8 Tips for Getting Thoughtless Spending Under Control

budget debt

Many Americans thoughtlessly waste hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every year on purchases that add very little value to their lives. It is not intentional, but a few dollars here and a few dollars there. Over a month, they might thoughtlessly spend $250. Over a year, this amounts to $3,000 ($250 x 12 months). If you were to ask them if they could think of a better way to spend $3,000, they would nod their heads in affirmation.

Does this sound familiar? If you find yourself thoughtlessly spending money, here are eight tips to help you control your spending.

1. Pray.

Proverbs 16:3 says, "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans" (NIV). Never underestimate the power of prayer. If you feel that you have been a poor steward, admit that to God (He already knows), ask for His forgiveness (He will forgive), and ask for His help moving forward (He will help).

2. Run toward something better.

Oftentimes, we spend thoughtlessly because we haven’t given our money a mission. God has given us a mission—the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). Use your money to help fuel Great Commission efforts in your community and around the world. Pay attention to your generosity’s impact. Suddenly, you will find yourself trying to avoid thoughtless spending so that more lives can be changed for all eternity.

3. Use the 48-hour rule.

Or the 72-hour rule. Create a span of time between your initial desire to purchase an item and when you make the purchase. This goal is to reduce impulse purchases. Giving yourself a few days will lead to more thoughtful and less regretful purchases.

4. Limit your exposure to temptation.

Do you find yourself thoughtlessly spending at certain stores? If so, consider finding alternative places to shop for a while to break the cycle of impulse buying.

5. Stop using credit cards.

Studies show that those who use credit cards tend to spend more. This is because credit cards detach us from the financial “pain” of a purchase. If you're experiencing spending issues, consider switching to a debit card or cash for purchases.

6. Do the 7-Day Spending Challenge.

The 7-Day Spending Challenge has been beneficial to many individuals and couples who struggle to get their spending under control. The challenge requires that you keep track of your spending for one week, identifying whether purchases were necessary or unnecessary and either result in future regret or future satisfaction. Get the 7-Day Spending Challenge for free.

7. Jump into the 8 Money Milestones program.

The 8 Money Milestones program is a holistic program that helps you control your money, get out of debt, and live more generously. It dives into Scripture while still providing practical ways to improve your financial situation. At $27.97, this program is a no-brainer.

8. Meet with a Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CERTCFC®).

A CERTCFC® can personally help you better steward the resources that God has entrusted to you. They can provide guidance in the areas of debt, budgeting, saving for the future, and getting financially healthy. And it is all done through a biblical worldview. If you would like personal help, consider reaching out to a CERTCFC®. Find a CERTCFC® here.

For just a month, try to avoid thoughtless spending by leveraging these tips. You may be surprised to find your financial margin and ability to live more generously grow.