Create the habit, then buy the thing
Here's a little idea that has kept me from buying things I don't really need: create the habit, then buy the thing.
When I'm setting a little goal for myself, I'm always tempted to buy something that will help me accomplish that goal. I convince myself that a treadmill will make my workouts more convenient. Or I want to grab a pretty new journal to motivate myself to practice more French. But of course that treadmill or journal probably won't get used.
I've been trying to do things in reverse lately. I promise myself if I can exercise regularly, I'll consider buying a treadmill. Or if I practice French every day for a month, I can think about grabbing a pretty journal. Until then, I just go for walks in my neighborhood and do free online yoga. I keep French notes in a notebook I already have. Maybe it's not as glamorous, but it works!
Reliably, once I've started actually doing the habit, I realize I don't need that treadmill or notebook at all. In fact, buying something new has rarely had any effect on me creating a new habit ever! I was embarrassed to realize this at first, but also a little relieved. Now I can spend my treadmill/journal money on something I actually want--like Thai food or a massage.
Have you tried this? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Just hit reply!