Let's get started with: curbing your spending habits.

First, a quick bloggers note: today I also have a mix monday planned for later in the afternoon. It may or may not be SVU themed-- get excited...! With that said, yesterday night I spent a good chunk of time going through my bank statement.

This is kind of how it went:

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It was only after making a necessary, but none-the-less impulsive purchase, that I realized I was getting out of control. (But any of you who tell me I didn't absolutely need this shirt featuring Carrie White can kiss our friendship adios, ese.)

I realized I needed to change, pronto. Here are some great things you can do (along with me, hey hey!) to help curb your spending:

1. Go through your bank statement and make a list of things you've bought in the last week/month/etc. that weren't absolutely essential to your survival.  

Do the math: can you really afford to splurge that much? I certainly can't...

2. For tangible goods (apparel, art supplies, books, DVDs, etc.) sleep on a decision before you buy. 

Sometimes extra thought will distance you from the "need" to purchase. If you find that you're still pining after the thing you want after re-evaluating, it's probably ok to go after it. We can't always be perfect ; )

3. Think about skills you have that you could possibly turn into e-commerce. 

Think of your creative talents like starting a lawn mowing or babysitting business as a young child. Sites like Etsy and Fiverr  are great places to get your craft on, and make a few bucks while you're doing it. What's great about having an online store is that you can typically make things from home. Trust me: even if you only know how to make gimp, there's a market for that. I put all the money I make on Gilda shirts towards new art supplies. Think about your schedule, and see if you have enough time to squeeze in a craft here or there. You may be able to turn your hobbies into a little extra spending money!

4. Clean your room! 

...and see what you can get rid of. Having a garage sale is an awesome twofer. First off, you're able to get rid of some stuff. Second, you'll probably make a few bucks. If you decide not to go that route, or if your sale isn't as popular as you'd like; you should head straight to the Goodwill afterwards to donate your things. Once you've put energy into a "stuff" cleanse, evaluate whether you want it to fill up your life again. Often times after you've put in the effort, staying free of 'things' feels pretty great.

5. It's about moderation, not elimination. 

If you happen to be stuck on a daily latte, try getting a plain cup of java instead. Or maybe try going from a medium size, to a small. Little things can add up really quick! If you tend to be a social butterfly, try suggesting fun, finance free outings for you and your pals to do. Maybe a trip to the park while it's still sunny out? Having everyone over and watching a favorite movie is also a great way to have fun without spending any money.

Bonus: Make a Save & Spend goal list. 

When I was younger, I was *absurdly* good at saving money. Fred Mertz had nothing on me. Something I used to do was find a big-ticket item that caught my eye, and work until I had enough to purchase it. (Notable examples include my second laptop, a DSLR, and a couple of Broadway shows when I was in college.) Lately I've been working to pay off my credit card so I'll have enough skrilla to visit my friend Hannah in SF.

Is there something rather spendy that you've had your eye on? Print off a picture of this thing, (whether it be a fancy piece of technology, a trip to somewhere exotic, or even something as simple as a nice dinner) and tape it to the back of your credit/debit card. The next time you go to make that splurge purchase, you might think twice!

Happy saving~!

-Mac