How to Stop Spending Money

If you’re struggling with how to stop spending money, one of the first things to do is take a step back and analyze the situation. You’ll want to look at four major things: what you spend money on, why you spend money, what your spending triggers are, and what you’d rather be doing with that money instead.

Figuring out what you spend money on is probably the easiest step. If you already track spending, take a look at which categories you’ve spent the most on over the past few months. For example, other than our house payment and electric bill, for me it looks like my largest categories are travel, gifts, dining out, and vet bills. If you don’t already track your spending, it’s probably time to start. Meanwhile, you can look over your bank and credit card statements to get an idea of what you’ve been buying.

To figure out how to stop spending money in the areas you’ve identified, the next step is to determine why you’re doing so to begin with. Are they things you love doing? (Travel, giving gifts, and eating out, in my case.) Are they things you’re doing to reach a larger goal? (Spending money on vet bills helps keep our pets healthy.) Are they things you do out of habit or boredom? (Also dining out, in my case. Many people spend money on snacks for those reasons too.)

Next, spend a little time identifying what triggers your spending. Do you pass the coffee shop on the way to work each day and get the urge to stop in? Consider taking another route, or focusing on something else as you near the shop. Do you browse through catalogs you receive in the mail? Ask to be taken off those mailing lists. Cancel email alerts and deal lists, too. Does your mind fill with restaurant names when your family asks what’s happening for dinner? Plan meals ahead of time, or assign a day to each family member for them to be responsible for. Often, identifying your triggers — and then eliminating them — is the part that will help the most when learning how to stop spending money.

Finally, it also helps to identify what you’d rather be doing with the money. Maybe you want to get out of debt, pay off your house, go back to school, or stay home with your kids. Keep your real goals top of mind. Put a picture or a note reminding you of the most important one right in your wallet, and think about it every time you go to spend money. Literally ask yourself if you’d rather spend the money, or if you’d rather reach your goal. If the goal is important to you, chances are you’ll spend a lot less than you had done previously.

(If you believe you may have a spending addiction, seek out professional help.)


  • I have found that changing my mentality from “do not spent on anything” to “this is what we are going to spend on”. I am purchasing plenty of items…just not unplanned items.

  • Great post! I have a problem with spending on impulse. I hate being broke so I think about that, but I also hate not buying things lol

    • The thing is, when you’re not broke, you can spend on things that you actually want and will enjoy long-term, instead of spending on impulse and never having enough for the things you really want.

  • Madison

    I used to shop every day, even on my lunch hour, then online and of course on weekends with the girls. I had a closet full of things with tags still on them – how much did I really need?? The only thing that helped me change my shopping addiction was one book called 101 Ways to Stop Shopping and Start Saving, on amazon. I have stopped shopping for things I don\’t need and saved $457 for my new goal -a trip to Paris in 2013! I highly recommend that book for anyone who needs help. It was a lifesaver for me. If I can do it, anyone can!

  • I have list which things that I really needed or just wanted and it really help me a lot to reduce money spending. And last things that also important was be grateful.


  • Ally

    I have finally decided to stop spending on things they dont really count. I am sure everyone has bought something which looked nice in the shop, put it in the cupboard and never worn it. I have figured the money I save I can take 2 holidays per year at easter and christmas, for me spending time with my family is much more important then spending money on expensive clothes. Now the only thing I spend on is groceries. I actually dont need anything when I go out, hence dont really need to spend. The way I have curbed my spending is to shop online. The trick is select everything you want, leave the page for an hour go back to it and I bet you just close the page and say no I dont need any of it. In a store you dont have that luxury thus pressured to buy the goods there without much though. Oh the tricks retailers play on unsuspecting consumers like us !!!

    • Two holidays a year sounds like a fun thing to spend on to me. Sounds like you’ve figured out what is important to you, and have a plan to get there :)

  • Stan

    Another option – do not think about spending. Just put a mobile application which will automatically transfer a portion of the budget to you savings account.