How to Spend Less Money

How to spend less money with one simple step.

savings tracker on brown wooden surface

Prices are getting kinda high these days, and the signs are such that this frugalista is paying attention.

It’s time to cut our spending, folks. We need to tighten our financial belts in order to hedge our bets as we move forward.

There is a lot of financial advice about how to do that. Eat out less, buy this or that, even don’t buy this or that.

Remember the latte and avocado toast advice?

Yeah, me too.

But you don’t really have to deprive yourself if you want to save money. The key to conservation is to become aware of your spending.

It’s so easy to spend money. When we swipe a piece of plastic to pay for everything, it doesn’t even feel real.

It does when we pay for it, though, doesn’t it?

How to Start Spending Less Money

Take a small notebook, one small enough to keep with you. While you can use your phone, I find that the ritual of writing adds to the effect.

Whenever you buy something, write it down in that notebook. Create a code for needs, wants, etc. Then, at the end of each week, tally up how much you’ve spent in each category.

Don’t worry about spending less. Just make it a point to write down every penny you spend.

That’s it.

In time you will find yourself not buying things because you don’t feel like pulling out your notebook. You will also look at how much you’ve already spent and decide that you’d rather not spend any more.

Sometimes you may even want to spend more by buying in bulk.

And sometimes you will make it a game to see how long you can go without spending money.

Anything goes. There is no right and wrong way. The key here is to become more aware of the purchases you do make; logging each purchase not only does that, it gives you a moment to ask yourself “do I really need this?”

So if you want to save money, start by carrying a tiny little notebook.

Your wallet will thank you.

Do you know any other quick money-saving tips? Please share them in the comments below.

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I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

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6 thoughts on “How to Spend Less Money”

  1. Back when we got paid once a month, we used the envelope method which you can actually do using different pages in your notebook. Write the budget amount for each category at the top of a page. As you spend money on that category subtract the amount spent from the budget for that category. If a category gets to zero–no more spending on that category that month. If there’s money left in a category at the end of that month, move it to spending and start the next month with the budgeted amount. We quickly learned to eat the affordable groceries we bought rather than buy something different that would not fit in the budget.

    1. Oh my! The envelope method! That brings back memories. I started out using the envelope method back when I was a newly single mom. I couldn’t afford even a savings account back then. I used the envelope method and graduated to the hybrid envelope/spreadsheet method when I could afford to open a savings account, and eventually to straight spreadsheet when I could finally afford a checking account. Oh, those were the days!

      You know, there are a lot of people who don’t have bank accounts; I wonder if there’s a book in that? Teach basic budgeting, and how to start with envelopes and move up as money allows. What do you think?

      1. In times o’ plenty we do lose sight of where we spend our money. In times such as we are experiencing today, our eyes are once again opened as we realize that our dollars aren’t going as far and we need to be more mindful of our spending. I like the notebook idea and I totally agree that keeping track on your phone just doesn’t have the same impact, the same reality that a pen and paper do. Thanks for reminding me of this simple trick.

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