By: Kayleen Chen
Whether you’re considered a saver or spender, you are bound to spend at a point in your life. However, there are many times where it goes out of hand and self control is where it all comes down to for spending. Without self control, we lack a sense of awareness over our actions. If not caught, one could find themselves in difficult situations. Here are some tips on how you can start implementing a life with better self control over finances.
As most financial counselors suggest, budgeting is always a great way to overcome your spending. This being because it puts everything in a better perspective. Doing so could slowly reinforce the individual to be more hesitant when spending because of the hassle to to write down and recall everything they spent.
Leaving Credit Cards at Home
If using credit cards are your fear, start by leaving them at home and paying with cash. However, over time it would be wise to use credit cards and keep track of what is spent. A tactic I like to suggest is first mastering your debit card. Start by preloading an amount for the month and making a goal to still have some money by the end of the month. If you manage to not go over your starting amount, then you could start slowly implementing that with your credit card.
Understand the psychology of spending
Get in tune with yourself on why you buy. Are you an impulsive buyer because you are feeling stressed, unhappy or anxious to keep up with the Jones’s? Also catch on to how marketers frame their products. For example, things are marked up higher so when there are good sales, it appears to be a good deal. However, a deal isn’t a deal unless you need it!
The 24 hour rule
If you’re feeling impulsive, tell yourself to do the 24 hour rule. This strategy works really well for online shopping. What the rule does is it forces you to give yourself at least 24 hours to think about the item you feel the urge to buy. If the 24 hours pass and you still want to purchase this item then go for it. Of course, you will want to factor in your budget and whether it’s a need or want.
Living under your means
One thing that really helps you control your spending is by pretending you don’t have savings. In other words try to live within how much you have from your paycheck (rather than what you have in general). By doing so, it helps you live within the idea of a smaller amount of finances. Just never view credit cards as another source of income!