Needless spending is a very easy habit to fall into, and it usually happens so gradually that you don’t really notice until you stop and think about it. When you get a raise in pay, it’s very hard not to treat yourself to something that you normally wouldn’t buy, but if you don’t stop and think about what you’re buying, soon that little treat becomes the rule, not the exception. That’s not to say that you should never treat yourself to a night out, but if it you do it so often that it’s no longer special, you can probably do without it. It’s also very easy to use that extra money to buy something that you don’t really need, just because it looks cool. Gadgets are very nice, but think about how often you will actually use it, and how long it will be before it is replaced by a newer, better version.
One way to control your spending is to put half of whatever extra money you have in an account of some sort. Some employers will deduct a certain amount of money per paycheck if you ask them, it can be used to purchase things that you need for your job, such as tools, or it just accumulates until you let them know you want to cash it in. It acts like a Christmas club account, except the money is accessible with just a short notice, usually one pay period. This will give you a little time to think about what you want to purchase with the money, and if you really need it, rather than seeing something and buying it impulsively.
Choosing a method to manage your budget doesn’t have to be painful, or make you feel like you’re shortchanging yourself, all you really need to do is stop and honestly think about your purchase before you get out the bank card.