13 Ways To Not Spend Money

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13 Ways to not spend money

If you’ve ever spent more than you should have, gone over your budget, or regretted a purchase, this one’s for you!

Since our monthly budget is less than $1500, you can imagine that I’m pretty amazingĀ at not spending money. šŸ™‚ And I don’t even feel deprived or like I’m missing out. I’ve changed some of my habits so that I don’t miss shopping and I don’t feel the urgeĀ to buy stuff unless we really need it.

I’ve changed some of my habits so that I don’t miss shopping and I don’t feel the urgeĀ to buy stuff unless we really need it.

So here are my secrets to not spending money:

1. Don’t Go Shopping

It’s obvious, but it’s the most important place to start.

Has anyone ever gone to the mall and not spent any money? At the very least, you buy a smoothie or a cinnamon sugarĀ pretzel, right? Man, those pretzels are good!

You don’t take someone who is trying to drink less alcohol to a bar and you don’t go to the store if you don’t want to spend money. Simple.

Repeat after me: Shopping is not a hobby.

If you don’t have money to spend, don’t go to the store. And if you need to go to Walmart to buy groceries, don’t wander through the craft supplies or home decor section. It’s just too tempting.

2. Borrow

A lot of the things in our house only get used a few times a year. I’m sure that I could find a family member or friend to borrow from instead of purchasing something that’s just going to sit around most of the time.

I’m sure that I could find a family member or friend to borrow from instead of purchasing something that’s just going to sit around most of the time.

Tip: Before you go buy something new, think about how often you will really use it. Then check and see if you could borrow it from someone instead.

3. Use Something Else

We don’t own a coffee maker because we don’t drink that much coffee. We have instant coffee for when the mood strikes.

We don’t own many serving dishes. We use glass bakeware as serving dishes if we have guests over for dinner.

We hardly ever drink wine so we don’t own wine glasses. If we bring home a bottle, we just drink it out of normal glasses.

Sure, we would use all of those things on occasion if we had them, but we would be spending extra money and have to find a place to store it all.

Tip: Before you rush out to buy something, think about if there is something you already own that could be used instead.

4. Avoid Online Shops

This is tough for me! We live in a really rural area, so there aren’t that many stores tempting me. But online shopping is a whole different story.

Tip: To avoid online stores, don’t save them to your favorites in your web browser. Also, unsubscribe to all of those tempting emails telling you about sales. Seriously, there isn’t a day of the year that there isn’t a sale happening (I’m looking at you, Pre-President’s Day Sale).

You can always sign up to receive emails again when you need to make a purchase from that online shop if you’re worried about missing out on deals when you need them.

5. Don’t Let Websites Save Your Info

Most websites want to save your billing, shipping, and credit card information.

It makes it way fasterĀ to make a purchase next time because they already have everything they need. However, it makes it much easier for you to click the “Submit Order” button.

Tip: When you make a purchase at an online store, make sure to not let them save your info.

Next time you want to purchase something, it will take you some extra effort because you will have to enter your billing, shipping, and credit card info. It’s silly, but that little bit of extra effort just might make you re-think your purchase and if you really need it.

6. Keep a List of Things You Need

Ok, so keeping a list of things you need might seem weird if you’re trying not to spend money, but go with me on this one.

If you keep a list of things you need, you will have time to think through those items and make sure they really are “needs”. Also, it will remind you of what to look for when you do go shopping.

You are less likely to spend on impulse purchases when you know you should be looking for a few specific items that you know you need to spend some cash on.

7. WaitĀ 24 Hours

This is some classic advice.

If you see a cute topĀ you want, tell yourself that if you still want it in 24 hours, you can go back and get it.

Once you get home you might realize that you have 27 black tops already and you probably don’t need another. Stores thrive off of getting customers to buy on impulse.

8. Think Of How Much You Worked For It

Sometimes, an item seems less appealing when you think about how much you had to work for it.

Example: Let’s say you make $10/hour. If you find a super cute comforter for your bed marked way down to $90, you had to work 9 hours to afford that comforter. More, if you think about taxes being taken out of your paycheck. You might end up thinking that that’s aĀ lot of hours to work for something you don’t really need.

9. See If It’s Fate

I just did this the other day.

There was this cute dress and Sam’s Club that I really wanted. I was good and didn’t buy it. Well, when we went back to Sam’s Club two months later, they still had it! I had been thinking about this dress the whole time, so I decided that it was fate and I bought the dress. It turned out that it didn’t quite fit right (there’s no place to try things on there), so I returned it, haha!

The point though, is it wait and see if what you want is still available next time.

Obviously, this only works with little things that you actually have the money for. If you want a diamond bracelet that you can’t afford, don’t use this method. šŸ™‚

10. Only Bring Enough Cash

If you have a hard time sticking to your budget, don’t bring more cash than you are supposed to spend.

If you only have $50 to spend onĀ groceries, bring $50 of cash into the store. You’re not allowed to cheat and use a credit card if you go over budget. Use a calculator to add up your purchases if you need to.

11. Wrap Up Your Card

I can’t remember where I heard this advice, but I like it.

If you are overspending, wrap a special note around your credit card telling yourself why you shouldn’t spend money. The note could say something like “saving for vacation” or “house downpayment” or “we’re almost out of debt”. The note should remind you of your goals and why you don’t want to spend money. Then when you go to buy somethingĀ unnecessary you’ll think twice.

12. Shop With a List

Grocery shopping 101: Never shop without a list. Know what you need. Buy what you need, nothing else.

13. Find Free Entertainment

If you’re tempted to spend money on entertainment like going out to eat, to the movies, or for drinks with friends, keep a running list of free entertainment ideas.

Check out this post: The Big List of FREE Entertainment & Activities.

Most cities have tons of free events happening if you want to get out.

Plus, you can always get movies from the library, play frisbee golf at a park, host a campfire…

You do not need to spend money to have fun. If you keep a list of fun, free ideas, you’ll be less likely to spend money on entertainment when you’re bored.

Bonus Idea: Focus on Making Money

If you have a hard time focusing on not spending money, why not shift your focus to trying to makeĀ extra money instead?

I’ve been earning cash back on our grocery purchases by scanning my receipts into Ibotta. We needed to buy groceries anyways, but I’m earning money back, which is awesome!

My favorite part of Ibotta is the fact that you can get rebates for buying fresh fruits and veggies as well as non-name brand items.

If you use my link (click hereĀ to sign up) you will get $10 added to your account when you redeem your first rebate. You might even have a receipt in your wallet right now that you could use. Plus, if you invite your friends to use Ibotta, you will get $5 when they redeem their first rebates.


I’ve also been earning points which can be redeemed for gift cards through Swagbucks. It’s free to sign up and you earn points by watching videos, taking surveys, or using their search engine. If you have online shopping to do, you can earn cash back on your purchases at tons of different websites. But you don’t to spend anything to earn! Click here to sign up for Swagbucks.

Free Customizable Budget and Spending Tracker Spreadsheet

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Stress less about your finances today with the spreadsheet I use each month to create our budget and track our spending!

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Related Posts:Ā 

Our Actual Budget: Less Than $1500/Month

13 Secrets to Saving Money on Food (while still eating healthy)

The Simple Way We Track Our Spending on a Tight Budget

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ā‡’ What are your strategies for not spending money?

13 Ways to Not Spend Money: when you're trying to save money and not go over your budget, try these ideas


33 thoughts on “13 Ways To Not Spend Money

  1. Cookilicious

    I always practice – wait 24 hrs and shop with a list. It surely keeps me grounded and on a budget. Thanks for sharing your tips..i need to start implementing more of it. šŸ™‚

  2. Hannah | Eat, Drink, and Save Money

    These are great tips!

    Before I actively started saving money, I enjoyed shopping. Now I loathe it. I hate stepping foot into stores (Target is the exception).

    I also really love your advice about borrowing. We’ve found that to be extremely helpful. Why should I buy power tools when my brother in law has them? No point! Plus you save storage room!
    Hannah | Eat, Drink, and Save Money recently posted…Another reason to love Florida in summer: fresh produce and seafood at low pricesMy Profile

    1. Christine Post author

      Thanks Hannah! I don’t like shopping now either. If I go, I have a list and want to get what I need and leave. Tools are definitely a good thing to borrow since you don’t need them that often usually!

  3. Susannah

    These are perfect! It’s crazy to me how many people view shopping as a hobby! I definitely don’t have that mentality!

    1. Christine Post author

      That’s good Susannah! You’ll save tons of money by not shopping for fun.

  4. Christy

    Borrow! Yes! I had a surprise 3rd kid, after I had already given away all my baby stuff. This time I just borrowed everything!

  5. Cara

    Such great tips! I really like the idea of asking to borrow something instead of purchasing it. I’ve found that would have been a lot more economical for large tools and things of that nature. Great post!
    Cara recently posted…May ConfessionsMy Profile

  6. Flavia

    Love these tips! Especially about not letting websites save our info… I’m always tempted to buy things online so this one is going to be really useful šŸ˜‰

    1. Christine Post author

      All those dollars sure add up Jamie! I know you guys have made a lot of changes. And I love your motto for the year!

  7. Bill @ The Money Professors

    Great tips. I am a numbers person myself, so I like to think about how many hours I have to work — after taxes — to buy things. When you account for all the taxes, most of us only have about 65% left over. That means $10 per hour is only $6.50 in cash after taxes! That’s a lot of hours just to pay car insurance each month!
    Bill @ The Money Professors recently posted…Debt Management StrategiesMy Profile

  8. Rebecca Elizabeth

    I think remembering shopping is not a hobby is a really important view and I think for many it is a hobby. Personally I love window shopping and can spend hours looking at homewares without leaving with a thing as for me I like to dream and get inspiration of what I would have in my ‘dream home’. I think it helps living a small apartment because I know even if I wanted to buy more I don’t actually have the space (we definitely have a lot of multi-purpose items rather than buying lots of things).
    Thank you for sharing some great strategies.

  9. agatha

    The 24 hr rule always applies in this home. Sometimes we extend it to a week. I definitely agree with you on the online shopping and think that it is so easy to click buy!!!!

    1. Christine Post author

      For sure! Amazon even has one-click buys for some items so you don’t even go through the shopping cart.

  10. Katelin

    “Don’t go shopping” is the kicker for me on this list. Shopping is too easily used as a form of entertainment, rather than necessity! I’ve recently fallen in love with Goodwill, however, which definitely helps my shopping urge and and keeps us within our budget.

  11. Kim

    This is really good advice! Cutting the gym is even easier if you have a buddy to do it with you, for me itā€™s hubby and we motivate each other to stay in shape.

  12. Kathy. Williams

    It’s refreshing to find people who live on a budget take advantage of things that are free they’re still satisfied with the blessings that God gives us. What I would encourage you to do once in awhile to hit a few garage sales pick up all those little odd things for the house but you don’t have like wine glasses since so many people enjoy buying so much that they never use myself included sometimes so I will be watching you and your posts and I subscribed since I’m retired living on 1300 a month but I’m single and a Florida manufactured home community has so many such as the pool and the ocean I could keep very busy and very little and also my scrapbooking fills in the blanks when I need something to do I would encourage you though to check out Metro for your phones if you happen to get it in your area they have very inexpensive phones at like $30 a month and that blessed me incredibly

    1. Christine Post author

      Thanks for your comment Kathy! I’m not sure we have metro in our area. We live in a really rural area so it’s hard to find phones that give good service.

  13. Cara @ Fashionably Frugal

    I really loved reading these, I am going to have to try wrapping up my card with a note, that is great!
    I always see if a family member is getting rid of something before I buy it. I needed a clothesline for my yard and was talking with my nephew about building me one, when my parents said that someone had just given them two clothesline posts for free.
    I always try to find a family member to trade with or build something for me for cheap before going to the store, I even learned how to sew my own clothes since I am such a cheapskate (except now when people ask me where I bought something I have to say “the fabric store”).

    1. Christine Post author

      That’s awesome Cara! I would like to try sewing my own clothes, but I haven’t really gotten into it yet.

  14. Pingback: Money Saving Strategies for the Grocery Store - The (mostly) Simple Life

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