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10 Unique Methods to Control Spending: Successes Explained


cash envelope system

Unlocking the secrets to effective spending can be a challenging task. That's why I reached out to thirteen visionary entrepreneurs, CEOs, and experts to share their proven strategies with you. From the innovative "Treasure Hunt Tactic" to the transformative "Circular Budget" approach, these leaders have successfully managed their finances through diverse and unique approaches. Let their insights inspire you on your journey to financial management success.


Unique Methods to Control Your Spending

  • Implement the "Treasure Hunt Tactic"

  • Unsubscribe from Sales Emails

  • Try the "Cash Envelope System"

  • Use the "Investment Value Check"

  • Don't Checkout Without a Need

  • Prioritize Physical Cash for Expenses

  • Set a Weekly Cash Limit

  • Treat Credit Cards Like Cash

  • Visualize Expenditures in Work Hours

  • Uninstall Shopping Apps and Limit Social Media

Implement the "Treasure Hunt Tactic"


I once tried a method I called the "Treasure Hunt Tactic." Before deciding to purchase an item, I would turn my home into a sort of archaeological site, digging deep into closets, drawers, and storage boxes to find something I already owned that could serve the same purpose as the new item I was considering buying.


This method had a dual benefit: it not only prevented unnecessary purchases but also helped me rediscover and make use of items that had been long forgotten, buried in the corners of my home. Did it work? Yes, it was a successful strategy for saving money and revitalizing neglected treasures!


Abid Salahi, Co-Founder, FinlyWealth


Unsubscribe from Sales Emails


One of the most effective methods I've used to control my spending is to unsubscribe from all marketing- and sales-related emails. For years, my inbox was full of brand deals, coupons, online sale promotions, and similar emails that encouraged me to spend. This is the case for many people, and it can be tempting to pull out your credit card and shop online when you're bombarded with so many deals.


Take an afternoon and hit "unsubscribe" on as many retail-related emails as possible. Out of sight is truly out of mind for your inbox, and this is a very effective way to reduce temptation and online spending.


Tom Blake, Founder, This Online World


Try the "Cash Envelope System"


One unique method to control spending I've learned through my years of work in the finance industry is implementing the "cash envelope system."


Allocate a specific amount of cash to different spending categories, such as groceries, dining out, entertainment, and transportation. Place these funds in separate envelopes labeled with the respective category. Once the cash in an envelope is gone for the month, you cannot spend any more in that category until the next month.


This tangible approach makes you aware of your spending limits and encourages thoughtful consideration before making purchases. It's an effective way to curb impulse spending, stay within your budget, and gain better control over your finances.


Lee Hemming, Sales Director, ABC Finance Limited


Use the "Investment Value Check"


In my journey to financial discipline, one method that has been particularly effective in controlling my spending is the "Investment Value Check." Before making any significant purchase, I take a moment to calculate how much that money could potentially grow if invested over ten years. Using average market returns as a benchmark, I project the potential growth of that sum.


For instance, before buying a new barbecue or the latest tech gadget, I think, "If I were to invest this $1,000 now, in 10 years, it could be worth $2,000 or more, thanks to compound interest." This reframing helped me to shift my perspective from the immediate gratification of the purchase to the long-term value of financial growth.


Domenico Trimboli, Freelancer and Business Owner, Domenicotrimboli.com


Don't Checkout Without a Need


Cute items are all over social media, and before I know it, they often end up in my Amazon cart. However, I have a rule that helps me avoid making impulse purchases: I don't check out unless I have something I need in my cart.


Recently, my tea kettle broke. As someone who drinks tea from sunrise to sunset, I needed a new kettle. I headed to Amazon and selected one, but then it was time to review what was in my cart. Those adorable planters? Deleted. I would have put them in a closet rather than planting something.


By refusing to check out until I need something, I greatly reduce my impulse buying. As a fun bonus, I also save on shipping, which means there is always enough in the cart to qualify for free shipping when I need something in two days.


Beverly Gearreald, Owner, Live Fearless Mentoring


Prioritize Physical Cash for Expenses


When I quit my full-time job and jumped fully into my first business, I quickly discovered that funds were much tighter than they were with my cushy 9-to-5. I spent the first six months on an extreme budget to combat this. My partner and I managed our monthly budget in cash (subtracting from this our rent and some subscriptions) and used that for all expenses.


You could certainly just meticulously track your credit card spending, but I found that having the physical cash and seeing it dwindle as the month wore on was an extremely effective tool to encourage me to spend less on frivolities and think twice about purchases.


Kristine Thorndyke, Founder, Test Prep Nerds


Set a Weekly Cash Limit


One unique method I've used to control my spending is setting up a weekly spending limit in cash. I withdraw a fixed amount of cash at the beginning of each week, and that becomes my budget for all non-essential expenses like dining out, entertainment, and shopping.


Once the cash is gone for the week, I can't spend any more until the next week. This method works effectively because it provides a tangible way to track and limit discretionary spending. It makes me more conscious of my expenses and helps me prioritize spending on what truly matters. Additionally, it prevents impulse purchases and encourages better financial discipline.


Jay Toy, General Manager, 88stacks


Treat Credit Cards Like Cash


I treat my credit cards the same as cash. As soon as I swipe my card, I make a payment to it for that amount. It's super easy with my phone app and keeps me from ever carrying a balance. It's a huge benefit for building credit, earning rewards, and taking advantage of their fraud protection features.


Christopher Olson, General Partner, Southern Bay Realty


Visualize Expenditures in Work Hours


A technique I've seen to keep spending in check is using a visual cue: for every purchase you're considering, equate it to the number of hours you'd have to work to afford it. For example, if you're eyeing a new pair of shoes that costs $100 and you make $20 an hour, ask yourself, "Are these shoes worth five hours of my work?"


Visualizing expenditures in terms of time rather than just money can add a new perspective, making one think twice before making a purchase. For many, this shift in thinking has been a game-changer in assessing the true value of their potential purchases and reining in impulsive buys.


Alex Stasiak, CEO and Founder, Startup House


Uninstall Shopping Apps and Limit Social Media


One unique method I employed to control my spending was uninstalling all my shopping apps from my smartphone. This decision aimed to reduce the temptation of impulse buying, especially during moments of boredom or stress when online shopping can be all too convenient.


Additionally, I minimized my time spent on social media platforms, as they often contain advertisements and promotions that encourage unnecessary spending. Instead, I focused on cooking at home and watching K-drama during my free time. This saved me money, improved my culinary skills, and provided an enjoyable and cost-effective way to unwind.


These changes helped me exercise better control over my spending by reducing exposure to shopping triggers and encouraging more mindful financial choices.


Phoebe Mendez, Owner, Pinay Mama



What tried and true methods have worked for you? Share below in the comments.

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