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Emily McManama
CENTURY 21 New Millennium

9 Tips to Help You Control Your Spending

Let’s be honest: Spending money can sometimes be too easy for our own good. With a few purchases here, a few purchases there, bills and receipts add up quickly, and before we know it­–poof!–it seems like our money has disappeared.

Only it wasn’t a magic trick; it was likely a lack of self-control, financial awareness, or both. If you find this disappearing act happening often or simply want to start saving more money, try these nine tips from American Consumer Credit Counseling to help you reign in your spending:

Track spending. Tracking where your money goes can be easy. Certain apps will help you track what you are spending your money on so you can see where to cut back.

Try cash only. To help control spending, take out only the money you need. By using cash, you physically see your money leave your hands and won’t be left with any surprises.

Budget. It’s important to have a budget. By creating one, you establish a spending plan to ensure you always have enough money for necessities.

Make a list. Write a list of what you need before you go shopping–and stick to it. This’ll help you avoid spending extra money on impulse buys.

Take your time online. When shopping online, don’t buy things without considering if you really need them. If you’re tempted to buy an item, put it in your cart. Then take a few hours or a few days to think it over.

Compare prices. Comparison shop before you buy, especially when you’re making big purchases. Check out a few stores and online options to find the best price and look at similar items.

Live within your means. Only spend what you have. Maybe it’s time to stop using your credit card altogether and stick to your debit card or cash.

DIY. If you have a small project around the house, do some research and fix it yourself instead of spending the extra money to have someone do it for you.

Understand needs vs. wants. Needs are the things we can’t survive without, such as housing, clothing and food. Wants are the things that’ll make our lives more pleasurable but aren’t essential for survival, such as travel and entertainment.