Tips to Avoid Spending Temptations

avoid spending

In my last post I wrote about the importance of staying focused while spending less.  One the strategies I’ve been using is avoiding spending temptations by not going to the shopping mall or other stores unless I have to make a specific purchase.  If you’re working on paying off debt and trying to stay within your budget avoiding unnecessary purchases can make a huge difference in staying on track.


In the comments to my post there were a few tips from readers on what to do with your spare time and avoid spending.  I thought it would a nice follow-up in case you missed the tips in the comments.

Go Outside

Take advantage of the summer and enjoy the nice weather.  We have a nice patio area in our house that we set up last summer.  It’s the perfect place to hang out with friends and family or even read a book or have a picnic without having to spend extra money.

Go for a Walk

We enjoy taking walks around the neighborhood especially when it’s not too hot outside.  So far, we’ve had nice and comfortable weather in our neck of the woods this spring.  It’s also a great way to get to know your neighborhood.

Go Bike Riding

Well this can also be a great form of getting your exercise on. You can get into shape while saving some dollars.

Watch a Movie

This is one of my favorite options as we love watching movies and we built a modest home theater in our basement when we bought our house.  This summer we’re enjoying watching the World Cup.

Establish a Savings Goal

One of my goals for 2014 is to replace a retaining wall in my backyard.  At the beginning of the year I received the quote and I knew how much I needed to save to get the job done.  I’ve been working on saving for that repair all year.  It’s been a great motivator to stay focused and avoid spending temptations.

Stay Busy

This last tip was just provided in the comments and I think it’s a great one so I wanted to add it to the list.  Staying busy with your job or on a second job can help you pay off that debt sooner while not having time to think about spending.  Staying busy with home projects might help you build some home equity.  Home maintenance is something you have to do anyway so why not take on some of those projects yourself instead of paying someone else?

These are just a few simple but effective ideas on what you can do to avoid spending temptations.  It can actually be fun, possibly get you into shape and can even help you discover your neighborhood.   Most importantly, it can help you achieve your goals faster.

Photo by: Flickr


Blog Link Love: My Favorite Reads

Finding Your Purpose: What are the reasons behind your goals? Laurie writes over at Frugal Rules why it is important to find your purpose for your goals.

Over 40 with no retirement savings? Here’s what to do: I don’t see too many posts for the over 40 crowd regarding retirement savings.  This one from Kim over at Eyes On The Dollar provides simple steps to get started on that savings goal.


Tips to Avoid Spending Temptations — 35 Comments

  1. The way I avoid spending temptations is to be so busy that I hardly have time to think about various spending temptations. It might not be ideal, but it’s where I’m at right now. In all honesty the blog has made my life MUCH busier and I could easily stay busy outside of work without it. The fact that I have my blog, a once-a-week freelance post for another website, and my house with all it’s projects makes it difficult to feel so bored that I’m tempted to spend money to keep myself entertained/engaged.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…Should you cash out your 401k to pay off debt? [Free Calculator Download]My Profile

    • You know that is another great way too DC. Staying busy with another job will help you payoff debt faster too. Staying busy with home projects can possibly help build equity in your home.

    • Yes, that’s what I do too and with my spare time I do most of the things on this list. Keeping your mind on other interests or hobbies will help you curb that temptation.

  2. These are great ideas! Just like you have to distract yourself from eating when you are trying to lose weight, you need to distract yourself when trying to save money. I love exercising as a form of releasing energy and endorphins that prevent me from spending money.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – We Are OneMy Profile

    • True, even with home projects I personally would stick to simple tasks. Don’t want to make it worse by trying to DIY something that will cost me more later.

    • Having those goals does make a difference in keeping you on track and saying no to spending.

    • Too much work and no play can get old and stressful. You have to carve out time to relax and enjoy the view.

    • It’s a great way to avoid spending but then you may end up with an empty fridge too. 😉

  3. I think the best way to avoid spending temptations for me is to avoid shopping areas and unsubscribe myself from marketing emails. It’s better to avoid these places altogether than try not to buy anything when I’m near one or when I know that the sale is on!
    Poor Student recently posted…Living Outside the Financial SystemMy Profile

    • I agree. Avoiding the shopping areas is the best strategy. For some people going to the mall or big shopping store is entertainment though. I always see parents with kids at the mall but it really is the worst place to spend your free time if you’re trying to spend less.

  4. I like all of these! Taking walks is something we try to do often. Staying busy isn’t too hard, either. I’ve been trying to do some reading in my spare time by borrowing books from the library. That’s one of my favorite cheap hobbies =). Other than that, I avoid going to stores, too. We have a giant mall down the road but I have no interest in browsing as I know it’s not in my budget.
    E.M. recently posted…Do You Learn Lessons the Hard Way?My Profile

    • That’s a good one. I have to use the library more often. I’ve only been a few times since I moved to my new neighborhood.

  5. Going outside and staying busy is a lot easier in the summer. I think a lot of people don’t have as many options during the winter and end up going to the mall. That’s great that you have a home theater to enjoy movies at home…what happened to your foreign film recommendations on Fridays?
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Why Aren’t Nerds Popular?My Profile

    • That’s true. I can understand in the winter it’s hard to find a place to take the kids. I usually see the parents just sitting at a bench while the kids play in the playing areas at the mall. I don’t have kids so have no suggestions for what to do in the winter time. It’s a tough one I think.

      Oh, I have to get back on track with the Foreign Film Fridays. Maybe I’ll start it back up in the Fall when there’s more time for watching movies. Thanks for asking. 😉

    • Ha! I’ve actually used that line a lot this year. We have definitely been staying in more and just hanging at home because of that goal.

  6. One thing I found that helped us to not spend money was to avoid television. We watch mostly Netflix and found that when we watch TV now we’re amazed at the bombardment of ads. The ads are good too. Almost immediately we felt “needs” we didn’t know we had. By avoiding TV we can avoid these artificial “needs”.
    Thomas @ i need money ASAP! recently posted…How To Make Money On CraigslistMy Profile

    • I know. I hate watching all those commercials. We have cable for now and we usually DVR most of the shows we watch. The DVR option is going to be one of the things we miss if we get rid of cable. We love fast forwarding through commercials.

  7. Thanks for mentioning my post, Raquel!!! Great info here. One of the ways we avoid spending temptations is to find cheaper substitutes. For instance, if we really want to go out to Dairy Queen, we’ll buy a $2.50 half gallon of ice cream instead of spending $20 on cones for the six of us. Finding cheaper substitutes in this way has saved us lots of cash!
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…How to Deal With CriticismMy Profile

    • Great idea Laurie. I’ve been trying a little bit of that myself. There are some great substitutes out there.