We ALL face challenges when it comes to our spending behaviors. In this country, there is a seemingly endless list of “things” that sound fun, interesting, or enjoyable, or that fit the “got-to-have-it-now” mold.
We typically lump these items into the Impulse expenditures. They might come in the form of large purchases like cars, ATVs, and vacations, or they can be more mundane things we spend money on, like clothing, restaurant meals, toys for the kids, or even a new cell phone.
The test of our spending discipline is whether or not we let these sorts of purchases crash our budgets if we can not afford them. Here are a few tips on how to overcome such impulse spending:
1. Write down your financial goals on a small piece of paper and carry it with you in your purse or wallet. When tempted to make an impulse purchase, compare it to your list to see if it’s more important.
2. If you’re in a store, tell yourself you’ll think about the purchase once you get to another aisle. Then, put the decision off until you’re at the checkout stand. Then, tell yourself you’ll wait until you’re in the car before deciding. Once you’re seated back in the car, you’ll likely realize that you can do just fine without making that additional purchase.
3. If you feel you have to buy something now to take advantage of a great sale price, repeat the following to yourself, “Sales come and sales go. But my money only goes once.” And make sure it goes to the most important things in your monthly spending plan.
Developing effective spending habits is not an overnight accomplishment. It takes weeks, months and sometimes years. Rather than expecting perfection in your finances all at once, watch for positive patterns and progress over time.
If you have any questions, would like to discuss your financial challenges, or are just looking for advice, please call us at your convenience. As always, we are here to help and look forward to hearing from you.