How to Get Richer Without Making More Money

The art of not spending.

Photo by Avery Evans on Unsplash


The conversation we were having was about what to do about dinner on our holiday. We had a camping trip planned and I had made lunch for us to take so that we could eat when we got there without having to buy anything. My wife proposed that we go out for dinner the evening we arrived. Me, being my usual self, explained how I thought it might be better if we didn’t. Despite it being our holiday I still wanted to remain financially disciplined. I suggested that instead of going to a restaurant, I could cook a couple of pizzas we had at home and take them with us. It would be just like getting takeaway pizza, but cheaper. There was a downside though. Given that we were camping, we had no reasonable way to heat up the pizza. It would be cold by the time dinner came around. In my head, that was a small price to pay for the money saved.

In order to build wealth, you have to dislike spending.

It’s not flashy or glamorous, but if you want more money, you just have to stop buying so much crap.

Does this mean not spending ever?

There’s a balance. A sweet spot where you spend just enough on the things you need to live your life well. You spend enough such that you have everything you need in life, but no more. The trick is to spend money on the things that genuinely bring you pleasure in life, and not buy anything that does not.

How can you train yourself to not want to spend?

It requires a shift in mindset.

1. A Spending Detox

One thing I like to do occasionally is, not spend any money for a period of time, say 24 hours. Sounds pretty easy right? Well, it should be, but in reality, it’s pretty hard. The goal is to not spend any money at all, for 24 hours. This means no purchases in any shop or online for an entire day.

2. Don’t keep up with the Jones’

One of the ways we’re encouraged to spend money is through our social circles. We want to prove our status by showing our friends and family that we too can buy all the things that everyone has.

  • “You like my jeans? I’ve had these since I was 18 years old!”
  • “You’re all going out for steak? Thanks for the invite, but no thanks”

3. Reward yourself

Positive reinforcement is the psychological concept of reinforcing behaviour by rewarding it. It has been shown by countless studies to be an effective way to drive the right behaviour from individuals. What’s great is that we can use this powerful technique on ourselves.

  • “If I don’t buy any clothes for a month, I will reward myself with dinner out”
  • “If I don’t eat out for a month, I will reward myself with a spa day”

Top Writer in Parenting | Stay at home Dad | Writing about life, money and parenting | Email me —

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