Much like body-building, developing effective spending habits takes effort, repetition and time. Below you’ll find a list of exercises that will help:
1: Budget. Without a realistic and effective monthly budget that you can consult regularly, spending habits can become irrelevant.
2: Develop shopping lists and don’t go into a store without one. Keep them somewhere easily accessible so you can add or remove items when they come to mind.
3. Prioritize your spending. Place housing, groceries, childcare, taxes, transportation and insurance at the top. Debt payments and other bills come next, followed by entertainment, personal care and services (“discretionary” spending).
4. Comparison shop for price and quality.
5. Sleep on it…before purchasing any non-essential item of $50 or more. In fact you may want to sleep on it for a couple of nights just to be sure.
6. Shop with a “buddy” who will provide you with strength and restraint.
7. Use cash only and stick to your budget. That way you aren’t tempted to spend extra on a credit or debit card.
8. Budget a little “me money” so that you don’t feel overly restrictive.
9. Cut back on gifts you can’t afford to buy. Consider making them instead.
10. Do I really need this? Make sure to ask this question to yourself, even a few times in order to help prevent unnecessary spending.
If you have any questions, would like to discuss your financial challenges, or are just looking for advice, please contact us at your convenience. As always, we are here to help you and look forward to hearing from you.