5 Ways You’ve Been Tricked Into Spending Money

5 Ways You’ve Been Tricked Into Spending Money

Don’t be tricked into extra spending: Use these tips to redirect that money into your wallet.


By: Anna Newell Jones

There are three categories of people: those who save, those who don’t and those who want to save but think they can’t. The reality is everyone can find some money to put aside from one month to the next. Whether it is $5 or $500, any amount of savings is a good starting place. It creates a financially sound habit that’s important for every family’s future.

Here are five common problems that cause people to stop focusing on saving:

1. There Are Too Many Expenses
It may be difficult for your family to make ends meet once all the bills have been paid, but if you aren’t saving because you think there isn’t enough money to go around, it is time to make some changes. Start by listing all of your monthly expenses — from the mortgage right down to the $1.50 you spent on coffee yesterday. It all adds up. When you know what you are spending on, you can start cutting unnecessary expenses, which frees up some cash for your savings account.

2. Wants vs. Needs
There is a big difference between what you need to live and what you want in your life. Until you can differentiate between the two, you will continue to struggle with money. You need food to live, but you don’t need gourmet pizzas or Chinese takeout every night. Identify what you need to get through life and learn how to save up for the things you want. Maybe pizza every Friday night can work if that’s something your family really enjoys. It’s all about setting priorities.

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3. Keeping Up With the Jonses
This is an offshoot of the “want versus need” mind-set. Trying to keep up with someone (or everyone) else’s lifestyles will not get you very far. First, realize the importance of saving for the future rather than creating a lifestyle based on what your neighbour’s lives appear to be. You may desire a brand new family vehicle and have some need for it, but you would be well-served to keep driving the vehicle you’ve already paid off and put the money you would have used on the new car into a savings account for real emergencies.

4. “I Forgot .”
When people cash hard-earned checks just to have money in hand, it can be very easy to spend it all before contributing to your savings. Ideally, think about (and plan to) earmark a certain percentage of your income toward savings each time you get paid — 10 per cent is a good place to start. To prevent forgetfulness, create an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings so it never actually touches your hands and tempts you to spend. Increase your automatic savings deposits as your income increases. It will likely get easier as you begin to see your account balance grow and the excitement from seeing that growth will be motivating, too.

5. I’ll Just Borrow and Put It Back
A final reason that people can’t seem to save successfully is because they aren’t committed to improving their financial future. They start out doing the right thing, but when something comes up that is not a true emergency, they feel they can just borrow some cash and pay themselves back — which rarely actually happens.

Remember: No one ever amassed a fortune by spending. Whether it’s just a few dollars here and there or a sizable chunk of your pay check, keeping spending habits in check can be a mental struggle. But when it comes down to it, creating a hefty savings is a three-step process: Establish a savings account, automate your deposits and leave the money alone.

Are there ways that your family could be saving more money?


Anna is the creator of the personal finance method Spending Fast® and the frugal living blog
And Then We Saved. When not being a cheapskate, she photographs weddings and other amazing things with her husband, Aaron. Her work has appeared in Self Magazine, Psychology Today, Good Housekeeping, The Nate Berkus Show, CNN Money, The Chicago Tribune, and Yahoo Finance.

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