One of the major reasons we overspend? Our quickness to say yes to things — for example, when our kids ask us to buy something, or when our friends want us to come out for an expensive night on the town. Sometimes we say yes to ourselves, justifying purchases we don’t really care about, or insisting to ourselves that, somehow, we deserve something.
If you’re looking for ways to spend less, one of the best things you can do is to say no more often.
Here’s how to cut some of the less important things out of your life:
How to Say No More Often
Figure Out What’s Important to You
The first step to saying no more often is to say no to the things that don’t matter. Figure out what’s most important to you. Often, we get so used to buying things (without thinking about why we’re doing so) that we end up with houses full of stuff we don’t really care about. It’d be easier to save money if you stopped spending money on things that don’t matter to you.
Take a good look at yourself. Introspection can not only help you decide what you most want to accomplish in life, but can also help you figure out what your goals should be. What do you want your money to do for you? How do you want to live?
Then, stop spending money on things that don’t enhance your life. Say no to the unimportant. When you change your focus and live a life aligned with your innermost values, it’s easier to turn down spending that doesn’t fit with your goals.
It’s important to be realistic about your financial situation, as well as practice discipline. This can be difficult, especially when you have to say no to your children. If you’re realistic about the way things are, however, you’re more likely to stay on track.
Crunch the numbers, and make a firm decision that you don’t want to go into debt (or that you want to make paying off debt a priority). Paying attention to your finances makes it easier to know when you can say yes, and when you have to say no.
This doesn’t mean you always have to say no to frivolous spending. Sometimes it’s nice to splurge a little. Just make sure you’ll truly enjoy the results of the expenditure, and avoid going into debt for something you don’t need.
In the end, it comes down to knowing where to draw the line. This means being mindful about what you have coming in, what’s going out, and what you actually want to spend your money on. Pay attention to your finances and commit to your financial and life goals — and you’ll have a better chance of saying no when it really matters.
Do you have trouble saying no? What (or who) is your biggest weakness?
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