BAD spending habits are always hard to break, no matter how many times you promise yourself you will. However, having no control over your spending can ruin your finances and may even leave you in debt.
While it is true that there’s no way to avoid spending, there are ways to curb your spending habits in order to save money. Here are some of them.
• Construct a shopping list. It’s easy to lose control of your spending when you’re shopping, especially when it’s near the holidays and there are sales and promotions. Having a list with you — even if it’s just for a quick run to the market or convenience story — will help prevent unnecessary and compulsive purchases.
• Bring only the cash you need. Leave your debit and credit cards at home while you’re at it too. It’s more difficult to spend when you know you’ll be paying with cash. Moreover, not having any spare dollars with you will make you prioritize which items to buy.
• Wait before you buy. If you happen to come across an item that you want to buy but isn’t in your list, put the item back and only return to it after you’ve thought it through. This is one way of lessening that compulsion within you. If the compulsion is still strong even after waiting it out, see if it fits in your budget before buying it.
• Don’t shop when you’re at an emotional high. According to National Debt Relief, people make irrational decisions whenever they feel exaggerated emotions. Using retail therapy when you’re feeling down or when you’re in a celebratory mood will only lead to overspending. Unless you can commit to a strict limit, it’s best to avoid spending when you’re at an emotional high (or low).
• Budget. This will help you save money as budgeting gives you an idea about how much you spend whenever you’re shopping. Knowing your financial situation will help lessen impulsive buying.
• Know your shopping weaknesses. Is it shoes? Clothes? If you’re on a tight budget, knowing your weaknesses will help you avoid the department store or your favorite boutique.
• Stop and ask yourself. Before buying anything, take the time to ask yourself if you really need the item. Knowing the difference between needs and wants will help in curbing your spending habits and saving money this new year.