For me a goal in life is financial freedom. To achieve it, I save money and invest it. This way the money can make money and I get more and more financially free every month. One thing that is keeping me from saving is spending on stuff I don’t need, use and love.
Here is a guide I use to stop myself from (over)spending. Maybe you find value in it as well.
Get to know why you want to stop spending on stuff you don’t need.
Get clear on why you want to save money. For me this is a couple of reasons. I already have all the stuff I need to live a good life. More stuff will cause more clutter, needing me to take more time cleaning, organizing, and maintaining the tranquil home that I desire. Second I have savings goals. I want to save money to retire early and I want to be flexible in the amount of hours/days per week that I work. This way I don’t need to work fulltime but can do with a little less to keep me mentally sane and focus on –for example- writing this blog. The flexibility is a really big one for me.
You don’t just not buy something, that takes a lot of self-discipline. You choose between buying something you don’t need or to save up for your big goal. The choice becomes so much easier if you have the end-goal in mind. Visualize your own end goal, make it super specific. It sometimes still is hard to not spend money, but it will get easier over time. Also sometimes this will still fail and you will buy something you don’t need. I do it too. Don’t be mad at yourself. Sometimes the self-discipline is just not strong enough, and that’s okay.
Stop advertisements from entering your home.
We live in an overly advertised world and get bombarded with stuff on sale that we don’t need. There are ways to make the advertisements come to you in a more moderate way. Here in the Netherlands, once or twice per week we get a big bundle of advertisement leaflets actually on paper in the mail. There is a really good way to not get them. Place a ‘nee-nee’ sticker on your mailbox. They prevent all unaddressed mail from coming in. It saves a lot of paper too! Save the trees yay! They are available at your Township.
For addressed advertisements you can unsubscribe at Postfilter in the Netherlands.
They will unsubscribe any post from certain categories that you choose and filter them out for 5 years. Find out how to stop advertisements from entering your home where you live.
How do I get great deals if I run out of toilet paper or toothpaste? Well, first I don’t run out of toilet paper, I have a complete attic full, you know, just in case ;). But when I need something I go look for the discount online. Don’t fall in this checking every week for new stuff on sale. Only check when you run out of something and actually need it again. All the promotions are to be found online these days and this way I will not get all the unsolicited advertising at my door every week.
Be a cord-cutter.
Another great tip to decrease the amount of advertisement is to cut the cable. Just cancel your cable subscription all together. I did it about 4 years ago and haven’t missed it ever since. I pay way, way less for my Netflix account then I would commercials infused cable. Then I share to even further cut the costs and I get unlimited access to entertainment without commercials. Love it!
Then a couple of weeks ago one of the cats broke the tv, and I didn’t have it replaced. Now I watch TV on my laptop. That is a bit extreme, I have to agree 😉
Guilty as charged.
Delete social media.
Ok this is a little extreme, I know. But bear with me here. A big one but way harder for many, delete social media. This is hard for many because it is so engrained in our lives. Cut down drastically will help as well but deleting all together is great. If this feels like too much unfollow a lot of people and companies and you will get bored of your Facebook or Instagram because there is no more news every minute. I unfollowed basically everyone on Facebook and it got boring quickly. So I deleted it all together. Also I don’t have Instagram, Tiktok or whatever the cool kids use these days. I do spend a lot of time (more then I like to admit) on Youtube, which on my phone does have commercials. On the computer I use an ad blocker which is great. Highly recommend.
Have you ever bought something from a web shop? Changes are you did. I know I did! All the shops here are closed except for the supermarket and drugstores. What can you do… Anyway, when you order something, they always hook you up with a newsletter. This contains all the stuff they know you like because you bought it before. Below the newsletter there is a tiny sentence that says ‘Unsubscribe from this newsletter’. Do it for all incoming newsletters that want to sell you stuff.
You will get less distracted and a much more spacious inbox as a bonus.
The thing with discount websites.
Comparison sites are great if you want to check if your internet subscription or your electricity bill can go down. Highly recommend. But websites such as pepper.com (the discount one, not the dating platform) just list everything with an exceptionally low price. This goes for electronic devices, clothes, free stuff to try, cheap toilet paper and what not. Here in the Netherlands but also in about 15 other countries there is an active community on the website. I tried it for about one month and it was great. There are so many good deals there, you can get everything you ever wanted and more for a great deal. The thing is, I bought all this stuff I suddenly needed because it was a good deal. Not because I needed it. It made me greedy, I want it and I want it now. The fear of a product going up in price just made me buy on impulse. I bought more that month than the previous 4 combined… when I realized I deleted the app all together and didn’t visit the website anymore. It is too tempting guys! I am only human!
All these things combined makes I don’t get as much commercials bombarded at me as the average Joe. Because I don’t see them, I’m not as tempted to buy all the things just because they are a great deal.
Do you have more tips on how to stop overspending? I like to hear from you, please share!
Till next time,
I am not a Financial advisor nor am I YOUR financial advisor. I am not a trained financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.