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7 Unusual Ways to Save Money – Tips for Spending Less Cash

These seven unusual ways to save money are easy and effective because they’re rooted in psychology. That is, these tips for spending less cash involve increasing your motivation to save money and decreasing your reasons for spending money — which can help you achieve your financial goals!

Research shows that people spend money because they feel powerless. If you’re struggling with credit card debt and spending too much money, you may be able to save money by changing how you think about money and power in your life…

“Consider two individuals, one a successful millionaire and the other a recently demoted banker,” say researchers Derek D. Rucker and Adam D. Galinsky of Northwestern University. “Both might view a Rolex watch as a clear status symbol. However, for the millionaire, wearing the watch might not make him/her feel any more powerful than he/she normally feels. In contrast, for our demoted banker, wearing the same watch might make the banker feel significantlgy more powerful.”

The following “money psychology tips” will help you feel more powerful in your life, which will help you stick to your budget. For more practical tips on saving more and spending less money, click The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.

7 Unusual Ways to Save Money – Tips for Spending Less Cash

1. Acknowledge different types of power in your life. You can feel physically powerful, spiritually powerful, intellectually powerful, professionally powerful, economically powerful, and on it goes. You’ll probably feel different types of power in different parts of your life – and at different times of your life. Knowing when you feel powerful and when you feel weak can help you handle your finances more effectively.

2. Recognize unhealthy versus healthy power. Being manipulative, deceitful, vengeful, or passive-aggressive are unhealthy ways of expressing power. To feel more powerful in your life, ask yourself if you’re using your power for good or if you’re trying to control others. Becoming more psychologically healthy affects your spending habits — because it’s a contradiction to be emotionally healthy and still spend every penny you have! A tip for spending less cash is to get as healthy as possible.

3. Rise to a work challenge. It doesn’t matter if you’re a store clerk, department head, or secretary of state – rising to a professional challenge increases your feelings of power. Pennsylvania-based freelance writer Lori Baer, says “Conquering a freelancing task I was nervous about fosters empowerment and greater confidence for next big thing.” Look at work challenges as ways to increase your personal sense of power…and let those confident feelings help you spend less and save more money.

4. Just say no – especially when you can’t afford to spend the cash. Some people – not just “people pleasers” – feel powerless to say no, for various reasons. Their personality affects their saving and spending habits. Here’s how one writer views it: “Saying, ‘No, I don’t want to,’ makes me feel powerful,” says Kathy Pfeiffer of Batavia, Ohio. “I often forget I have that choice – and sometimes it’s scary to say ‘no.'” To feel more powerful in life, give yourself permission to say no without feeling guilty, bad, or ashamed. This includes saying no to lunches or dinners you can’t afford, toys or luxuries that aren’t in the budget, and activities that are too expensive. Saying no is a great way to spend less money!

5. Play your favorite sport to feel more powerful. “Hitting a golf ball a long, long way makes me feel powerful,” says Massachusetts-based senior public relations manager Jason Keith. I don’t know if golf games are effective ways to spend less money, but it’s a fact that playing sports you enjoy at will increase your feelings of power. You don’t even have to be good at golf to enjoy it! (This isn’t an ususual way to save money on golf, but you could consider playing at a driving range or public park).

6. Exercise to save money? Similarly, exercising can increase your feeling of power (for me, it’s Pilates!). “Doing weights at the gym makes me feel powerful,” says Céline Graciet, a translator in Leeds, UK. “Strange, I know, as I’m still not very strong, but it gives me a confidence boost for some reason.” Taking self-defense or karate classes are also effective ways to increase your sense of physical and mental power. The more you exercise your body, the better you’ll feel…and the less need you’ll have to spend cash on things you don’t need.

7. Create positive changes that help you achieve your financial goals. “The certainty that what I am doing creates positive change makes me feel powerful,” says Toronto-based writer, musician, and actor Desirée Ossandon, who is working with Canada Arts Connect. A fantastic way to feel more powerful in your life is to do something positive that improves other people’s lives. It doesn’t have to be a job; it can be a blog, volunteer work, helping a neighbor, or donating to a charity. The more involved you get in life, and other people’s lives, the more powerful you’ll feel…and the less money you’ll spend.

If you have any tips or questions about these or other unusual ways to spend less cash, please comment below…

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15 thoughts on “7 Unusual Ways to Save Money – Tips for Spending Less Cash”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Ah, yes, I know of participator’s remorse! Weddings are so expensive, even if you’re not getting married….hmmmm….this makes me want to write a series of articles about saving money when you’re a bridesmaid. Thanks for the idea — I love it. “How to Spend Less Cash When You’re a Bridesmaid” 🙂

  2. The worst for me is weddings…when a family member or good friend asks me to participate or be in it (especially if they participated in mine), i can’t say no…and that can really add up after showers, dresses, shoes, hair, makeup, bachelorette parties, etc. anyway i have had 3 weddings in the last year and more coming this year. they are breaking my bank! participater’s remorse.

  3. Instead of thinking that not spending money means you don’t have enough money – and are thus bad or unworthy – maybe you could think of not spending money as a choice you’re making. For instance, I choose not to buy trendy clothes or electronics because I’d rather save my money to travel and retire early!

    To spend less money, figure out what you really want, and don’t let your friends or family nudge you into buying what you don’t need. Half the stuff we buy is a big waste — I hate realizing a month or two after I bought something that I shouldn’t have spent the money! Buyer’s remorse.

  4. Saying no, seems to make me less powerful. I feel that I am admitting that I don’t have enough money and this makes me feel bad or cheap or unworthy. I wish I could feel powerful when saying no.

  5. Spending less money – and saving your money – becomes a habit! The more you spend, the more you want to spend…and the more you save money, the more you want to save…

    Mark Phil, you might ask your parents if they want to buy them stuff, to pay them back for paying your tuition! What if they’d rather you save your money?

    JunLim, I bet practicing contentment with what you have would stop you from hating your neighbor if he spends his money on expensive cars! I think the more content you are, the less you care what others have.

    And Katherine, you’re right! We DON’T need all the material stuff. I went to a flea market yesterday, and was astounded at the amount of stuff we accumulate….then we die, and our stuff gets sold for 25 cents. What’s the point?

  6. Katherine Villanueva

    This post is a great thought. We individuals are craving for more as our status become higher (as our income increases)– we tend to go for more and more expensive things.
    It is just … always remember what has God thought to us…
    and everything will follow.. our desires.. our wants…our perspective on material things will change…
    let us all be simple in living.. we don’t need those material things actually

  7. Contentment or being content with what you have is also a good way to spending less. Seeing your neighbor driving a new car might bring out an urge in you to buy a new car,too. But if you have contentment in your life and you feel happy with your 1970 Volkswagen, then chances are you won’t buy. Sure you’ll hate your neighbor everytime he passes by in his new car but hey at least you still saved a bundle.

  8. its kinda hard for an only son to save money because im thinking of my parents who struggled to pay for my tuition, so in return im paying them back somehow by buying them stuff’s and as for me i just buy the things that i need, at home and at work. but at some point you just cant say no, because its a form of depriving yourself to somethings that you like, its ok to spend or buy a thing that you want. but think if it will benefit you. well im still struggling on how to save money even though i know that i need to save money.

  9. Wow — I never thought of creating a graph. That’s not just a great way to track spending and feelings of power (or powerlessness) — it would work with food and emotional eating, too (something I struggle with).

    Thanks for the tip, Mary!

  10. I really took this to heart and will remember the idea of power when shopping. I will create a graph,( which is how I change my behavior), to show how money is spent and which power is more present in the moments of the day. I find I get lonely so I spend. There is no power in this…great perspective.

  11. Saying no is difficult! Sometimes it’s easier to offer an alternative, such as going for a walk. When my friends suggest coffee or lunch, I counter with a walk around the lake….it’s free, healthy, and gorgeous!

    Maybe I should write a post on things to do with friends that don’t require you to spend money….”Ways to Spend Less Money With Friends”!

  12. Yes, the more confident you are, the less money you need to spend, and the less you’ll fall into advertising traps.

    And I just realized that if you’re doing things that make you feel powerful in life, you actually have less time and energy to spend money! So these tips work on a practical level, too 🙂

    When you’re debating whether to buy something, ask yourself what your motivation is. Are you spending money on a status symbol? Are you spending money to impress people? Do you really like that object — is it something you can’t live without?

    Here’s another tip for spending less money: leave the thing in the store for a week. If you still want it after seven days have passed, then go for it. Otherwise, you didn’t really need it, and you saved your money!

  13. Very thought provoking, and like Desiree, I hadn’t considered the link between feeling powerful and spending less money. Along those lines, I view feeling powerful akin to feeling confident. When confident in yourself and your surroundings, the less you need, the less you’re a sucker for sales and advertising, and the more you find satisfaction in the life’s amazing wonders offered up for free. That’s powerful! Thanks for the inspiration and for including my thoughts.

  14. Really interesting post. I didn’t think about power from this perspective, being able to help you in spending less. Thanks for the mention (and link) Laurie!