The annual Malaysia year end sale is finally here and for some of us, that means busting in our bank accounts unnecessarily.
As a friendly Public Service Announcement on behalf of your beloved bank balance, unsettled credit card debts, wallet, and spouses, here are 5 tips on how you can refrain from spending unwisely in preparation of the coming year-end sales:
1. Track your spending
This is one of the vital steps because often times, we think that it is the big expenses that’s depleting our bank account. But if you look closely, our daily purchases which comes with smaller price tags amount to quite a substantial toll on our wallet on a monthly basis– often without us knowing! As the Malay proverb which goes “sedikit-sedikit, lama jadi bukit “, this term goes hand in hand for saving and spending alike.
So, a tracking app comes in handy for this instance especially during sale seasons when you end up buying small items like earrings, socks or hair accessories which added together, amount to quite a big sum.
There are lots of free applications out there which are able to help track your spending habits. From my experience, the best apps are the simplest ones. Of course, for effective tracking, you’ve got to be honest to yourself (and your app too) by putting in how much you spend every time although sometimes it can be a hassle. If you prefer the good old pen and paper method, carrying a small 555 notebook around and writing down your expenses at the end of the day works too!
2. Make a list before going shopping – and stick to them!
Okay, let’s all admit that when there’s a sale, we’ll most probably going to end up with more shopping bags than what’s originally intended. So, to prevent yourself from any financial mishaps which then spiral deep into your wallet, make sure you do ample research beforehand so that you have a checklist before leaving your house.
3. Keep your debit and credit cards at home, and limit the amount of cash in hand
This is my absolute favorite tip for all chronic spenders. I know, it’s HARD to build a habit of spending especially if you’ve been a hardcore spender all this while.
For desperate measures, you just gotta force yourself to cultivate a no-shopping environment. In this case, I actually meant leaving your cards locked safely at home and only bring enough cash for the day. That leaves you with no room for impulse shopping. Usually you see stuff that you want, but because you don’t have any money with you, you’re forced to walk away. However, if there’s one item which You’ll thank us for this, really.
4. Let your intentions known to the world! Or at least those who are close to you.
If you think you can’t trust yourself with your money, how about enlisting some help from your close friends and family? This is really helpful because often times, we can’t control ourselves, and roping in 3rd parties to help can be particularly effective – so that they can catch you when you’re about to swipe that card of yours!
5. Avoid spending too much time with friends who are known shopaholics!
Don’t get me wrong, you’re not cutting them out from your life permanently. Plus, if your friendship is build on rocks instead of plastics (i.e credit card), I’m positive that it’ll be able to withstand anything, right? You have no idea, peer pressure can get into most people to spend things which they don’t need.
On the contrary, you can always be a positive influence to your shopaholic friends by being an advocate to spending wisely. If all else fails, try mixing with friends who are more careful with their spending and hopefully, you can learn a trick or two from them too. One way is to do other activities that do not revolve around money, such as outdoor workouts, reading books at public libraries or catching up over a cup of coffee at your own crib.