Many people have trouble keeping up with their lifestyle by splashing tons of moo-la on things they don’t need such as fine dining, gadgets, bags, clothing and so on. In order to break the habit, we have cultivated a list of things you should do if you think you are hopeless in controlling your own spending.
1. Monitor Your Spending
First things first, keep track of the things you spend on. That’s how you know you’re overspending and that’s how you’re going to see the impact of any penny wise actions you take. There are many apps and websites that can help you do this but if you find that you don’t have time to log on the app and key in every purchase, just save your receipts and key them in at the end of every day.
2. Make a List of Financial Priorities
It might seem like a simple thing to do but it is useful for letting you know what you really need to spend on and what to hold back on the cash. Whether it’s buying a house, saving for retirement or buying new makeup, everyone’s list will be different. But knowing what’s important to you and having a goal will help you save money in the right places.
3. Use the 50/30/20 Budget Rule
Creating a budget is tricky to begin with, but you should never, ever, create a budget that’s too strict. It’s better to create budgets with loose estimations rather than a budget that you have trouble keeping to.
Writers of ‘All Your Worth, The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan’, Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi recommended using the 50/30/20 budget rule. That is, 50 for necessities, 30 for wants and 20 for financial priorities or savings. Now, you can see how making the financial priorities list in #2 is useful here.
4. List, Get in, Get them, Get out
Only list down the things you need. And then, go to the shop, purchase the items, and get out. If you stick to this, you’ll save yourself from a lot of impulsive buying. Also, try to avoid window shopping.
5. Wear Heels and No Touching
But if you must go window shopping, wear heels! This will tire you out faster and force you to go home.
Also, when you’re window shopping, make sure you don’t touch anything you’re looking at. There has been evidence that touching increases ‘perceived ownership’, which makes you want to buy it even more.
6. Delay Your Purchases
Your brain releases dopamine when you purchase something new, that’s why you make impulsive purchases. Whether it’s a big purchase you’re not sure about or something nice that you saw while window shopping, remember to delay purchases. This can be 24 hours or 3 months, it doesn’t matter. Most of the time you’ll discover that you won’t even buy the item in the end.
7. Beware of Sales
It’s just a marketing tactic to make you think those items are cheap. At the end of the day, you’ll be spending more money then you usually would on a non-sale day. Instead, look for second-hand or pre-loved items.
8. Carry Just Enough Cash
Similar like make shopping lists. If you know what you’re going to buy then just bring enough cash for those things. Leave your credit card at home if you think you have little to no self-control.
9. Hide Your Cash
For some people, it’s near impossible to save money for a rainy day. A good trick is to hide your money in random places like behind cards in your wallet, in your room or even in a book. Just makes sure it’s a safe place. It’s a painless way to save because you’ll eventually forget about it. And if you need some cash, just play scavenger hunt!
10. There’s always a Cheaper Way to Do Everything
Think before you do something. Instead of going to an expensive spa, you can treat yourself to a bath bomb and scrub. Instead of going to the movies every week, you can Netflix and chill. Instead of spending at clubs, you can buy liquor and throw a party!
11. Freeze Your Credit Card
No, it’s not ridiculous. What’s ridiculous is your credit card bills. Do it. Just like in the movie, ‘Confessions of A Shopaholic’.