Guest post from Kathryn of Bond Musings
So when I was reading the comments on this post about saving money by switching to cash and one reader commented that the real issue was not which spending system is the most effective but was rather why we tend to lack discipline and overspend, I knew she hit the nail on the head.
Yes, discipline is what keeps us from overspending our income.
Crystal has a whole slew of ways to increase your top line/income. Here are a few ways to decrease your bottom line/spending as well.
1. Shop less frequently.
Make a menu for the week with a corresponding grocery list. Stick to that, and don’t go to the grocery store more than once or twice a week. The fewer times you walk through that store’s doors, the less likely you are to impulse buy.
2. Take a break from the deal sites.
This is a hard one, but if you are running out of money by the end of the week/month, you must stop reading about all of the great deals out there so you’re not tempted to buy something you don’t really have the money for.
3. Find a spending system that works for YOU.
Many people spend more money when they use cash because there is no accountability. Others say that they spend like crazy if they use debit or credit cards but that cash puts the brakes on their spending. Honestly evaluate your spending habits and determine where you find more accountability in spending.
4. Clean out your house.
This may seem non sequitor, but hear me out. When you go through your entire house and become intimately knowledgeable about what you have, you realize how much you don’t need.
For me, I am totally set on things like scarves and travel mugs, for which there are numerous deals this time of year. Disciplining yourself to clean out your house can save not only your sanity but also your pocketbook.
5. Make some things yourself.
Homemade cleaners and detergents cost pennies on the dollar compared to even the best deals you could find on the cleaning aisles at the store. Making bagels and English muffins at home is far easier than I thought and costs just a fraction of the store’s prices.
This homemade facewash (that works so well!) cost less than six dollars to make and will last more than a year. All of those recipes take only a few minutes (less time than it would take to run to the store for them!) and will save you money.
The bottom line of our bottom lines really does center on discipline. If you are already disciplined in your spending, I applaud you. However, if you have some room for improvement in this area (like me!), add just one of the above suggestions to your spending habits, and watch more of your money stay right where it should, in your bank account!
For me, switching to cash was a huge help, as is staying away from the deal sites when I run low on cash. For you, you may find that cleaning out your house reveals not only a source of income in the form of a garage sale but also saves you from spending money on items you already have.
Many thanks to the inspiring readers who commented on the post about switching to cash— Money Saving Mom® really does have the best and brightest readers on the Internet! Together, pursuing discipline and saving money can be easy!
Kathryn keeps her hands busy during the day as a stay-at-home mother to two precious girls. She attempts to occupy her mind as well by reading and by blogging at Bond Musings.