Choose your shopping sprees wiselyiStock/ozgurcankaya
There are plenty of great opportunities to buy more and spend less throughout the year, think: Black Friday, the day after Christmas, and tax-free season (July and August). (Related: These Black Friday deals aren’t as good as you think.) Instead of buying whenever you feel the need for some retail therapy, keep a list, and head out the door (or log onto Amazon) when big deals are sure to be happening. Many large chains also have annual or bi-annual clearance sales. Mark them on your calendar and put off the therapy for a little longer.
Create a “Do I need this?” listiStock/iprogressman
Impulse shopping is costly and almost everyone does it: In a poll of 1,000 adult Americans, 75 percent said they had made in impulse purchase; 16 percent said they spent $500 or more on the purchase, and 10 percent spent $1,000 or more. Instead of wasting that money, try this litmus test: Every time there’s something you want to buy, add it to your “Do I need this?” list. At the end of the month, go through the potential purchases to see if you still need or want that item.
Vote luxuries off the islandiStock/pixdeluxe
It’s time to get real about what you need and what you don’t. Sit down with a pen and paper (or your phone and notepad app), and write a list of the expenses you feel are on the line, a.k.a. might not be necessary. This could include cable, monthly nail appointments, and your morning stop at the local coffee shop, and decide what you can cut down on or get rid of. For example, get coffee only on Friday mornings, as a treat for making it through the week. Small but thrifty changes like these will add up fast.