If we want to be more careful with our money then it is important to make sure that we are really careful when we are spending money. We want to make sure that we are spending money on important things and not wasting it on things that we do not need. It is not always easy to identify the difference between these at times though, especially if this is not something that we have done before. Therefore, there are a few things that we can do which will help with this.
Do I need it?
The first question that you should be asking yourself is whether you need the item that you are buying. We often buy a lot of things without really thinking about them and it is a good idea to actually think about whether it is something we need. We buy a lot of things that we do not need. Our needs are things we need to survive, so this would include shelter (so rent or mortgage), tax loan repayments and contractual payments (to avoid prison), food (to avoid starvation) and transport, clothing and toiletries (so we can go to work to pay for what we need). Many things we buy, we do not really need and if we are trying to budget then it is these that we need to cut back on.
Do I already have one?
It is also a good idea to ask yourself whether you already have one of the items that you are buying. You may need to check as you may have forgotten or you may be buying it as a fun extra thing to have. Consider whether it is really right to be buying another one when you already have one. It might be that you can go without and that will help you to be able to spend less money.
What are the consequences of not spending?
It is also worth thinking about what the consequences will be of not spending that money. You need to look at two things. Think about how you will cope without this good or service, is there an alternative that you have already or will you cope well without it. You also need to think about the cost of the item and what alternative items you will be able to buy with that money. Then you can decide whether you think it is right to spend that money.
Do I have the Money?
It is also well worth making sure that you have the money to be able to pay for the item anyway. It is wise to keep a constant check on your bank balance so you are aware of how much money is in there. You should also think about what else you will need to buy before you next get paid. This will enable you to check if there is enough to spend. You do not want to accidently go overdrawn due to spending money without thinking, so this is a really important stage in the process.
It might seem like a lot of questions to ask, but once you are in the habit of thinking this way it gets much easier. In fact, once you do it for long enough it just becomes a habit that you will easily be able to stick to. It will get really easy to do and it will be a really good idea to continue to always do it so that you can always check that your spending is necessary. It might seem a bit of a drag and no fun, but it does not mean that you cannot buy any treats, the idea is just that you are well in control of your spending and when you do buy a treat you know that it is within your budget.