The real secret to not spending money

I’ve seen a few posts around the blogosphere lately doling out tips to not spend money and so, I’ve decided that I’m going to share my super-effective way. Simply put:

Don’t. Spend. Money.

I really can’t make it any more clear than that. Don’t buy a new dress, don’t buy a small dessert after lunch, don’t buy $4 gift cards and stop telling yourself that you deserve things.

If you are trying to save money/get out of debt/stop spending, just. stop. spending.

This month I’ve spent $1229 — $774 of which are fixed expenses. The remaining $455 was spent — not in the mall that I walk through twice a day, not in Wal-Mart where I go to people-watch after work but on groceries, trips out of town and sporting equipment. I spend my money on things that improve my quality of life and not on frivolities like new shoes, nights out with friends and furniture that I don’t need. If I were in hyper-savings mode, I honestly would have spent less than $1000 this month by cutting back and only spending money on fixed expenses, groceries and other necessary variable expenses.

Part of trying to become a financially responsible adult is in being able to walk into a store, see something shiny and being able to leave it alone. The idea that you should shun all stores and avoid window shopping is a tad extreme in my case (I love malls) when, in reality, all you have to do is discipline yourself to live a life not spending money.

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