How can I adjust from being an extravagant spender to a frugal spender?

This question and answer originally appeared at Quora.

I would say try to avoid advertising and marketing as much as possible – say no to cookies, try to read things on the web ad-free, try to avoid television and glossy magazines etc.

You should also analyse what areas you are spending extravagantly on – is it clothes? Eating out? Drinking or other habit etc.?

You should go through the painful process of noting down your last years expenditure on different items – this will take some time and will no doubt be frustrating but it will be valuable.

Once you have this information look at how much you spend per year on items than per day/month – the numbers are far larger and thus more likely to jolt you into avoiding these types of purchases – we don’t necessarily miss £200 per month – but we would sure miss £2,400 a year (although it’s exactly the same thing).

I would also suggest seeing how much value you have received for your purchases – is it clothes you never wear, meals out you can barely remember etc.

I have written a few blog posts you may find helpful:

I would also second all of Betsy’s helpful comments, so I won’t add any more to the answers.

I hope that helps

This answer first appeared here.

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Mark Underdown

Financial Planner, Small Acorn Money


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