How to Stop Spending Too Much Money NOW!

How to Stop Spending Too Much Money


I’ve recently shared that I’ve been on my Debt Free Journey for a year now.  I plan to share exactly how much debt I’ve managed to eliminate within this year in a later post.  Now, however, I’m addressing what got me into debt and what exactly I’ve done to get out of debt. My first step was to stop spending too much money NOW.

By now you should know the key to getting out of debt is to earn more and spend less! While I definitely don’t consider myself an expert at earning more and spending less, I do think that the things I’ve done to stop spending too much are achievable and can be helpful to someone.  

What I did to stop spending too much money  

1. Track and Analyze my Spending

On a monthly basis, I review my bank statements.  I categorize my spending into gas, fast food, groceries, clothing, and bills and totaled my spending in those areas.  An additional category is miscellaneous which is where I payed close attention to see where exactly where I could cut cost.  I was able to realize just how much “little things” added up such as vending machine trips, candy and sodas from the gas station and random trips from the grocery store, Dollar General, and Target.  Afterwards, I would attempt to decrease spending in all areas by at least 10 percent.

2. Avoid triggers

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’re aware of how tempted I was by Target.  I would take random trips to Target, browse every isle, and spend hundreds of dollars on things I did not need, and some I did.  After maxing out my card, I did the same to my Mister’s card until we had TWO maxed out cards for one household.  Shortly after, I decided to begin my debt free journey.

To avoid behaviors that placed me back in debt, I removed my Target from my pocket book and had my mister place at the top of my closet in a pocket book without me looking.  Afterwards, I cut it up.  Now, to continue avoiding triggers, particularly emotional spending, I’ve unsubscribed from email list to avoid the temptation of online shopping, removed all my cards from my wallet, and shop with list in most cases.

How To Stop Spending Too Much Money-2

3.  Use cash

It took me a long time, like a really long time, to develop the habit of using cash instead of swiping my debt card. It also took me a long time to remove my debit card from my wallet and use cash only or the cash envelope system.  The cash envelope system is not working so well for me right now, swiping my cards had become so normal.  I plan on being more diligent and consistent in my efforts.

4. Develop a Budget

I developed a budget about three months into my debt free journey.  That budget did not work out so well after one attempt and I went back to my old system of paying bills, however I made sure to assign an increased amount towards my debt snowball payment.  I’ve since developed a zero based budget, which continues to be a work in progress.

All the above techniques have been helpful in preventing me from spending too much money and paying off debt in this first year of my debt free journey.  It does require lots of determination and discipline, which I didn’t have in the beginning.  Which why, it’s probably called a journey!

In addition to the techniques above, I’ve stopped spending money on these 4 things as well:

  1. Dunken donuts coffee
  2. Manicures and pedicures
  3. Fast food
  4. Pocket books and shoes

Here is a video explaining exactly how much debt I’m in and why I began my journey!

Please add any tips you have to help people from spending too much money below?  Is there anything that you stopped buying that you added back into your budget?


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Article by Shirria

I'm a mother to five children, wife, full time worker and now blogger! I would like share my family's journey to financial freedom, life living, and eternal happiness...just one goal at a time!

Comments: 8 replies added

  1. Latoya S September 9, 2016 Reply

    You are right about the struggle from transitioning to cash from a debit card. I've tried multiple times and failed because I hate going to an ATM, I hate going to a bank, and I hate seeing my bank account at zero, lol. I would rather the money stay in there to say I have some money in the bank than to leave it at zero - weird, I know. Latoya S recently posted...Reader Question: Who Can Really Help Us With Our Student Loan Debt?My Profile

    • September 13, 2016 Reply

      Hello Latoya! Yes the struggle is so real. Even when I have no money in the account (because I've successfully mastered 0 based budgeting) I still panic when it's not in my wallet. I have a crazy relationship with my debit card. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Lila September 14, 2016 Reply

    I love using cash. I'm more mindful and careful when I shop with cash. I tend to shop for needs and wants that are most lasting and important to me.

  3. Emily @ JohnJaneDoe September 14, 2016 Reply

    Good luck on your journey and good job avoiding Target (my big temptation too). I did a no-spend month, which was great for resetting habits, examining my spending triggers, beginning my expense tracking (since there was less to track while I established the habit) and sort of learning to say no more often. It helped. It was drastic but finite. Spending less is still a work in progress, but I spend a lot more mindfully now.

    • September 15, 2016 Reply

      Hello and Welcome Emily! Thanks! I too spend much more mindfully now, however I continue to struggle with the temptation of Target. Because of the temptation, I have begin convincing myself that I need it, purchasing it, and then returning it after a week. At least it's progress! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Tara September 15, 2016 Reply

    I go to the bank each week to take out cash as spending money. I try really hard to not exceed that amount. However, stores like Target and the Dollar Tree are always tempting because they have great things for my classroom. I've starting making sure I need things before buying them.

    • September 15, 2016 Reply

      Hello and Welcome Tara! That sounds wonderful, and is something I really, really wish I could become disciplined enough to do. I am definitely working on it, but I think I'm going to continue to struggle until I can master 0 based budgeting. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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