Many of us buy far more things than we actually need. Although this is fine if we have enough money to be able to afford to do this and enough room to store the things that we buy, many of us find that we have no room for everything that we have and that we do not have enough money to pay for everything. If this is the case, then we should be reducing what we are buying and this will not only help us to save money but it will also mean that we have more room for everything that we need. It is not an easy habit to break though, so below is a step by step approach that you can use in order to identify what you buy that is not necessary and how to manage your money so that you do not buy stuff with it.
Make a note of what we need
It is good to start by making a note of all of the things that you have to spend money on. These will be things like tax, rent/mortgage, utilities, debt repayments, contracts, food, travel and things like that. Think about all of the things you have contracts for that you have to pay for as well as things you need to survive and things you need to enable you to go to work.
Work out how much that costs
Then you need to calculate how much all of those things cost. This will allow you to see whether you have enough money to cover the basics as well as how much you will have left to spend on other things. You may find that some things you pay monthly some quarterly and some yearly. Average the price out so that you can calculate an approximate spend per month. This amount will be the amount of money you will need to have each month to cover the basics.
Only buy what we need
Then when you are spending during the month, only buy what you need. It can be tempting to spend money on lots more things such as the sorts of treats that you have been regularly buying for yourself. Things that are not necessary but that make us happier are really tempting to buy but we could spend too much money and we will be accumulating things which will take up space that we may not have.
This is probably the hardest part of this challenge as for some people buying things feels like they are rewarding themselves and so by giving up spending they can feel really deprived. It can therefore be worth trying to treat yourself in other ways; ways that do not cost money. Getting used to doing this may take some time but it is really worth it as you will end up with a lot more money and a lot less stuff.
Spend some left over money on other things
Once you have paid off all of your necessities then you will hopefully have some money left over. This is when you can think about whether you want to buy other unnecessary thing. It is worth thinking about what you might otherwise spend the money on and whether you really want this item. Consider how long it will give you pleasure for and whether you would notice that much if you did not buy it. Also consider where you will put it and whether you will have space to store it. If not, think about what you will get rid of in order to make room for it. For example if you have a full book case and want to buy a book, find one that you are prepared to give away to a charity shop before you buy the new book. If you cannot part with a book then you cannot buy another one.
Use some money to pay off debt or put in savings
If you have money left then you need to put it somewhere so that you will not be tempted to buy stuff with it. It can be great if you have extra money that you use it to repay your debt if you have any. This can be a great way to reduce your financial burden and to allow you to have less money to pay out in the future in interest. If you have no debt then you can put it into a savings account and save it up until you need it. It may be that in the future you will need to spend a chunk of money on replacing something that has broken, paying an unexpected bill or something like this and you will have this money available to do this.