The easier it is to buy something, the more likely you are to do it. Therefore, the best way to protect your money or avoid shopping is to put obstacles in your own way. Money jar image from Shutterstock
As personal finance site Becoming Minimalist explains, accessibility drives consumption. You're more likely to buy something from eBay than you are to drive to a store two hours across town because it's easy. Similarly, you're more likely to spend money in your primary bank account than you are to pull money out of your term deposit because it doesn't cost nearly as much. So, if you want to save money, start by making it harder on yourself:
As more and more retail stores appear on more and more street corners, consumerist habits become more difficult to overcome. My daughter would eat less ice cream if the truck didn't visit our street each week. My son would make fewer trips to the convenience store if it wasn't within a bike ride of our house. And we'd all shop at Target less if it wasn't so easy to get to.
Obstacles can take any number of forms. Transferring part of your paycheck to a separate savings account so you never see it helps ensure you don't spend all your money. Go shopping with gift cards (which you can get on a discount!), rather than your main bank card so you have a hard limit on what you're buying. Or just don't go in the store at all! The more difficult it is to spend money, the more likely you are to save it.