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How to Stop Spending

Spending and overspending is easy. Unfortunately, stopping spending requires a lot more willpower!

Everyone has the odd splurge every now and again but if you find yourself regularly in the red you could be living above your means. Here are a few tips to help you take control of your spending.

Find out what you already own

When was the last time you really looked through your wardrobe, drawers or kitchen shelves? Before you go shopping, spend some time thinking about what you need to buy and make a list. Take this list with you and you will be far less likely to buy things you already own or simply do not need. Just make sure you stick to your list and avoid the temptation of buy-one-get-one-free offers!

Choose your time

Although shopping can be a great mood booster if you are feeling bored or depressed, the financial hangover that comes after a shopping spree doesn't have the same feel good effect. Avoid the shops if you're feeling down, as the temptation to spend can be difficult to resist.

Question yourself

Get into the habit of questioning yourself every time you are about to buy something. Ask yourself "Why am I buying this?" before handing over your cash or card. When you can't answer or find yourself making up an excuse, put the item back. You can always come back later if you decide you really do need it and the chances are you won't.


Although the thought of drawing up a budget can be daunting to say the least, budgeting really is the best way to take control of your spending. By examining your monthly income and outgoings you will find out exactly how much you have to spend and can usually spot ways to make savings. Once you have analysed your spending, allocate yourself a monthly budget and stick to it.

Go on a spending holiday

Really put your money-saving prowess to the test by going on a spending holiday. Decide on a week during which you will spend nothing at all, except on unavoidable costs such as travelling to work. Prepare for the week by shopping for groceries and planning a few free activities like going for walks or visiting friends. Don't carry any credit or debit cards and restrict yourself to keeping just a small amount of cash with you for emergencies.

Think ahead

The recent economic downturn caught many people by surprise. Thankfully interest rates have remained low, helping homeowners keep on top of mortgage payments. Nobody has a clear idea of what the future holds for UK consumers however, as the political and economic situation remains uncertain. If interest rates go up and inflation causes the cost of goods to rise, this could spell trouble for many households who would struggle to pay the bills.

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