Nobody likes being in debt. It can feel like there’s something heavy looming over you, or you’re carrying around a weight everywhere you go. However, most people deal with debt at some point in their lives. You should understand that you can eventually get out from under it if you take prudent actions.
Those actions might involve looking into a loan payoff calculator, consolidating your debts, or getting a higher-paying job. In addition, you should try to eliminate any excess spending when you owe money to credit card companies or other entities.
This article will cover some proven strategies for cutting off unnecessary purchases. With a little discipline, adopting these practices can become second nature.
Avoid Your Most Common Triggers
Everyone has certain things that they most enjoy buying. Those might include clothing, junk food, lottery tickets, gadgets, household appliances, video games, and many more. While some items are requirements, many others are not.
There are also going to be particular moments when you’re most likely to spend money. For instance, maybe you like to browse online, frequenting sites like Etsy, eBay, or AliExpress. When you go on those sites or use those apps, that may be a time when you tend to reach for your credit card.
If you know you’re in debt and you’re trying not to spend any money, stay away from the specific sites and apps that trigger spending. Delete them from your phone or the “favorites” list on your laptop or tablet. If you don’t browse those applications and sites while you’re in debt, the temptation to spend beyond your means will not be there.
Intentionally Limit Your Payment Methods and Stay Away from Your Favorite Stores
Some people like buying things online these days, while others still prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar locations. If you opt for this second method, you can stay away from your favorite stores, since you know you’re in debt and trying not to make frivolous purchases.
You might also leave your credit cards at home when you head to work or go out with friends. You may take a little cash with you, but only an amount you have budgeted and you feel comfortable spending.
If you habitually leave your cards at home, you won’t have that spending method available. That way, you’re being proactive about preventing any unnecessary purchases.
Assign Yourself an Accountability Buddy
Assigning yourself someone who can help you limit your spending is another good option. That person might be your spouse or partner, a sibling, or your best friend. The idea behind having an accountability buddy is similar to an alcoholic having a sponsor in AA. If the problem drinker feels tempted to take a drink, they can call or text their sponsor, who can help talk them down.
If you’re in debt and don’t want to spend any additional money other than what you’ve designated for necessities, you can always contact your spouse, friend, or whoever else has agreed to help you. You can tell them what you’re tempted to buy, and they can dissuade you from doing it.
If you have that support network in place, it can help you cut down on impulse buying. The best individual for this job is someone who is patient and nonjudgmental, and most importantly, who you won’t hesitate to call.
Try Not to Be Too Hard On Yourself
If you follow this advice, it can help you cut back on spending too much on trifles. In time, you should be able to reduce your debt and then eliminate it.
If you occasionally buy something you don’t need, though, try not to get too down on yourself. Much like any impulsive behavior, changing your lifestyle will take time. If you ever have a relapse and buy something unnecessary, at least try to make it something that’s not very expensive versus a big-ticket item that will set you back significantly.