I said earlier this month that my focus for October was to try to "not want" so much. It's been a struggle, to say the least.
But the thing that works best for me is to keep busy - not by cramming my 'to-do' list with ever more jobs to tick off, but by thinking ahead and providing myself with fun activities to look forward to.
I have found that Thursdays are easy for me. I'm generally in a good mood and I don't have those cravings to go shopping, to buy a new book or to plan some extravagant vacation. Why? Well, because Wednesday night I take a dance class and it's so much fun. I have such a great time on Wednesday nights that I wake up Thursday morning feeling satisfied, and that feeling carries me through the day. The few dollars I pay for each class is nothing compared to a normal purchase at a store or restaurant.
Have you ever tried keeping track of your "spending impulses"? Try it for a few days...or even a few weeks. You may find that your cravings come and go much like food cravings do. You might find you have certain "trouble times" and become able to anticipate them.
Tell me what you find and let's brainstorm some fixes.