Have a lot of debt? Having a hard time getting out of debt? Your spending habits are likely one of the main reasons. One of the first steps to regaining control of your financial well-being is to change your spending habits.

Habits are routines....and are not easy to change. You will need to analyze your entire spending system and find areas that you can adjust. Below are a few tips to help you accomplish changing your spending habits.

- Take baby steps. That means committing to 30 days first. That means not buying any discretionary items. Discretionary means goods you don't need. No games, no out-to-dinners, no movies, noting...just what you need to survive. It may be hard, but you will be training yourself for the long-term.. Once 30 days has been accomplished, bump it up to 45 days, then 60 and so on. Each step, you may want to treat yourself to something. You still have to live, but you most likely are going to appreciate whatever you are treating yourself to.

If you can be successful for 60 days with your new spending routine, then you should be able to adapt these new habits into your everyday routine FOREVER.

- Use cash only! If you normally use a credit card for purchases, limit it to cash. Using a credit card gives you false sense of having money that you don't actually have. In addition, credit cards often equate to impulse shopping. Using cash will make you think about each purchase, 'Do I really need this?', 'Is it worth it?'.

- Determine what your spending triggers. Meaning, when you go to the mall, do you always end up buying a new pair of sneakers? Basically, what makes you spend your hard earned money without thinking? Whatever the situation or place, avoid them.

- Eliminate pleasure purchases. Shopping can be an addiction. You really do get an endorphin rush when you buy something...especially pleasure purchases. That rush goes away leaving you feeling empty, like you want to buy more. Therefore, before you make a purchase, ask yourself that question again, 'Do I really need this?'...or are you just looking for some instant gratification.

- Don't shop online! Shopping on the Internet = easy impulse shopping! Clear your credit card info from the sites you frequent...and delete those bookmarks. If you can't control yourself when you are online to steer clear from shopping, then don't go online, PERIOD! 

No matter what the habit is, habits are hard to break for anyone. In addition to the tips above, you can help yourself by visiting a therapist that specialize in help controlling spending. You should even consider communicating with a financial planner. Another good idea would also be to familiarize yourself with budgeting.

There are also things to do with family that are free or little cost.

Related Reading:  
Prioritizing Spending




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