Annoy yourself into saving.

I did this tactic for a bit when I first started trying to cut back on my insanely out of control budget categories.

I annoyed myself.

Every time I put something I KNEW wasn’t a necessity in my grocery basket, I asked myself it it was necessary.

Each time I saw a cute pair of shoes and was about to try them on for the sake of pretense, but in reality, was about to snap them up in any size that fit, I asked myself if it was necessary.

I essentially annoyed the hell out of myself to make myself get into an automatic, less annoying mindset of checking what I bought, each time I went to buy it.

Sometimes, I told myself to STFU (Er..”Shut the…Fuzz up”).

Other times, I listened to my annoying self.

Gradually, I started doing it out of habit, and now, 3+ years later, I have got it down.

When I pass by a patisserie (fancy French word for store that displays fattening-irresistible-buttery-concoctions of flaky pastries oozing of deliciousness in a glass window), I get an instant craving for a croissant or a pain au chocolat (chocolate pastry), and I ask myself:

Do I really want to spend the $3 now?

Or do I want to save it, see how my spending goes for essentials and in a week or two, treat myself to a sushi lunch or dinner once I have enough to pay for everything plus tip?

Sometimes, I buy the pastry, but more often than not, I opt for the sushi lunch.

This goes for everything I pick up, but the best part is that though it may sound like a hassle, a mental prison or just super annoying… it doesn’t feel like that at all.

I feel empowered and free to really make the choices I want to make for what I actually want to spend my money on, and not letting my inner impulses run rampant on my bank account.

Now, I know that if I want to spend a hunk of money on something, it means that I’ve really though it through and I know I have the ready, debt-free cash to do it.

(There are mini bouts of guilt when it goes over $500 or $1000, but those usually dissipate into excitement.)

There are other options of gently annoying yourself into not spending:

  • Passive-aggressive Post-It notes in your wallet, or on your cards
  • Freezing your cards into a big block in your freezer
  • Making a pact with someone to run big purchases by them
  • Studying your budget & marveling over the free $ in interest from saving
  • Starting a blog (hoo boy did this one ever work!)

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About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.