impulse spending

How to Control Impulsive Spending.

Just be broke!

Don’t you agree? The easiest way to avoid overspending is to be broke. Just kidding but you know it is technically true, you really can’t spend what you don’t have right?

Funny story;

One time I was on an ordering food online spree. I spent so much on Ubereats that I was shocked at how I had that amount of money to constantly take out.

One fateful day, I saw an unfamiliar ubereats charge on my account that I wasn’t familiar with. I mean, if I ate out I would know, right?

Then I called the bank to have a conversation about this anonymous charge. Them the rep I had on the phone asked me what Ubereats charge was I referring to.

I told her the Ubereats charge on my account. She replied me saying, I see so many Ubereats charges you need to be more specific.

Wow! That made me realize how much I spend on just ordering food online.

I went back to look at my bank statement after that conversation. And almost every line on my account had ubereats.

Even places I could just order and walk to pick up the laziness of it all made me pay an extra $5 for delivery.

That was a really bad habit that was costing me money.

And in case you are wondering, No! I don’t splurge on food like that again. I occasionally enjoy eating out but my priorities are a little bit different these days and I’m grown (I guess)

But maybe you don’t overspend on food, but you do on clothes. Perhaps, it is just a general impulse spending habit you have,

Here are tips to help you curb that excess behaviour;

Create a list/Budget

Create a list/budget: Creating a list and sticking to it is an effective way to avoid overspending. You can create a list of things you NEED not WANT. This will help you prioritize what is most necessary. Focusing on what you need will help you when budgeting. That way, you don’t have to spare extra money for things that are irrelevant.

This doesn’t mean you cannot treat yourself once in a while. You can, but try practicing some delayed gratification. Don’t make it a habit.

Remember, sticking to your need list is the vital aspect part of this strategy and it does take self-discipline.

Trust me! There is power in delayed gratification.

Don’t shop hungry!

Don’t shop hungry: I have been a victim to this many times. Going grocery shopping when you are hungry is one way you can unknowingly overspend. And I say unknowingly because sometimes you don’t mean to. You are so hungry and everything on the aisle just seems pleasing to you. Your stomach is doing the thinking for you and the way it is communicating to you at that time, you just want to buy what you see.

The sad thing is you buy all that grocery and you are too tired from the walking around and hungry to cook so you pick up something to eat in the meantime (at least in my case)

So now I bought all that groceries only to eat out?

Sometimes it could just be at the food court. You are trying to get some food because you are so hungry. And because you feel so hungry you literally think you can eat a whale. Then you start putting some add-ons to the main meal. The extra chicken and extra rice and all the extra stuff you pay for but end up not finishing.

The point is, before you go shopping for food, make sure you are well-fed and you feel right.

If you feel like you need to grab something for lunch, try doing it before you get so hungry. Do it at a time when you still feel good from the food you had prior.

If possible, get lunch after you have had breakfast.

Have a bigger money goal

Have a bigger money goal: If you don’t have a bigger money goal yet, then create one. You tend to spend less when you are looking forward to using that money for something else. For example, if you are saving for a house and you know how much the down payment is going to cost you. You won’t have to put the money you get towards unnecessary things.

Why would you do that when you have hundreds of thousands to put forward towards your home?

It really doesn’t have to be something as big as a house. It could be towards a previous debt or even a savings plan

You can create a plan to pay off your student loan or your credit card debt.

With your goals in mind, you can manage your spending a little more prudently when there is something bigger you are towards.

Use Cash

Cash: As I said at the beginning of my post, you really can’t spend what you don’t have. Taking cash instead of a credit card is one way to manage your spending. It is restrictive but effective. You won’t want to have a lot of money on you because it isn’t a smart idea and the little you have you will want to budget accordingly. Instead of picking random stuff for purchase you will go straight to why you came there in the first place. And because you don’t have a lot of money to spend there is no point in picking what you cannot afford.

Make the money unavailable

Make the money unavailable: Making the money unavailable simply means, making it inaccessible.

You have it but you cannot get it.

One way to do this is opening a savings account. Not just any savings but one of those savings plan that make it hard for you to take out the money for a particular amount of time.

If you don’t want to go through all that stress, you can just keep it with a trusted friend that won’t make it easy for you to get it.

Sleep on it

Sleep on it: Impulsive decisions mostly come from not properly thinking things through

 So sleeping on it may be all you need!

Before you make the decision to splurge on something, just wait it out for a week or maybe even a day. Take time out to re-evaluate and see if you really need to make that purchase.

Sometimes, you may even forget about it!

Well, it’s hard and I know that first-hand but it is worth the try!

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