Control Impulsive Spending
To Enjoy Financial Freedom
Impulsive spending can be one of the biggest barriers to achieving financial freedom. It can lead you to buy things you don’t want or need, plunge you deeper into debt, derail your personal budget planning, and leave you with a sense of emptiness.
Ideas to Curb Spending Addiction
Whether you are prone to occasional impulse buying or have a full blown spending addiction, there are actions you can take to change your behavior. It is important to address the problem both by modifying your thinking as well as by taking practical steps to change your behavior. Here are some ideas to help you do both.
- Ask yourself some questions about your situation. Why do you spend the way you do? Are you rewarding yourself for going through a stressful situation? Does spending make you feel in control? Do you get an emotional rush from it? By examining these questions rationally and even writing down your answers, you are taking steps to better understand and control your spending.
- Learn to distinguish between need vs. want. By understanding the difference, you can learn to forgo frivolous spending in favor of what is truly necessary.
- Keep track of spending for one month. This will help you in two ways. First, knowing that you will have to write down every purchase will dissuade you from some impulsive spending. Secondly, you will be able to see how much you spend on things you don’t really want or need.
- Understand the importance of saving money. Do you know how much you could have if you reduce your impulse spending and instead invest that money? Use the savings interest calculator to plug in the amount you could save on a regular basis if you were to stop impulse shopping. You will be amazed at how much money you will accumulate!
- Plan every purchase. Keep an ongoing list of everything you want or need to buy. Determine rationally what should be on the list. If you see something in a store or online that you want to buy but it isn’t on your list, don’t buy it. Later, think about whether you should add it to the list.
- Pay in cash whenever possible. Know what you are going to buy before you go shopping. Bring only enough cash to cover your purchases. Leave your credit card at home.
- Budget a small amount each month for impulse purchases. Yes, you read this correctly! It is all right to spend impulsively once in a while. By budgeting for it, you can control your spending without feeling deprived.
- Be accountable to someone. Find someone who does not have a spending problem, either your spouse or a friend. Bring them along when you go shopping. Share with them the problems that you have trying to stick to your budget. Discuss plans for large purchases with them.
Don’t let impulsive spending habits sabotage your financial freedom plan. Take the necessary steps to control the urge to spend.
Return from Impulsive Spending to Frugal Lifestyle
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