The Smart About Money website will be retiring on July 31, 2021. Learn more about this decision.


Plug Spending Leaks

Water FacetHere are some ideas for plugging (or at least slowing) spending leaks: 

  • People treat cash differently — and that’s OK. For some people, it helps to keep less cash on hand so that they are not tempted to spend it. Other people prefer to spend only cash because it’s easier to track how much is left. If these people don’t have the cash in their wallets, they don’t make the purchase.
  • Cut down on daily trips to the coffee shop or convenience store — challenge yourself to bring your own snacks from home, take a walk on your lunch break rather than buying meals out, and invite your friends to join you in a “savings challenge.”
  • Take advantage of discount offers, coupons and loyalty programs. 
  • Shop at thrift stores, garage sales or flea markets whenever it makes sense.
  • Invite your friends and family to have clothing swaps.
  • Use free community message boards (online and in person) to barter goods and services.
  • Having a list helps you resist spending on impulse. Plan ahead with coupons to save even more.
  • Find free or low-cost activities and challenge your friends and family to spend less as part of your group outings. You could even make it a family or group goal to see who can come up with the most unusual or creative ways to spend the least amount of money.
Course Home