I’m not going to lie to you. When I see a really great online deal or a clearance rack with phenomenal prices at my favorite store, it is really, really hard to resist opening that wallet and spending money.
There is always a deal to be had somewhere. But if you want to stay true to your long-term financial goals, you’re going to have to suck it up and resist temptation.
Here are a few simple ways you can resist the temptation to spend money:
Don’t go to a shopping mall. Don’t even drive by one.
Shop with a purpose. When you absolutely must shop, shop with a detailed list. If you’re serious about sticking to a budget, then remind yourself that shopping should fulfill a need, not pass the time.
Don’t go online… but if you do, don’t visit any deal sites, or online stores. (Even if it means not visiting Northern Cheapskate… gulp… I understand!) Be sure not to look or click on any ads, either.
Stop looking at catalogs you get in the mail. Contact the companies and ask to be removed from their mailing lists and recycle those catalogs before you even open them.
Avoid magazines and television. Both forms of media are filled with advertising and stories geared at encouraging you to buy things. Hold a media fast to keep a tight grasp on your wallet.
Pay cash for everything. When you enter a store with only cash, you won’t be tempted to overspend on deals you stumble across. You could also buy gift cards and use those to limit your shopping expenditures.
Repeat the following phrase to yourself when faced with a shopping temptation: “I don’t need it. I don’t want it.” Then walk away. If you still want the item 2-3 weeks later, and it’s still available, then consider it. Chances are you will have forgotten the item by then.
Resisting temptation takes some practice, but if you follow these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to serious savings.