The first rule of personal finance is to spend less than you earn.  Pretty simple, right?  Unfortunately, this basic rule can be difficult to follow.  It takes discipline.  Here are some tips to help you reduce spending.  Day after day, these small savings can add up to big savings.

  1. Stay clear – of the spots where you know that you spend lots of money
  2. Take a timeout – Create a policy for yourself that says, “I will wait two weeks before I buy this item.”  This will give you time to think before you buy.
  3. Shop with a list – Most purchases that sabotage a spending plan are impulse buys.  Using a list and sticking to it, will make splurging a thing of the past. This is particularly easy now if you use grocery pick up options, like Kroger ClickList. You never go inside the store, so you avoid impulse buys altogether!
  4. You can still splurge – but do it economically and consciously. A good splurge is one that you’ve thought about for a while and still strongly desire. The thing to remember here is that there’s a difference between a splurge and spontaneity. You can decide, for example, that you’re about due to splurge on a new dress, but that doesn’t mean you rush out to the store and buy it. Instead, you can just let the anticipation grow and then do it spontaneously when the time is right. Part of this consideration, of course, is to make sure that it does fit into your budget. That splurge should be accounted for within your spending plans for the month.
  5. Track your money – and use cash when you purchase items.  You’ve worked hard for that money and sometimes it is more difficult to exchange cash when making a purchase.
  6. Call a friend – Just talking with a trusted person can reduce the urge to splurge.