17 Ways to Stop Spending Money & Increase Your Cash Flow

Bear with me for a quick second, but have you ever been to a Wegmans?

The popular grocery chain in the northeast is not your average grocery store. They have fresh pizza, a taco station and the worst of all…. a hot food bar for $9.99 per pound right when you walk in.

Stumbling into a Wegmans after work on an empty stomach is like telling your wallet you hate them. Two and a half pounds and $25 later you wonder, what just happened?

It is hard to stop spending money when you go to Wegmans on a full stomach, let alone hungry. But food is not the only place where American Adults can stop spending money.

A Gallop Poll from 2009 looked at when Americans spend the most money.

In summary, adults spend more on the weekends (entertainment), more on payday (makes sense) and on average, men spend more than women (So all the shopping rumors are officially false).

So with all the talk about Wegmans hot bar food and spending, how does someone start to save? They stop spending money.

17 Ideas to Help You Stop Spending So Much Money!

Here is a list of 17 ways to stop spending so much money. From your habits to life-hacks that help you save on bills each month!

1. Start with WHY

In order to stop spending money and save more, identify why you would even want to do that in the first place.

If you're anything like me, you might get irritated when books and blogs tell me to take out a piece of paper and write your reasons for doing something down, but it is true.

Take out your cell phone and write down 3-5 reasons on your notes about “Why” you need to stop spending money. Here is what I came up with:

  1. Happy & Healthy Family of 5
  2. No financial stress
  3. Debt free at 33

>> Related: Saving Money Tips A-Z

2. Track Spending Habits

Have you ever looked at a new car and then find yourself seeing that same model all over the road wherever you go?

It is because you are aware.

Start tracking your spending to reduce your spending. By tracking all of your spending with apps like Personal Capital you will quickly be “Aware” of your spending and do more to curb it.

3. Reduce Cell Phone Expenses

Cell phone companies really, really want your business. So go get the best deal for your needs. Consider bundling with families to save on bill expenses. See if your work offers a discount, most companies do!

To help, simply Google, “Best Cell Phone Plans by me”

Along with cell phone plans, consider actual cell phone expenses. The iPhone 11 is cool, but the 10 isn’t bad either. With cell phone technology changing so rapidly, saving might be more important than keeping up with the latest gadget.

>> Consider using an app like Trim that will compare your current cell phone plan and negotiate a better plan!

4. Stop spending money on cable.

Welcome to the 21st century. Netflix, Hulu, Firestick and online streaming are making the need for cable pretty much obsolete (so get with it!)

Not to mention, you can save on average, $1200 annually by just eliminating your TV subscription. This is one of the simplest ways to cut monthly expenses. If you have debt or very little in savings, have an honest talk about the cable bill with yourself in the mirror!

…then call your cable company up and drop it like a bad habit! Keep in mind, cable is one of the top 10 Time Wasters too!

5. Stop spending money on cars.

Big house, big car, lots of gas, you guessed the theme.

American's contribute roughly $6 out of every $10 they make to their house and cars. If your car is costing you  $800 a month it is time to downsize.

As a general rule of thumb, your car's value at purchase should never be more than 25% of your gross income. So if you make $40,000 a year, sorry, but you shouldn't buy that $20,000 car.

Note: My desire to keep up was costing me roughly $10,000 a year without maintenance. After taxes, this was 25% of my salary. Now I drive a Kia Rio that I bought cash, my fuel and insurance combined are $160 a month. See the difference?

To save on gas, consider riding a bike to work or if applicable carpool. Just be resourceful.

>> Related: Why You Should Never Buy New Cars

6. Have a Plan & Budget

When you do need to buy – groceries, cars, cell phones, clothes, or whatever – have a plan ahead of time. Use this simple mindset with buying anything: All large expenses should be budgeted for months in advance.

Small purchases should meet monthly expenditures. Make a household spending rule such as:

Every purchase over $75 (aside from food & bills) must be thought about for 48 hours before moving forward.

For a free budget on Google Sheets, simply subscribe below and get an entire FREE eBook and guide with the budget template!

7. Cut back on food expenses.

If you haven't already read my meal prep and grocery saving post, check that out here – it is a great place to start.  Here are a few quick tips in the meantime to help stop spending so much money on food:

Try to keep meals all meals under $1.50 a person (so as a couple that would be $9 a day). At $9 a day for a couple, you can meet all your caloric needs, eat healthily, and only spend $270 a month.

Make sure you have a cashback card for groceries and you set a personal limit.  Always refer to #6, have a plan before you EVER step foot in a grocery store (& avoid the Wegmans hot bar)

8. Stop Eating Out So Much!

In 2015, the average adult was spending over $3,000 on restaurants and take out. In fact, the restaurant industry made more than the grocery industry from 2015 to 2016.

According to studies in 2018 that we published in 2019, most variable spending comes from eating out and it is one of the many reasons why people “feel” broke!

Simply put – stop wasting so much money eating out! If you are not in a desired financial spot, eating out too often can have alarming consequences.

Because this is easier said than done, prior proper planning is required. As on the go Americans,  eating out costs can quickly add up. Eliminating wasted spending on eating out can save you hundreds every month.

Try meal planning, using Pinterest for copycat recipes of your favorite restaurants, and use bargain shopping when you do decide to eat out. We use our credit card reward points on gift cards to treat ourselves every so often.

9. Refinance Student Loans

If you have student loans and you can manage them, simply refinancing them can save immensely on your monthly payments.

While refinancing your student loans might not seem like a “Way to stop spending money,” in theory you are reducing your student loan spending.

Check out either Penfed or Lendkey to find the best rates when it comes to refinancing student loans.

10. Learn to Shop Smarter

Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack?

Macies or TJ Maxx?

New or Used?

Thrift stores or high end stores?

You catch my trend, right?

Nobody will ever ask if your dress shirt was from the designer retailer or a Tj Maxx. Much like having a plan before you shop for food, have a plan when you buy clothes and stay out of the mall.

Got a dress-up type event and need a suite?

Consider checking out thrift stores. You can find some super original stuff from thrift stores. Just be conscious and know when to shop for the necessary clothes.

With regards to kids, realize they grow out of everything very quickly. Keep that in mind before you buy a toddler designer sneakers!

Lastly, be sure to use apps like Shopkick or Ibotta to collect extra rewards when you do shop!

11. Bundle Your Insurance

stop spending money on insurance

Insurance, whether it’s auto, home, or health, is necessary…. but can be a costly expense.

Consider shopping around every so often to see if you can significantly lower your auto or home rates. We bundled our coverage and got nice savings for being married.

If you are 25, now is the time to look into auto coverage! Also, if you are married, sometimes it’s cheaper to stay on individual health plans instead of combining, we saved $150 a month by NOT combining our coverage.

12. Cancel Emails & Throw Away Junk Mail

Do not be tempted by the junk mail and the “You can save so much money if you just shop at my store in the next two days,” emails that pile up in your inbox.

This is exactly why consumer debt has reached an all-time high.

Consumerism is all around us, making it easier to say YES then it is NO. When you check your mail, throw away the Express magazine your wife gets every week, don’t even bring it in. If you’re reading this, go through your inbox and mark any retail store email as spam right now.

13. Stop Spending Money on a Gym Membership

If you like the gym, this might come as a shock, but consider canceling your overpriced luxury gym membership.

Much like the internet crushing retail stores, the internet is also full of daily workout videos, meal planning resources and just about everything in between. Gyms sell the most memberships in January (of course they do) and within 2 months most people have quit going.

Research has shown that only 50% of gym members are active users. Be resourceful, find leisure activities, and see if you can use an HOA gym nearby if you don’t have one!

14. Evaluate Utilities & Usage

The utilities are interesting.

You cut your cable bill, reduced your internet, now you are stuck with water, gas, nd electric, or at least two of the three. Consider getting on a budgeting plan, that way you don’t have peaks in the winter and summer months.

Additionally, see if you can improve your efficiency and usage. Turn off lights, take quicker showers, don’t water your lawn daily. It seems silly, but over the long run,you could save huge!

15. Stop boredom internet browsing!

One Twitter follower stated,

Don't ‘browse' Amazon, Groupon, etc. Undoubtedly, you will find something you want to buy.

This is spot on. One-click shopping is why you saw the savings rate in the United States dipped to an all-time low. Millennials alone are saving less than 4% of their income!

In order to curb one-click internet shopping, make sure you stop browsing and looking at ads. Also here is a great tip: Only checkout 1x per month with all internet carts.

This will make you second guess your spending and stop spending so much money online!

16. Check your habits to stop spending money.

Spending money can be a habit, so be sure to check your habits in order to stop spending money.

If you know that going to the bar to watch the game means you will spend $40, make sure you avoid that situation. Or, maybe you notice most of your spending occurs on the weekends, see what habits you can adjust to curb this.

In order to stop spending money, ou will ultimately have to adjust a few things and a few habits. Remember, 80% of personal finance is behavior and you will spend 12%+ more by using plastic!

17. Learn to say NO!

This might be the best tip on the list, but also the hardest.

In order to stop spending so much money, you will need to learn the magical two-letter word NO.

Not only will learning to say no to every trip, bachelor party, vacation, and night out help you save money, you will actually feel better.

Think about it, wouldn't you prefer a simple yes or no from friends when you ask them a question instead of the, “I will let you know.” In other words,I will leave you hanging.

Learning to say no will help you stop spending money, but is also a great tool when it comes to life in general. You can say no to the extra work at your job, say no to your kids when they want something at the store, or say no to yourself when you want the Wegmans hot bar.

I hope these tips helped you out! In the meantime, learn how to stop making money so complicated by following these 5 simple rules.

Question: What are some ways you have found that can help you stop spending money each month?

Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $200,000 in student loans with his wife in less than four years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post and more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, helping others with their debt and recommend using Personal Capital to track your finances.