How do you control your spending?

davidsonj73

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I have a problem with buying too many and too expensive clothes and accessories, to be specific, and was wondering if anyone else on here has the same problem?
 
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You never learned how to manage your budget? I taught my kids at ten when they wanted me to spend my money on their toys.
 

DROPTOP_GTA

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I usually go nuts with clothes and other materialistic chit. Once i am satisfied with new shinny things I begin a moratorium on spending for about a year. Tight years, loose years. Your millage may vary.
 

BackInTheGame78

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I have a problem with buying too many and too expensive clothes and accessories, to be specific, and was wondering if anyone else on here has the same problem?
Not really, but it helps that I make enough so that I can afford to buy pretty much anything I want within reason. Material items aren't really my thing so I don't put much focus on them. I'd rather spend my money on trips and experiences.

However, I am also pretty budget oriented and freak out if my checking/savings accounts get under a certain amount and don't have any credit card debt which is a huge thing to get rid of since it's very high interest.

As to how to stop spending, it's pretty simple. You create yourself a budget each month and when you run out of money for those purchases within that category, you don't spend any more money on them.

There is no other way besides learning self-discipline and being OK with not allowing yourself instant gratification but rather saving up money to purchase something over a few months if you want to buy it so that it fits within your allotted budget.
 

jaygreenb

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I have a problem with buying too many and too expensive clothes and accessories, to be specific, and was wondering if anyone else on here has the same problem?
Automate your saving and investing where it automatically comes out of your bank account every pay check. Shoot for 20%+ even if you can't do that now start somewhere. Make that your goal and figure out how to make it happen. It will probably require you to downsize your spending and also increase your income.

Get away from acquiring happiness from materialism and consuming.
 

Free_Agent

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Never really had a budget perse. Just made sure my savings / net worth was going up at a good rate.
 

Reincarnated

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I would recommend budgeting and tracking every penny for a three month period. By that point you'll develop a good feel for your tendencies, where you can cut back, and won't really need to budget after that to control spending. I'd recommend the same approach to tracking nutrition.
 

Pierce Manhammer

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I have a problem with buying too many and too expensive clothes and accessories, to be specific, and was wondering if anyone else on here has the same problem?
Use a search engine (sample output below:)


Managing your spending effectively involves creating a budget, tracking expenses, and making informed financial decisions. Here's a detailed list to help you manage your spending:

### 1. **Create a Budget**
- **Assess Your Income**: Calculate your total monthly income, including salary, bonuses, and any other sources of income.
- **List Expenses**: Categorize your expenses into fixed (rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance) and variable (groceries, entertainment, dining out).
- **Set Spending Limits**: Allocate a specific amount for each category based on your income and financial goals.

### 2. **Track Your Expenses**
- **Use Budgeting Apps**: Tools like Mint, YNAB (You Need a Budget), and Personal Capital can help you track your spending.
- **Keep Receipts**: Save receipts for all purchases to track where your money is going.
- **Review Bank Statements**: Regularly check your bank statements to identify any unnecessary or unexpected expenses.

### 3. **Reduce Unnecessary Spending**
- **Identify Non-Essentials**: Look for areas where you can cut back, such as subscriptions, dining out, or impulse purchases.
- **Use Cash**: Paying with cash can help you be more mindful of your spending compared to using credit or debit cards.
- **Set Priorities**: Focus on spending money on what truly matters to you and aligns with your values.

### 4. **Save Regularly**
- **Automate Savings**: Set up automatic transfers to your savings account to ensure you save consistently.
- **Emergency Fund**: Aim to build an emergency fund that covers 3-6 months of living expenses.
- **Long-term Goals**: Plan for long-term financial goals such as retirement, buying a house, or education expenses.

### 5. **Review and Adjust**
- **Monthly Reviews**: At the end of each month, review your budget and spending to see if you stayed within your limits.
- **Adjust Categories**: If you find certain categories consistently go over budget, adjust your allocations accordingly.
- **Financial Goals**: Reassess your financial goals periodically to ensure they are still relevant and achievable.

### 6. **Control Debt**
- **Pay Off High-Interest Debt**: Focus on paying down high-interest debt first, such as credit card debt.
- **Consolidate Debt**: Consider debt consolidation to lower interest rates and simplify payments.
- **Limit New Debt**: Avoid taking on new debt unless absolutely necessary.

### 7. **Make Smart Purchases**
- **Compare Prices**: Always compare prices before making a purchase to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
- **Wait Before Buying**: Implement a waiting period for non-essential purchases to avoid impulse buys.
- **Quality Over Quantity**: Invest in quality items that last longer instead of cheaper, low-quality items.

### 8. **Plan for Irregular Expenses**
- **Annual Expenses**: Set aside money for expenses that occur annually, such as insurance premiums or holiday gifts.
- **Unexpected Costs**: Maintain a buffer in your budget for unexpected costs like car repairs or medical expenses.

### 9. **Seek Professional Advice**
- **Financial Planner**: Consult a financial planner for personalized advice tailored to your financial situation.
- **Educational Resources**: Utilize online resources, books, and financial workshops to improve your financial literacy.

By following these steps, you can take control of your finances, reduce unnecessary spending, and work towards your financial goals more effectively.
 

zekko

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I'm definitely a fan of budgeting. I like to know where my money goes. I have a modest budget program that suits my needs, and I actually find it kind of fun. This way I know just how much money I can "blow" in a given month.
 
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I have more than I spend, so I don't need to budget anymore, but I did teach my children how to balance their bank account.
 

FlexpertHamilton

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Budgeting seems like a waste of time. It's not like creating a budget will suddenly change your habits. Consumerism is a pathological addiction that isn't just so easily fixed just by making a budget. Budgets can amount to nothing more than action faking and the people who use them successfully are likely people who already have discipline or an awareness of their spending habits in the first place. I don't believe a shopaholic divorcee would change anything if she saw a balance sheet or some other snapshot of her financial situation. So the issue isn't a logical issue it's an emotional one, similar to overweight people who need to address why they are seeking out junk in the first place.

And maybe I'm unusual here but I typically only check my bank account a couple times a month but I can usually guess within $100-200 how much I have in the account.
 
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And maybe I'm unusual here but I typically only check my bank account a couple times a month but I can usually guess within $100-200 how much I have in the account.
Yes, you are unusual, because most people overspend. One of the reasons they overspend is because they have no clear view of how much comes in and how much goes out. This became egregious with the plastic money, and it's one of the reasons why bank are so eager to rid of cash. Back when people got their salary in cash and had to set money apart for the rent, they had a much better appreciation of how much they could spend, but with the digitalisation of money, they've become 'numbers on a screen' and it's much easier to spend money you don't have.

Personally, I don't have that problem because I used to handle cash and cheques when I was young, so I was conscious about my spending budget, but most people, especially poor people, don't know how to budget and get into financial trouble (which, by the way, is one reason why many people have relationship issues, but I digress).

Budgeting seems like a waste of time. It's not like creating a budget will suddenly change your habits. Consumerism is a pathological addiction that isn't just so easily fixed just by making a budget.
I understand that it seems a waste of time to you, Flex, but most people would benefit from getting a clearer view of their spending.

People are rarely born with financial sensibility and an understanding of how the economy works. That's why education is so important and part of the education should be about balancing your budget, especially for young children who get no clear view of how money works and where it comes from. This is one reason why I took my children grocery shopping and showing them how customers get seduced to buy the expensive branded stuff over generic products, or how the placement of products (candy near the cash register, et cetera) works extremely well for impulsive buyers. I showed them how to write a grocery list before they head out to the supermarket to curb impulse consumerism.
 

Fruitbat

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Fast food is my issue. Until recently I was spending upwards of $500 on food delivery. Food I could have cooked myself for about $150.

And I wonder why I got fat!

I have a real issue with fast food. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to fight the addiction. As a child I had a car wash business, and I used to make reasonable money with it so I spent the money on junk food and cigarettes. Alcohol once I got to about 13.

I always kind of associated fast or convenience food with happiness and success but the reality is it makes you feel like **** and gives you health problems.
 
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I have a real issue with fast food. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to fight the addiction. As a child I had a car wash business, and I used to make reasonable money with it so I spent the money on junk food and cigarettes. Alcohol once I got to about 13.
You have an issue with comfort food (I still dream about sour cream and onion Pringles), but when you develop certain medical conditions that make you averse to salt and sugar, you will find that you will be more wary of what you put in your mouth. That's how I dropped more than 20kg, just avoiding salt and sugar.
 

FlexpertHamilton

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Fast food is my issue. Until recently I was spending upwards of $500 on food delivery. Food I could have cooked myself for about $150.

And I wonder why I got fat!

I have a real issue with fast food. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to fight the addiction. As a child I had a car wash business, and I used to make reasonable money with it so I spent the money on junk food and cigarettes. Alcohol once I got to about 13.

I always kind of associated fast or convenience food with happiness and success but the reality is it makes you feel like **** and gives you health problems.
Yeah this seems really common.

I mean, I buy junk sometimes like a frozen pizza but at least I'm not breaking my bank (in fact it's surprisingly cost effective, in 2024 they're $7 and have enough cals for an entire day, I learned that in an economics class that made us try to budget and live off of $30/week for food)

But the problem here is not just that all restaurant food is very unhealthy but it's extremely overpriced, especially with all those clown delivery apps like postmates with inflated prices/fees and that basically require you to pretip 30% or else get cold food that was spit/farted on. Is it so hard to get groceries? I go like 5x a week even though I really don't like it and I don't even have a fvcking car lmao.

Are you addicted to the excitement of just having it delivered and the comfort it provides? And when you do buy groceries do you still buy junk? One real solution is to get 100% of your food from the grocery store, only buy fresh/whole food, and only go to the store when you have no appetite. I would try to figure this out though I think a lot of people are wasting an insane amount of money on food delivery.
 
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Fruitbat

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Yeah this seems really common.

I mean, I buy junk sometimes like a frozen pizza but at least I'm not breaking my bank (in fact it's surprisingly cost effective, in 2024 they're $7 and have enough cals for an entire day, I learned that in an economics class that made us try to budget and live off of $30/week for food)

But the problem here is not just that all restaurant food is very unhealthy but it's extremely overpriced, especially with all those clown delivery apps like postmates with inflated prices/fees and that basically require you to pretip 30% or else get cold food that was spit/farted on. Is it so hard to get groceries? I go like 5x a week even though I really don't like it and I don't even have a fvcking car lmao.

Are you addicted to the excitement of just having it delivered and the comfort it provides? And when you do buy groceries do you still buy junk? One real solution is to get 100% of your food from the grocery store, only buy fresh/whole food, and only go to the store when you have no appetite. I would try to figure this out though I think a lot of people are wasting an insane amount of money on food delivery.
I virtually never buy junk at the grocery store.

sometimes this is the issue. I’ll be really hungry or tired and my body is craving carbs and I’ll just see broccoli in the fridge and I’ll think fk it, order in a burger. Now, I don’t buy giant pizzas (gluten intolerance) and I try to get the healthiest I can (ie no bun, no fries, diet soda).

Bit by bit I am improving diet. In a year or two we will be wealthy enough for my wife to go part time and that will change everything.

think how mad the system is, we both work so we can pay someone else inflated prices to look after our kids and cook our food.

My wife understandably is concerned she has little assets for herself so wanted to build up 20K savings which I’ve supported her in doing. I own most our capital. Once she’s done that then she will be home 4/5 days a week and I’ll have home cooked grub most days. That will be a huge boost. The last time she did that after my daughter was born I lost 2 stone
 
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