Most people these days are in a position to comfortably pay for
the necessities of life. Bills like rent and electricity as well
as food and clothing expenses, while not cheap, are at least
affordable for most people who are in employment. What cause
most people the financial hardships that they experience are the
discretionary expenditures that they make.
This is the money spend on things that they do not really need,
and sometimes do not even want, but are enticed into buying
while shopping. There is a field of science that retailers spend
millions of pounds on every year that studies what is most
likely to make people spend money in stores.
Therefore, everything about a modern store, from the lighting,
the music, the layout, the colours, everything, is carefully
calculated to give you a sense well being. This well-being will
then make you far more likely to spend money on items that you
had no intention of buying when you entered the store.
It may be surprising, but for many people who overspend, the
problem is not that they want to many things, but that they
succumb too easily to the devices in stores that are designed to
persuade you to make a purchase. Therefore, the most important
thing to help you reduce spending on unnecessary items is to
discipline yourself when you are shopping and not be tempted
into making the purchases.
One of the best ways to avoid succumbing to unnecessary
purchases is preparation. What this comes down to in practice is
making a shopping list. Then when you are in the store, stick to
the list. Even before going into town or doing your Christmas
shopping, or shopping for clothes, make a list of what it is you
want to buy, how much you are expecting to pay and then stick to
the list. Obviously you will not be able to know exactly how
much everything will cost but at the very least you can limit
yourself to only buying the items on your list.
Another thing you can do is set a maximum amount to spend. You
can set the limit at an amount you know you can afford and are
comfortable with before hand and then you can keep yourself
within this limit. You can even consider taking out the cash you
are prepared to spend before hand and then leaving your credit
and store cards at home. Whatever your limit, keeping to it, and
deciding before hand what you want to buy and what you want to
spend is the secret to keeping your spending under control.