It can sometimes be very difficult to restrain ourselves from spending money on things. If we are on a strict budget then this means that we will need to be very careful about this and we might find it really difficult to make sure that we stay in budget. However, there are things that you can do which should help.
Pay in cash
It is much easier to notice exactly how much you are spending when you pay in cash. You can actually see how much you are handing over and know precisely whether you have enough money. If you take only the money that you can afford to spend then it will be impossible for you to spend more. This can be tricky if you are spending a lot of money though, perhaps if you are doing a weekly shop or buying a very expensive item you may not want to carry that much money. However, try to do it as much as you can, particularly if you are just popping out for a few things or not intending to buy anything at all.
Only visit shops you need
If you only go into the shops you need things from, then you will be less likely to be tempted to buy more than you need. This should help you to reduce the amount that you spend and therefore stick to your budget. You might just be tempted to browse in a few places but try really hard not to as you are likely to see things that you like the look of and might want to buy.
Take a list and stick to it
One way of trying to remind yourself of your budget is to write a list of what you need to buy. If you can stick to this and not buy anything else then you will make sure that you are sticking to the budget better. It is not a fool proof plan, but if you have a set amount of money to spend and you write down what you need it will mean that you are more likely to come back with everything. If you have no list, then you may forget things and have to go back and shop another time which means more chance of being tempted to buy more than you need and you may have spent all of your budget previously so may not have any left to buy what you had forgotten anyway.
Avoiding the most tempting areas
Even if you avoid the shops that you do not need to go in to, you may still find temptation in the shops you need to shop in. Therefore, it is important to try to avoid even going into the areas where you might be tempted to spend more money than you can afford. For example, you may need to avoid the alcohol aisle in the supermarket so you do not pick up a few of your favourites from there when they are not on your shopping list.
Shop less often
Often when we pop into shops we will just buy things. This might be because we are in the habit of doing so, because we are tempted by things or because we feel obliged to buy things. This can particularly be the case when we are shopping in independent or small shops where you get into a conversation with the salesperson and you might feel you have to shop with them. Although it is nice to support shops on your high street, particularly independent traders, if you have a budget then you will need to be really careful. One way to avoid this is to go out shopping less often. Then you will not have the temptation of buying things and it will hopefully be a big help with keeping to your budget.
Avoid online shopping
Online shopping can be the hardest to avoid because it is always there in front of us. We can very easily pop on a computer or mobile device and then go to websites and buy things. We can even tell ourselves that we will be able to send it back if we change our mind and therefore go ahead with a purchase, we are not sure about. One it arrives we may just decide that we cannot be bothered to send it back and so we then have an item we may not even really want that much. If you can stop or restrict online shopping this could help perhaps by removing bank and card details from shopping sites so it is not so easy to buy things or by getting rid of your credit card altogether so shopping online is not so secure and you think twice about doing it. Also try to avoid websites where you might be tempted to purchase things.