Rule No. 2: use the smallest basket possible
If you’re just running into a store for one or two items, skip the wheeled cart and use a handheld basket — or no basket at all. That way, you won’t be able to throw in additional items that will hike your bill.
Rule No. 3: sever your relationship with online retailers
Online shopping makes it dangerously easy to complete your purchases — and overspend.
Unsubscribe from online stores’ promotional emails — or redirect them to an email account you check only when you’re about to make a purchase and you’re looking for a discount code.
When you’re constantly seeing those emails come in with the discounts and specials, it’s too easy to click through to the website,, and then you end up buying more than one item.
If you must shop online, sometimes simply finding an item and putting it in your cart can scratch the shopping itch.
Wait a day or two before checking out — that will give you time to consider whether the purchase is something you really want. If you forget about it, it’s probably something you can live without.
Rule No. 4: have an accountability buddy
Whether it’s a romantic partner, family member or close friend, find someone who supports your savings goals or is on a similar path.
Agree to check in with them whenever you’re considering buying something above a certain amount. Simply knowing you’ll need to check in and justify the purchase may help you reevaluate it.