One of the most difficult things in life, for a spender like me, is to stop making poor money decisions. I’ve made a great deal of progress in recent years, reducing my spending, and looking for ways to put my money to better use. In order to stop making poor spending decisions, it is vital that you evaluate your habits, and then make the effort to change.
Figure Out Your Priorities
Many of us make poor spending decisions because we haven’t figured out what our priorities are. When we don’t know what is important, it is easy to make poor decisions, and squander our resources. Instead of continuing to spend on the items you consider unimportant, take some time to figure out your financial priorities. Once you pinpoint what is important to you, you will have an easier time make the move to stop spending on the trivial things.
Have a Purpose for Your Money
If you don’t have a purpose for your money, it’s easy to just let it slip away. One of the reasons you are likely making poor spending decisions is due to the fact that you don’t have a better purpose for your money. Instead, think about what you would like to accomplish in life, and how your financial resources can help you do that. Would you like to help the local food bank? Do you want to travel during retirement? Are you interested in helping your child pay for college? Decide what you want your money to do for you. When you have a purpose for your money, it is much easier to curb the spending that doesn’t contribute to that purpose.
Find Contentment in What You Have
Another reason that it is so easy to fall into the spending trap is due to lack of contentment. Many of us don’t recognize the good things we already have. It is tempting to spend money in order to fill a void that we imagine in our lives. Instead of spending, though, try to look for contentment in what you already have. Consider your current situation. Do you have what you need? Do you have a loving family? Are you reasonably healthy? You might be surprised at the advantages that you have already. If you can focus on the things that you already have and enjoy, you will focus less on spending money to get things that might not make you happy.
Replace Costly Things with Less Expensive Items
You can also spend wisely by looking for less expensive alternatives. From the software you use, to your TV service, to your insurance policy, there is something to be said for looking at alternatives. There are free versions of different software programs that can save you money, and the Internet offers many entertainment options for much less than cable or satellite TV service. You can also consider whether you might prefer generic brands of food and clothing. Shop around for less expensive insurance policies and phone plans. Look around and see what you could be doing differently. After all, if you don’t have to spend the money, why should you?