Even when budgets are the tightest, some people still have a hard time reining in their impulsive spending. That’s because spending money can be a big stress reliever—however, it can also add on to your overall stress at the same time.
Because of this, you need to make spending less money a habit so you can better control your urges. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Create a Spending Plan
You should sit down and create a plan that details what you need to spend your money on each month. This should be a detailed breakdown so you can account for every penny spent. You should make sure that you differentiate between the things you need, and the things you don’t need—and stick to what is most important.
Make it your goal to not splurge on anything unnecessary, since sometimes just presenting yourself with a challenge can be a great starting point.
Become Financially Educated
It’s surprising how many people don’t understand the most basic of finances. This can lead to risky decisions that can only make you lose money in the long run. Taking online courses, reading books, or attending sessions can go a long way in helping you become more financially sound.
And even better—you can learn new ways to help your existing money grow over time.
Make Yourself Wait
When you see something especially enticing that you’d like to purchase online, give yourself a time challenge. Instead of immediately making a purchase, let it sit in the cart for a day or two, even if you know the item might sell out. That can be part of the challenge.
What you’re likely to discover is that when you go back a few days later, if you go at all, you’ll suddenly be less interested in purchasing the item.
Find Your Spending Triggers
Have you ever tried to pay attention to what might be triggering you to make impulse purchases? This can be something as simple as being signed up to a mailing list and falling for the headline. This is done on purpose to encourage you to make those impulse purchases.
Instead, either unsubscribe from the mailing lists or have them filtered into a separate email folder where you won’t see them so quickly. Out of sight, out of mind, money saved.
Hold Yourself Accountable
When you make an impulse purchase, don’t try to convince yourself that it was okay and that it was “just this time.” You should hold yourself accountable instead, and try to practice organized saving habits. You should strive for a balance between saving up for necessary purchases and those things you do for leisure alone.
The cold hard fact is that the more money you spend that you don’t have, the less you’ll have for leisure later—and you’re going to regret it.