How Not to Spend Money


New Twenty Dollar bill

(Photo credit: redjar)

If you’re like most families, you have a family budget that you try to stick to. Many families can’t make their family budget, even though there’s enough money coming in. The temptation to spend money is constant, and before you know it you find yourself without any.

Most of us need to learn how not to spend money. In fact, one California family felt so strongly about this that they decided to not spend money for an entire month. While we’re not suggesting you go to those kind of extreme measures, there are some things you can do to reduce the amount of frivolous money you spend in any given month.

Here are some great ways to learn how to not spend money:

  • Don’t shop recreationally. This doesn’t mean you can’t make a trip to the mall from time to time, of course. For some of us, shopping can be a great mood booster. Try to space out those recreational shopping trips, however. When you do go shopping for fun, set a budget ahead of time and stick to it. Try to pay cash whenever you can to avoid the extra expense that credit card interest brings with it.
  • Use actual cash. Research has shown that buyers that use credit cards, debit cards, or even checks don’t feel the “pain of purchase” in the same way that cash buyers do. When you have cash, you can literally watch the money being spent, and you’re less likely to spend more than you can really afford.
  • Set some goals. We all have goals that we want to achieve, financially. By setting specific goals, you have an incentive to not spend money when you’re tempted.
  • Track your spending. Use a program like Quicken to track your finances. Check your account balances regularly so you know what’s actually there.
  • Pay your bills prior to the weekend. Most of your discretionary spending happens on the weekend. If you pay your bills on Thursday, Friday through Sunday won’t take such a hard bite out of your pocketbook.


Learning how not to spend money is a process, and it can be hard to break some of those bad spending habits. What are some techniques you use to not spend money?

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