Want to Save? Stop Spending on Things that Aren't Important

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Want to Save? Stop Spending on Things that Aren't Important

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I'm all about priorities.

I like to spend -- my money and my time -- on things that are important to me.

There was a time, though, that I didn't really think about my priorities and I spent money on things that weren't all that important to me. It took a few years to realize this, but one of the best savings strategies is to prioritize, and then stop spending on things that aren't important.

Why are You Spending Your Money on THAT?

Too often, we mindlessly spend on something because it's on sale, or because we think we *might* need it, or for some other reason that doesn't actually have to do with what you truly need. Or maybe even want.

Take a look at your motivations. Why are spending your money on that item? Are you trying to impress someone? Do you think it "might be nice"? These motivations are often a poor reason to spend your hard-earned money on something. This is especially true if you realize, two weeks later, that you don't even care for the item.

Before you make a purchase, ask yourself why you are spending the money. Is it something you really need? Will it truly add to your long-term enjoyment?

I had a wakeup call when I realized that I was buying things because I thought they looked cool, or would kind of fun to have. These were items that seemed exciting in the moment, but after a few days they became a little stale. It dawned on me that I frittered away a significant portion of my disposable income on items that I didn't really care about. That left less for things I really wanted to do (like travel). Even worse, it led to debt, because then I put the things I really wanted to do on the credit card, with no real plan for paying it back.

Cut the Unimportant Spending from the Budget

Once you identify the items that are unimportant, it's time to cut them from your budget. Whether it's a recurring subscription that you don't use anymore, or the fact that you keep eating out at a restaurant that is only mediocre, decide which spending is least important and excise it from your budget.

Prioritize your spending so that you take care of the most important things first. This includes using money to pay down your debt. If you make paying down your debt a priority -- and something that needs to be taken care of before you go see that insipid movie you're not really all that excited about -- you'll be sure to have the money to reduce what you owe.

The great thing about prioritizing your spending and knocking the unimportant things off your list (or forgoing them in the moment, when you stop and think about it), is that you start to feel better about your financial situation overall. When the things you have to cut from the budget are things you don't really care about anyway, it's not really a sacrifice.

Figure out where your money can do the most good in terms of helping you reach your financial goals, and then make that spending your priority.

Cut all the other stuff.

Think about what you spend your money on, and reflect on your choices.

If it isn't really important to you, don't spend the money on it. You'll save more, and have more money available for the things that really matter.

Personal finance expert and blogger guest posting for leading provider of debt relief, careone services inc.Miranda Marquit

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger, specializing in topics related to personal finance and business. Her work has appeared in, and been linked to from, a variety of publications, online and offline. Miranda blogs for a number of web sites, and has her own personal finance blog, Planting Money Seeds

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  • It's quite sad..but in today's society, people have become conditioned to buy what they don't need!  Whether its the latest iPhone, the newest HD TV or a yearly holiday which is beyond their means. We've become a nation of guzzlers who just want more & more...and of course when the desires outweigh our monthly wages, we resort to using over-drafts, loans & credit cards to fuel our desire for the latest gadgets..  It's important that we try & re-condition the next generation to be more thoughtful about the money they make.. To invest wisely for the future & to have back-ups in place for when financial disaster hits!

    Toby

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