Budgeting Lifestyle

12 Simple Ways to Curb your Spending Habits and Save More Money

12 Simple Ways to Curb your Spending Habits to Save More Money

When entering adulthood, understanding personal finance and saving money are crucial. When you understand the value of money at an early age, you can more effectively control your finances and refine your spending habits. Although I realised the value of money at a later age (when I was 22), I am so glad that I have overcome my big spending habits and transformed into a big saver and frugal spender.

Now that it is a new year (hello 2018!), it is the perfect time to start taking control of your finances. I am participating in the January challenge of going the whole month without shopping, hosted by my dear friend, Chloe, who lives on the opposite side of the globe! (Girl, we’ve got to meet up!). You can check out her blog over here – she’s an absolute gem!

I highly recommend that you join this ‘No Spend’ challenge! It is a great starting point to learn the value of money and how saving can be beneficial to your life. By the end of the month, I’m sure you will be amazed at all the money you have saved and how many unnecessary things you have been purchasing all these years.

During this month, I am only allowed to shop for groceries and essentials. I hardly shop for clothes but I do like to shop for office decor, and cute stationery so I’ll have to resist that temptation. I’ve got this!

To assist you with going the whole month without shopping or if you really want to learn how to cut your spending and live a minimalist lifestyle, here are 12 simple ways to curb your spending habits and save more money.

1. Pay in cash instead of credit card

According to a 2008 paper in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, using a credit card dulls the pain of paying because in reality, you are just swiping a card and not performing a physical exchange of cash. Would you rather hand over that crisp $50 bill or swipe your card? I bet you chose the latter.

While the world is rapidly moving towards a cash-free payment system (I’m looking at you, Sweden!), it is difficult to avoid paying with your credit card. However in any possible instance where you can pay in cash, take it! You are more likely to acknowledge the pain of separating with your hard earned cash and become more aware of your spending habits.

2. Only purchase what you actually need

Ever purchased something because either a) it’s on sale, b) it’s an indulgence, or c) both a and b? Most likely, you didn’t really need it.

Keep a note of what you actually need to purchase. If your leggings ripped, make a note to buy a new pair. If you have 5 pairs of leggings at home and found a cute pair of leggings for sale, re-think your decision. You are better off saving that money.

3. Write shopping lists

Lists keep me sane, there’s no doubt about that. To avoid overspending, create a shopping list so you know exactly what you have to buy. This also prevents clutter and wastage in your home.

4. Ditch the coupons that you don’t need

At one point in my life, my wallet was stashed with coupons. Whether I shopped at the place or not, that wasn’t in the question. If I ever went to buy something there, I will have a coupon for my purchase. Don’t be like me! Stop hoarding coupons that you don’t need or you’ll be tempted to buy something just because you have a coupon.

5. Use what you’ve got

Before you go out and buy something, take a good look at what you have got. If you already have it at home, use it before you buy another. I really have to take this point in consideration for my stationery addiction. If I see a pretty journal, I will buy it and add it to my 10 other pretty journals that I haven’t used yet. I’m working on it, okay!

6. Invest in a reusable bottle

It’s about time we ditched the use of plastic water bottles. The poor environment does not need anymore plastic waste so let’s be environmentally friendly souls and invest in a reusable bottle. Apart from the environmental concerns of plastic bottles, they are also expensive. A plastic bottle of water is priced at $2.50 on average. If you invest in a reusable bottle, you can fill your bottle with water from the tap for free.

Moral of the story: Just get a reusable bottle for the sake of the environment and your wallet.

7. Unsubscribe from online stores

Keep the temptation away by unsubscribing from online stores. If you don’t see their constant promotional deals, you won’t be inclined to spend unnecessarily. Also, your inbox won’t be filled to the brim which is always a plus!

8. Take control of your spending habits with a weekly budget

Analyse how much you have to spend per week on fixed and necessary expenses such as rent, groceries, phone bill etc, and set yourself a budget. Try to aim to spend below your budget and any additional $$ can go straight into your savings.

9. Find free activities to do

Cutting your spending doesn’t mean that you won’t have fun. There are so many free activities you can do! Browse your local city website to find free events and activities that are happening. Try hosting a movie night with some friends instead of going to the cinema. You can play board games and online games instead of going to the arcade. You can also host a dinner party at home instead of going to the restaurant. Taking control of your spending habits doesn’t have to be boring!

10. Declutter your space

When you declutter your space, you will find things that you never knew you had. You know that missing dress or that unopened lipstick package? Now you can stop spending more on unnecessary items. Plus, it is also nice to have a clean and tidy space to relax in so get decluttering!

11. Be wary of promotional sales

After the holiday season, it is SALES GALORE so it is really hard to resist the temptation! However, make sure you are wary about the psychology that goes behind promotional sales such as the famous ‘buy 1, get 1 half price‘. Did you really need to spend extra $$ for another product? The company will receive extra profit from an additional sale while you will have less $$ in your bank account. Another cheeky marketing promotion is the use of scarcity to encourage shoppers to quickly purchase their item. It is human nature to not want to miss out on anything and when something is scarce, we quickly flock towards the sale. If you want to curb your spending habits, take the time to read more about the psychology of promotional sales.

12. Do some quick math as a reality check

Before you make a purchase, ask yourself ‘Is this item really worth the price?’. Here’s where some quick math comes into play.

Say your hourly wage is $30 per hour and the jacket you are eyeing is $210. Is that jacket worth your 7 hours of labour? This will help you put the item’s worth into perspective and whether or not you really want to buy it.

I hope these tips help you control your spending habits to start saving more money! If you want to find more ways you can save money, head over here to find my top 10 tips on how I saved (a lot) of money for my next travel adventure.

Are you going to try the ‘No Spend’ challenge?

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  • Chloe

    Aw I absolutely love this post Stephanie!! So many useful tips which I will definitely be using! Agreed we have to meet up one day! I’m so excited to be doing this challenge with you, good luck with not spending!!xxx

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you so much Chloe!! I’m also excited, thank you again for letting me know about this great challenge! Good luck on your no spending month! xo

  • Julia

    I’m going to try this but I already bought myself some new boots! Oh well. I can start from now. Great post!

    • Stephanie Foo

      Yes! Definitely give it a go. I’m glad you like it!

  • This is such a useful blogpost! So many great tips. I really need to start being a little more careful in my spending haha. Thanks for sharing all these tips! Will definitely start using them.

    My Passion Projects

    • Stephanie Foo

      I am glad you find it useful! Saving money is a great habit and skill to have. Good luck!!

  • Dani🦁

    I definitely need a no spend month, I went a bit shopping crazy in the sales! Really useful post, thanks for sharing

    • Stephanie Foo

      I can imagine! All those holiday sales EVERYWHERE! Glad you like it, Dani!

  • What great tips! I’m not doing the challenge this month but perhaps in the future. I used to have a weekly budget before I went off of it, but when I had a weekly budget I definitely saved a lot more money.

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you! Weekly budgets help me immensely! Without it, I honestly wouldn’t know where my money is going.

  • Kelly 켈리

    Great ideas!
    I love paying with my card though because at the end of the year, get money back, something to do with tax :)!
    It’s hard not spending, my goal this year is to not spend as much and I’m failing so far!


    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you, Kelly! I can understand that! As long as you don’t go overboard and know that you can pay it off & not go into debt, that’s A-okay!
      Aha the year has just started! You can improve!

  • I feel like you’re directing this post at me, almost like you know I’ve been wasteful recently, lol! Great tips girl!

    • Stephanie Foo

      Haha glad I could help you out! 😉

  • Claire Johnston

    I need to curb mine and have actually done a few things you have said in your post love it ❤❤

    • Stephanie Foo

      I’m glad this post was helpful for you!

  • JJ Lauren

    This is a great post! I think I’ll have to join you on the No Spend January!

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you! Yes join me and let me know how you go!

  • LOVE this. I didn’t realise this was an actual challenge (although how brilliant!) but the first months of 2018 are a bit of a “no spend” for me so i can save for a good summer. Love your blog 🙂 xx

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you Mia! That is great news! Good to see that you are getting into the habit of saving. Aw thank you lovely 🙂 xo

  • Ja’d Kurumi🐨🌸

    These are such great tips!! They will definitely direct me in the right path of saving money this January ☺️

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you Ja’d!! Glad these tips helped you

  • Amazing tips! This will be extremely useful when I start to live alone. Thank you, Stefanie!


    • Stephanie Foo

      So happy to hear that these tips will help you!!

  • LaTersa Blakely

    These are some great tips! Thanks for sharing

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you for stopping by!

  • Gem

    Great tips! I have been living a fairly frugal lifestyle for the last couple of years or so, and you really do start to see that there are so many things we don’t need. My shopping tip is when I pick something up, I tell myself, “you don’t need that.” And if i don’t fight it, then I don’t buy it.

    • Stephanie Foo

      Yay! The frugal lifestyle is honestly one of the best decisions I have made. I never realised how much stuff I had and how much money I have been wasting! That is a great tip! I use that as well, especially for clothing.

  • Rea Salimbagat

    These are nice tips. Very helpful for a spendthrift like me. Hoping that in this new year, I can do this and save money for the future.

    • Stephanie Foo

      I’m glad you liked these tips! Yes you can do it! I believe in you.

  • awsome tips I really apreciate defenetley I will write a shopping list I always forgot and then buying things we never use. and unsuscribe email that´s another goodone take out temptentions.

    • Stephanie Foo

      I’m glad these tips help you! Thank you for stopping by! xo

  • Gretchen White

    Thanks for sharing your post. I have always believed in paying with cash. Credit can get you into trouble. I agree with your other tips. I have always lived by a simple rule. Looking at ways to save money is always best. Great post!

    • Stephanie Foo

      Yes I agree, especially if you are not careful! I’m always up for new ways to save money 🙂 Thank you Gretchen!

  • RIkki Parker

    Girl I NEEDED those tips! Spending money is probably the thing I’m worst at and I need to get it together. I did JUST get a coffee machine and reusable water bottle to help me save! But the rest of those things i need help with cause I am an impulsive spender!

    • Stephanie Foo

      Wooo! Glad I could help you out! Trust me, I was the WORST spender back in 2015. People can change their spending habits! Ooooh those are great investments! Good luck on your path to becoming a more money savvy person!

  • Kayla

    These are great tips! My goal for 2018 is to spend less money and save more so I can move out of my parents. I’ve been looking for some easy tips like these to help me save. 🙂

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you Kayla! Yes! That is a fantastic goal! You can definitely achieve it 🙂

  • Melanie Fraser

    Fantastic tips 😃 I found this post really useful thank you!

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you Melanie! I’m so glad you stopped by 🙂

  • Nicole Lauren Blake

    Learning how to save and stop spending unnecessarily has been a huge thing I have had to learn in the past year! It’s definitely hard to stop buying the things you like, even though you don’t need them. It’s a lot easier now, and I have already implemented a lot of these steps into my life, but I will try to add some of of these in the future. I still get the urge to splurge every now and again!

    • Stephanie Foo

      I’m so glad to hear that!! Definitely agree with you on feeling the need to splurge! I always make sure to treat myself from time to time so I don’t feel like my whole life is all about saving every coin.

  • the grinch

    I am the worst for saving money so thank you for all the useful tips! I will definitely be trying them X

    elise // elssthinks.blogspot.co.uk

    • Stephanie Foo

      I’m happy this will help you!! You can definitely improve your spending habits 🙂 xo

  • Emma Louise Joanne Conrad

    These are great tips! This month I think I will try only paying in cash as you can SEE the money disappearing and also getting rid of coupons i don’t need! It’s so easy to think you’re saving money because of a coupon, but if you weren’t going to spend it in the first place, it’s really not saving.

    I may be writing a similar article, do you mind if I quote you and link back to your post?

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you! Yes exactly!! Seeing the money actually leave your hands really makes you think twice about what you’re buying!

      Yes of course you can 🙂 I would love to read your article!

  • John Saeger

    #11 is a great tip. Retailers love to create a “false economy” to make you think your are getting a deal.

    • Stephanie Foo


  • Charli Dawns

    This is such a great post! Something I definitely need to follow by this year. I’m horrid at saving!

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you Charli! You can definitely improve your spending habits! I believe in you! xo

  • Kat M

    Great post and tips for saving money! Nice reminder at the beginning of the year.

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you Kat! I’m glad you enjoyed this!

  • Cheyenne 🌸

    Love this! The sales and coupons are the worst . You end up thinking you need something because of the sale when you can really do without.

    • Stephanie Foo

      I know right?! Sales and coupons are the start of impulsive buying if you’re not careful.

  • Angela Alya

    I’m a big spender and this post is great, filled with amazing tips! I might try the weekly budget tip..
    x Angela / SincerelyAngiejj.com

    • Stephanie Foo

      Having a weekly budget works wonders! xo

  • Aniekan Samson

    I REALLY need to do this too, and you’ve inspired me! I think your plan is well thought out and organized.
    Mfon Elisha / mfonelishasblog.blogspot.com

  • Gabrielle Mgeni

    I’ve literally been trying to do all of this and it’s so tough. This is a great reminder!

    • Stephanie Foo

      Keep going!! I wish you the best of luck! xo

  • I definitely need to work on my spending habits! I work in a shopping centre so it’s really easy to buy myself lunch and do some shopping after my shift, so I try to leave my cards at home to avoid doing that. I also found unsubscribing from shops helped heaps as I am unaware of their sales and promotions!

    Indya || The Small Adventurer

    • Stephanie Foo

      I can see the temptation of working in a shopping centre! That’s a really good idea! No cards = no overindulging into things you don’t even need. Glad you are taking such good steps to improve your spending habits! xo

  • Charlotte Louise

    I need this post! I online shop far too much for my own good and i am trying to save!

    • Online shopping gets the best of me! I used to find joy having the postman bring me packages everyday! Good luck on trying to save!!

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