How do I stop myself from spending money I don't have?

I am very aware that we get paid early in December. I also remember January this year I realised I was out of money over a week before payday! As you can imagine, it was a very stressful time. No wonder January Blues is a thing! I’d like to avoid money stress next January as there will be other stressors that I need to deal with, I’m sure. Help!

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Hi @Nadia - happy new year to you! I just saw your post and thought I’d mention that @darren spent a lot of time managing a money-saving community and might have some thoughts for you on this front. He’s currently on holiday but ought to be back soon. Meanwhile, I’m wondering if others have any tips?

Hi @Nadia! I don’t know about you, but I am a massive fan of making lists. :memo:
I wonder if you’d find it helpful to write down all the things you need to pay for during January to help with budgeting? Once you have seen what all your outgoings are, you can then see how much money you’re left with. :moneybag:

Perhaps you could also see January as a chance to do new things that don’t require much money?! Maybe exploring somewhere new for a walk, or cooking a delicious meal at home rather than eating out? :spaghetti:

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Hi @Nadia @Ella I spent some time talking with charities last year, who were helping people with debt and money worries. COVID has been horrible for money worries and job security, and so it is really tempting to think that a little bit of overspending won’t matter, and that you deserve that nice something (which I am sure that you do!).

The message that I took from them was that whilst it is really sensible to do what @Ella suggests on budgeting, always make sure that in your budget there is a little bit of money left for you to do something nice, and hopefully not to costly But even more importantly, make sure you stay on top and track what your balance/situation is. It’s tough, but when we stop looking and stop opening those letters, it can cause you pain later.

@Ella I love the idea of low/no-cost activities! I’m a big fan of taking walks in my neighborhood or taking nature walks. There’s always something new to see and it’s definitely rejuvenating. :smiley:

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@Todd That reminds me that noticing something on a walk in nature is really good for you wellbeing. There’s quite a lot of research by the Eden Project (and others) on how access to green and blue spaces (I like water!) and noticing what you see and hear is really positive…and it is free! :smiley:

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Free is good! Also good to get into nature. A few friends have recommended phone apps that can identify trees from the leaves. Exercise and learning in one swoop!

All I can say is that it was a long wait to get paid in January, but we made it!

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Seriously. January goes on forever…

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