Are your bills an uncomfortable reminder of the impulsive spending you’d rather forget…you know that top-of-the-line juicer you bought in that well-intentioned moment of eating healthier? Now you’re thinking, “It sounds like too much work anyway – and where did I put it?”
Impulsive shopping isn’t good for your bank account and it wreaks havoc on relationships.
Are your spending habits aligned with your personal and family values? Do these habits mean you can’t pay your “necessary living” bills or pay back someone who has loaned you money? Are you stressed and ashamed about your money story?
It doesn’t take willpower. It takes you wanting to change your money story. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up. It is possible to set yourself up for success and beat the impulsive shopping monster once and for all. One conscious choice at a time, you can do this!
Today, credit cards and bank accounts make money abstract, almost invisible.
A long, long time ago money was only tangible. We used bills and coins in exchange for something else.
When you hand over bills and coins, even for something you really want, you feel that angst of spending and diminishing your funds.
Use a credit card and the angst doesn’t happen until the bill arrives. By the time the bill arrives our excitement has waned or we’ve completely forgotten about it. Now it’s a bill, a commitment, and a reminder that we don’t get a do-over for this choice.
That “angst” in handing over cash is what keeps us honest about our money. Credit and debit cards keep us in the land of make believe….believing we have enough money for whatever catches our eye.
How do you manage your impulsive spending then?
1. Put Yourself On a Spending Allowance
Calculate the amount that you can afford to spend each week on fun stuff, such as buying lunch, clothing, books, coffee, dinners out, movies, and so on. Go to the ATM on Friday; withdraw that amount, and don’t take out any more cash (or use a charge or debit card) during the week. If you spend your money over the weekend, pack your lunches and don’t shop or eat out until the following Friday.
2. Use Separate Accounts
Keep funds for necessities (car payments, mortgage, cell phone bills, insurance) in a separate account from your “fun” money. Studies have shown that people who have their paycheck automatically deposited and money’s sent to different accounts (one for “fun”, Christmas, Emergency, Savings) have increased their savings, decreased late fees, and ultimately have more “fun money” available.
3. Stop telling yourself lies.
When you feel the urge to buy what thoughts are zipping through your mind telling you it’s ok?
“This is for the family.”
Reality: If it is for the family, wait and ask family how important this item is to them.
“I’ll return it if I don’t use it.”
Reality: Ummm, this requires saving the receipt and getting back to the store in so many days. Not really gonna happen.
“This is the last one so I have to get it NOW!”
Reality: If it was meant to be it will be there tomorrow when you go back after sleeping on it. Most of the time you won’t bother.
“It’s the last day it’s on sale.”
Reality: If you wouldn’t buy it at full price then it doesn’t have any real value or importance to you.
“It’s such a savings.”
Reality: You’ll save more when you buy NOTHING!
Cut impulsive spending and watch your money and relationships grow.
[…] This thing my Dad taught me is called “living within your means”. […]