A major reason, if not THE major reason, people find themselves in debt is because they simply spend too much money on stuff they do not need. While it seems like you need to buy that pair of shoes, or spring an extra amount for designer jeans, or buy a car you probably can’t afford, you’ll thank yourself later if you just say ‘no’ to yourself.
I think a major reason people go shopping and spend money is just because they are bored. Let’s face it, entertainment costs money. Sometimes you literally pay to be entertained, like going to a comedy club or seeing a movie, whereas other times you just surf Ebay or Amazon to see if there’s anything that strikes you. Then you see something that you think is a great deal and you buy it. Well, if you really wanted to save money, you just wouldn’t have bought anything in the first place.
I think a good way to cut down on spending is to find ways to distract yourself. Here’s a short list of entertaining things to do:
1. Running. Not only is going out for a jog free, it does wonders for your health. There are no habitual joggers that regret what they do. Yes, it’s tough, but you’ll feel better. You’ll learn to discipline yourself too, which is essential for financial success.
2. Rent movies. Blockbuster and Netflix have several cheap ‘all you can eat’ choices. In terms of entertainment, renting movies is about as cheap as you can get. If you watch 10 movies a month and pay about $20 a month, you’re paying about $1/hour for entertainment. Try beating that.
3. Cook more for yourself. Not only will your friends or spouse love you more, you save yourself quite a bit of money.
4. Only buy indulgences on special occasions. If you frequently go shopping just to shop or splurge just for the sake of it, you’ll spoil yourself. Think back when you were a kid. Your parents only bought you gifts for your birthday and Christmas. Treat yourself the same way if you want to discipline yourself into not buying stuff you can’t afford.