It’s pretty clear by now that we are in a long period of economic difficulties, and so have to be careful with our finances. Even when things are going well, it pays to be sensible with your spending. The temptations are everywhere to buy, buy, buy, and it need not take long before the shopping habit gets out of hand – leading to debt and financial disaster. So here are some ways to stop yourself if you feel tempted to indulge in excessive spending.
1. Leave Cards at Home
Old, but true. If you go shopping, leave your cards at home and take a fixed (and not too large) amount of cash instead. If you haven’t got your cards with you, you can’t spend more than the cash you have on you! And if you see something the cash won’t cover, don’t go back to the shop later with your cards!
2. Strict Budget
This is a skill we could definitely learn from our parents and grandparents. You might think you’re not actually spending that much on going out, for example, but add it to all your other expenses and it could total a substantial amount. So spend an evening working out a realistic budget and stick to it.
3. Check before Checks
Or the ‘How Many Pairs Of Black Trousers Do I Have?’ game. Before you buy something, see if you have a similar item in your wardrobe. Have a good look to see what’s lurking at the back – you may already have the very item you need.
4. Upgrade Not Necessary
These days, technology is upgraded so rapidly that everything we buy is obsolete, or at the very least outdated, as soon as we get it home. Well, so what if a ‘better’ version immediately comes out? Resist the urge to buy the latest model of everything – or you could find yourself paying long term for excessive spending.
5. Card Cost
Tempted to buy something on your credit card, and pay for it later? Whether the purchase is large or small, work out how much the item will cost you if you pay by credit card but don’t pay off the balance straight away. Your $100 ‘bargain’ could cost you a lot more …
What matters to you? Never mind what your friends have, or if everyone seems to be buying the latest phone. Decide on what you really want to spend your money on, or whether it would be better sitting in a savings account earning you interest.
7. Manipulation Alert
Watch out for how shops and websites encourage us to spend. Their aim is to get our money, so they will try ‘special offers’ and other tricks. Know when you –and your wallet - are being manipulated, and keep your cash.
There must be plenty of people who didn’t think that they were indulging in excessive spending until it all went wrong. Don’t let this happen to you! Keep a careful eye on your spending and look after your financial future. Have you ever got into trouble with a shopping habit?
Top Photo Credit: richmondsquarephotos