Changing your spending habits isn't easy. When you get used to a routine you become reliant on it, and spending money becomes a part of your reward system. Financial blog Get Rich Slowly recommends experimenting with your reward centre to find the real financial cravings and eliminating them.
Photo by Kyriaki.
The idea is that you spend a lot of money you don't have to just to satisfy a craving, but you don't always know exactly what reward you really need. Instead of altering your day completely, Get Rich Slowly recommends playing with different rewards:
To figure out which cravings are driving particular habits, it's useful to experiment with different rewards. If you, like me, were trying to change a cookie habit, I would suggest that on the first day of your experiment, when you felt the urge to go to the cafeteria and buy a cookie, you should adjust your routine so it delivers a different reward. Go outside, for instance, and walk around the block, and then go back to your desk without eating anything. The next day, go to the cafeteria and buy a doughnut, or a candy bar, and eat it at your desk. The next day, go to the cafeteria, buy an apple, and eat it while chatting with your friends. Then, try a cup of coffee.
The point is to try different rewards and determine why you crave one thing. Basically, it's meant to alter your behaviour so you're not wasting money to satisfy a craving that doesn't need to be satisfied. The above description is for cookies, but it can be applied to just about anything. Hit up Get Rich Slowly for a few more tips on changing you spending habits.
How to Change Your Spending Habits [Get Rich Slowly