If you’re having a difficult time spending less and saving more, it may take more than sheer will to make that change. Overspending is a widespread problem and one that can seriously wreck your ability to save.

When you spend smarter, your money goes further. Read on to discover how you can break bad spending habits and create new, healthy ones.

Step 1 -Pinpoint a few bad financial habits.

It’s not an easy one, but the first step is to look at your spending and find a few bad habits. Don’t try to tackle them all at once. Try to change only one to three at a time. A few ideas include eating out when you have food at home, shopping impulsively online or buying duplicates of items you own. Once you’ve identified the first few habits you will then brainstorm ways to replace the bad habit with a good one.

Step 2- Replacing Bad Spending Habits with Good Ones

The best and sometimes only way to get rid of bad habits is to replace them with new and better ones. Let’s look at a few more options you can try as you work to override bad spending habits with good ones:

Give yourself a solid reason to spend wisely. Spending or saving makes a lot more sense when you have goal in mind. We do this by following the Baby Steps. Making money goals and keeping them in mind whenever you swipe your card or hand over cash will put your spending in perspective.

Knowing why and then having a plan we could implement while enjoying life is key.

Something as simple as taking an inspirational picture and adding it to your phone’s home screen, the screensaver on your computer or printing it and posting it in a place you see every day will be the constant reminder of your better self.

Go Cash Only. Credit and debit cards make it easy to overspend, but you can’t use them if you don’t have them with you. Leave your cards at home and stick to cash or debit for all your purchases.

One thing that is tremendously useful for curbing bad spending habits is using The Cash Envelope system.

Research before you shop. Do some research, compare prices, and select a quality model. When you have more information, you can make a better decision.

If you regularly shop at a certain store, you should know when they offer their best deals, so wait to shop then. Check out your supermarket’s weekly sales so you can stock up on the sale items you regularly use. Keep an eye on your favourite clothing store and buy out-of-season coats, shirts and shorts on clearance.

Avoid your spending triggers. We all have those places or people that make us want to spend a little too much. Maybe it’s the sweet smell of the bakery around the corner, or a friend who tells you how great that purse would look with those shoes in your closet. Limit your contact with those triggers, so you can learn to spend only what you’ve planned to spend.

Find an accountability partner. It really helps to have someone who is on the same team as you when it comes to your budget. This might be a family member or your spouse. They should be willing to discuss your big money goals and be there to talk through big purchase decisions.

Develop patience. Take your time and give yourself 24 hours before purchasing items that are not within your budget. You’ll typically wake up the next day with a little less excitement, which can help you make a more rational buying decision.

Treat yourself. Milestone rewards are a great way to keep motivated. Once you’ve reached your first milestone, set aside a sum of money to treat yourself to that new gadget, browse your favourite store or enjoy a date night with your spouse. Give yourself permission to spend some money and you won’t be tempted to spend all the money.

Actively practice gratitude. Take a moment every day to write down or verbally acknowledge the good in your life. If we can be grateful for what we have, we might just realize how little we really need.

Let me know in the comments below

How have you stuck to your budget? What methods have you used to develop good spending habits

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