Recently I have had people ask how they can keep from spending. It’s hard to say no to yourself when the urge to spend strikes. Here are 20 tips to stop spending:

1. Don’t shop for fun. I don’t go on big outlet mall trips and when I am low on cash I stay away from Barnes and Noble. Make a list of fun things you can do for free or low cost and post it. Keep away from places you tend to spend money.

2. Play with getting your needs met. Get enough rest, fun, and quiet time so you don’t need shopping to satisfy you.

3. Have at least one goal – financial or otherwise that you can focus time and resources. One of my readers wants to visit her grandchildren more. Remembering that goal can keep her from overspending.

4. Print out the Wallet Buddy PDF from New Dream, which has questions to ask before buying. I have a list of questions wrapped around my debit card, but this looks neater.

5. Use cash. It’s more painful to watch it go out from your fingers.

6. Get out a week’s worth of money from the ATM. $20 here, $20 there doesn’t seem like much. But, take it out all at once and it does.

7. Input your spending into Quicken or look at your checkbook every other day so you know exactly how much you have.

8. Pay bills before the weekend eats up money for entertainment.

9. Think of yourself as rich – hot water, a place to live, access to the internet makes you richer than most of the world. Volunteer in a homeless shelter or help rebuild homes for a week. Quit comparing yourself to the wealthiest 1% of people.

10. Always use a shopping list.

11. Wait at least a day before you buy expensive, impulse purchases. Most likely you will find it is not worth a second trip out.

12. If you have trouble with auction sites or online catalogs, block the addresses using a blocking software like Block Web Site Buddy 2.0

13. Keep track of your spending for a week to see what your spending holes are – maybe magazines, coffee, dining out, home accessories, or books. And each week plan to spend a little less on those items.

14. Remind yourself that if you are buying on credit it is probably not a necessity . If it is, bigger actions are needed, like moving to a smaller house or selling a vehicle.

15. Keep your credit cards on ice in the freezer, in a drawer or locked up. (Ours are locked in our fire safe.)

16. Look at your reactions to the people around you. If you are jealous or envious, ask yourself why. Something may be missing in your own life – but trust me, it’s not stuff.

17. Remember, the thrill is in the hunt of finding the “perfect” thing. Once you buy it, the thrill is gone. Try new games – Can I make it through the checkout line without buying that magazine? How little can I spend today at the grocery store? Can I find something more creative to do with my friends besides go out to eat?

18. Read Can Money Buy Happiness? from Money Magazine. Once you have the basics more things and more money doesn’t make you happier. And in some cases it can make you less happy.

19. Talk with frugal people or visit frugal blogs. Many people are as happy with the challenge of spending as little as possible as others are who love to blow all their money.

20. Do a Spending Fast. The goal is to only by the necessities for the month.

Author's Bio: 

Beth Dargis helps people create saner, simpler lives. You can download her free Declutter Calendar here: