Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

The MoneySaving Forum: join to chat & swap tips with other MoneySavers. Learn how in the Forum Introduction Guide

Free Money Mantras Card To help you stop spending when you shouldn't

New to the site? Quick message from Martin:

All the latest deals, guides and loopholes go in MoneySavingExpert's
free weekly email. Don't miss out - join the 9m who get it emailed!

FAQs | Unsubscribe 
Past Emails | Privacy

This is a free wallet-sized Money Mantra Card. It's designed for you to print, pop in your purse or wallet and whip out before you buy.

One side's for if you're skint, the other if you're not. Flip it over depending on your circumstances, then check EVERY time you shop to see if you should be spending the cash.

1: Choose black & white or colour print out

Black & white Colour

Automatically scales to wallet size when printed

2: Cut it out and fold to credit card size

3: Put it in your wallet & pull it out before spending!

Use the Money Mantras every time you shop.
If the answer's no to any questions, don't buy!

How to use the mantras

Anything that checks our impulses can be a kick-butt powerhouse. So before spending, use one of Martin's mantras. If you answer no to anything, don't buy! Young driver

Different scenarios require different approaches, so there are two versions: for if you’re skint and if you’re not. Each has questions to ask before you buy.

This goes for bargains in the free weekly email too. This site's about good money management; that should always trump spending impulses. Hopefully the mantras will stop you being tempted into what may indeed be a cracking deal, but one that's wrong for for you.

How to assess your answers

Perhaps the most difficult to self-assess is "will I use it?", which examines what economists call 'opportunity cost'. In other words: could you get better use or more pleasure out of the same cash by buying something else?

Could the same money buy other items used more often? The cost-per-wear of a stunning £200 dress for a one-off occasion is £200, but for a £200 winter coat it could easily be 50p or less.

Martin's example: How to tell if it's worth it

"My favourite example of this is shopping with a female friend, who hates me telling this story.

"She'd spotted two pairs of leather boots and was deliberating between them. I checked prices – one £40, the other £110 – yet she was only concerned with preferred style.

"So I whipped £70 cash out and held it up with the £40 pair to show the real decision was one pair of boots plus the cash or just the rival boots alone. She paused and with genuine interest said: 'Wow, I've never thought of it like that before.'

"Five minutes later she bought the more expensive boots – you can't win ‘em all!"

Read Martin's blog for more on the site's philosophy and where the mantras came from.

More tricks to stop spending

The mantras are just one way to tame your need-it-now impulses. Whether you need scaring or tips, want mantras or help cutting back, the full Stop Spending guide will assist you in tackling those spending demons.

One of the big problems is that people ask the wrong questions. Too many ask:

"How do I get the shiny new car/glamorous holiday/amazing Christmas/designer clothes I want on my paltry salary?"

It's thinking this way that leads people to overspend, because they ignore the financial reality. The real question is:

"On my paltry salary, what’s the best lifestyle I can possibly have?"

You have to start letting your finances rule your lifestyle, not vice versa.

Tips from people who’ve done it include sleeping on a purchase; you may find it doesn’t seem as attractive the next day. If you’re tempted by an impulse buy, work out how long it would take you to earn that money in hours worked. See tons more tips in the full Stop Spending guide.

The Demotivator: frightening but fun

The Demotivator is a special fun tool designed to complement the full Budget Planner to show you the real impact of discretionary spending.

Simply enter items like cigarettes, daily sandwiches, newspapers and it’ll tell you how much you spend per year, and how long you worked to buy them. Then print out the results and stick it to your wall or fridge as a constant demotivating reminder.

The MoneySavingExpert Demotivator

What non-essentials do you buy? * e.g. Cigarettes or Afternoon Coffee

Join in the Forum Discussion:
Free Money Mantras Card
If you haven't already

What the * means above

If a link has a * by it, that means it is an affiliated link and therefore it helps MoneySavingExpert stay free to use, as it is tracked to us. If you go through it, it can sometimes result in a payment to the site. It's worth noting this means the third party used may be named on any credit agreements.

You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. Plus the editorial line (the things we write) is NEVER impacted by these links. We aim to look at all available products. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the top deal, it is still included in exactly the same way, just with a non-paying link. For more details, read How This Site Is Financed.

Duplicate links of the * links above for the sake of transparency, but this version doesn't help

Cheap Travel Money

Find the best online rate for holiday cash with MSE's TravelMoneyMax.

Find the best online rate for your holiday cash with MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax.