How To Stop Spending Money On Unnecessary Things

We've all done it, started the month with brilliant intentions not to overspend but by the end of the month, we are scraping the pennies together for the essentials. It happens to the best of us, but with a little mindful thinking, we can stop spending money on unnecessary things and have money left at the end of the month. Here are some tips on how to stop spending money on unnecessary things.

Track your spending

The first thing you need to do is track your spending. By tracking your spending you can really see where your money is going. It makes you accountable for every penny and will help you see where you can cut back. You can either do this old school with a pen or paper, use your notes app on your smartphone or make a spreadsheet to record it all. If you want to get a real in-depth overview, it's also worth tracking the time, the environment and your emotions when spending. 

Why do you overspend?

Which brings us to the next point - why do you overspend? Some people overspend when stressed, sad or even happy. If you can identify these moods then you can put the energy into something else. For example, if you feel stressed, then a walk, a trip to the gym, or listening to calming music may help instead of spending money. To cheer yourself up, then watch a favourite comedy film, chat to that friend who is always happy, or spend time with your pets. Write down your triggers, how to avoid these triggers and what you can do to prevent overspending in the future.

Look at the basics

If you have examined your spending and realise that are regular payments going out that could be lower then shop around. This is especially great when you are renewing contracts and you have that bargaining power.  I always shop around for utilities, phone, insurances and the like. Look for comparison sites like Go Compare or Moneysupermarket to help you get the best deals.  It's also worth picking up the phone and talking to your current suppliers if you threaten to leave they may give you a better deal. Also, are there payments you can stop that you are not using, such as the gym or an all singing all dancing movie streaming service?

Stick to cash

It's so easy to pay for products with a credit card but it feels more real with cash, as you can physically see how much you are spending. To help budgeting use this trick I use when on holiday - take out money for the week and put it in an envelope and that's your weekly budget. If you find the money is running out sooner than you think then try and curb your spending habits and use your resourcefulness. Instead of buying food every day at work, take a packed lunch, instead of buying a coffee out, resist, buy a smaller one or take your own cup as many coffee chains will give a discount now for this.  Things like coffees and lunch out can really eat into your budget. 

Make a list

We all need to spend money on food but one important thing to do is never go food shopping when hungry and always shop with a list to stop impulse buys. If you are hungry that doughnut will look even more appealing. Plan your meals for the week, make a list of what you need to buy and stick to it. It's also worth looking at your shopping habits especially if you are loyal to brands, as a swap to supermarket own products could save you a lot of money overall. Also rather than get a takeaway, downsize to a supermarket's own takeaway or make it yourself from scratch. 

Seasonal expenses

When it comes to seasonal expenses like Christmas, holidays, and the start of the school year, budget for it in advance. Put aside money every time you get paid to spread the cost.  Also, think hard about how much you can really afford to spend. If you always get big presents for your family at Christmas, come clean and tell them that you are cutting down this year. If they love you they will understand.  There are many websites and ways to save money on holidays. Have a budget in mind for a holiday and scour sites like Travelzoo or Holiday Pirates for deals.

Saying no

Saying no is an important thing to do to stop spending money on unnecessary things. I know I find it hard myself to say no to my son and it makes me feel good to treat him. So give your kids an allowance and stop buying them things, and the same goes for your partner! 

We don't like deprivation when saying no to yourself too but think about the satisfaction you will get when you don't go overdrawn and have money left at the end of the month.

As a last resort

If you have done all these things and have an unexpected expense there are short term loans you can access such as those by a credit union or companies like  Of course, it's strongly recommended that you look into this carefully, do your own research and checks, find out the APR and be sure you can afford repayments before you go ahead, but the option is there. 

So here are some ways to stop spending money on unnecessary things. For free and impartial money advice check out the Money Advice Service which has help and advice on how to improve your finances.  Let me know, do you have any tips on how to stop spending on unnecessary things?



  1. I am brilliant at not spending money on me but when it comes to the kids I have been known to go a bit mad #oops

  2. Yes to all of these things. I think knowing where your money is going and what you're spending on is so important x

  3. You have no idea how much I need this guide in my life – I am such an unnecessary spender and need to start learning to save!

  4. There are some really good points here. I often overspend and I don't even realise I'm doing it until I've blown the cash!

  5. I used to overspend so much and now I have become good at managing my money, I cook and take food with me far more and i dont buy things I already have so im using up more products too xxx

  6. These are all amazing tips I especially like the idea of taking cash out and physically seeing it being giving away, this will make me more aware of unnecessary things I’m spending it on!

  7. I must admit I’ve spent a lot more since using Apple Pay on my phone rather than carrying cash especially when at work and picking up a quick snack. Great idea to use a tracking app to keep an eye on budgets and spending