics, social pressure, and impulsive habits and buy things we can’t afford. Buying things you can’t afford may feel good at the moment (we get a rush of “happy” brain chemicals when we make a purchase), but when you can’t afford the purchase, that high will be short-lived and buyers remorse/guilt will set in.
Make a plan (budget) on how you are going to cut back on your spending and you will find yourself being happier and more secure in the long term by cutting back on buying stuff you don’t need. It can help to think about your goals every day by making lists, looking at a vision board, or journaling every day. Mindfulness, gratitude, and minimalism are key to cutting back on spending. Once you change how you think about spending, your actions will reflect your mindset.
Get our free gratitude printable here.
How To Stop Buying The ‘Latest Thing’
It’s a point of pride for people to always have the latest thing. This could include the latest electronic gadget, the latest appliance, or the latest thing you need for a fad. Impulse buys can be a big problem for many people, as we ‘spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t even know.’ Still, as you scroll through your online shopping page and look at all the deals and sales, or walk through the store and see the newest item hot off the presses… it can be hard to resist.
One of the best things to do before you make an impulse buy is not to look at the price tag, but instead at the item itself. Let’s say it’s a new computer, and you have the older model. Think about your older computer and see if you really need the new one. Has your old computer been showing signs of age or is it still running smoothly? How old is last year’s model anyway?
Don’t just throw out a perfectly good computer because a new one came along. Instead, ask yourself if you really need it. If you’ve had the same computer for a decade and it is starting to show signs of its age, then you could consider purchasing a new one for yourself.
It Works For Everything
Stopping and giving yourself a reason why you would replace the older model with the newest thing is a great exercise to stop impulse purchases.
Tips To Stop Buying The Latest Thing
- Consider what you already have. Be thankful for your items and don’t just throw them away
- Ask yourself if you really need it, or if you just want to fit in with everyone else
- Walk away from the item for five minutes and then come back and reevaluate
Prepacked foods can come with a large number of preservatives and harmful ingredients like sugar. Not only can they harm your health, but they often cost a lot of money. Avoid buying unhealthy prepackaged and canned foods to easily save yourself some cash in the short-term, and avoid costly medical bills in the long-term.
One option is to buy an instant pot available from the supermarket and prepare meals the day before. You can prepare food in it very quickly and eat the meals you make with it for a few days.
Books and Magazines
Research shows that when you stop purchasing a book every 14 days, it will save you around $40 a month, which is $480 a year. Spending around $500 on books every year is not how you save money.
Instead of buying books every month, you can subscribe to Audible, which offers a 30-day free trial and offers you two free books of your choice. The site costs you only $14 per month, so, you can save $26 a month while accessing thousands of books.
At the same time, you will create less clutter in your home and maintain eco-friendly practices by using less paper.
If you want to save money, cancel your online subscriptions for Netflix, Spotify, Foxtel, Hulu, and others. A few subscriptions that cost $10 on average can cost you around $150 a month. When you add more subscriptions, you will lose several hundred dollars a month.
Instead of subscribing to Netflix, you can watch videos on YouTube or download movies for free from different sites.
Vitamins and Supplements
Although supplements and vitamins can help you achieve certain health goals, you may want to take a break from them for a bit to save some money.
Have you heard of the saying “food is medicine”? Stop buying expensive vitamins and, instead, start consuming lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. These are rich sources of all the essential vitamins and antioxidants, which will improve your physical health and mental wellbeing.
Cancel Gym Membership
You may not know, but on average, a gym membership can go up to $500 a year. Instead of going to the gym, you can exercise at home or in the park.
Why go to the gym, or use expensive equipment to build your body when you can run for free? Running is one of the best exercises that involve all parts of your body. The best thing about it is that you don’t need a thousand-dollar treadmill to run at home, but you can do it outdoors in the park or other places intended for running.
If running isn’t your thing, walking is another excellent form of low-impact exercise that won’t break the bank.
Related content: Get our free printable budget worksheet
How To Stop Buying Stuff
The easiest way to stop buying stuff so you can save money is to ask yourself if you REALLY need the purchase or not. Are you buying things to fill an emotional void? Can you do without it? Being completely honest with yourself is the best way to avoid overspending.
Making the Sacrifice
Not buying things, especially whenever you have the money to do so, can be very difficult for most modern people to do. However, if you resist the urge to buy every little thing that pops up, you can start to save your money for the things that you really want. Making a very large purchase with an intention is one of the most satisfying things to do, rather than spending your money frivolously on smaller objects.
Would you rather see a bank account or a paycheck that grows smaller and smaller as you spend all your money away on small purchases and other items? Or would you like to see a bank account that gets bigger and bigger as you pump some brand-new purchases into it? It’s very very easy to get to the latter, especially if you follow all of the tips above.