10 ways to curb spontaneous spending

Published on April 6, 2016 1:43 pm, by

Humans by nature have good days and bad days, some days we are weak and some we are strong.  It is entirely possible to convince yourself of something one day and do the total opposite the following day.  Here we share some strategies to put in place on your strong days to help you through the not so strong ones.  Let the saver in you preach to the spender in you for an agreed period of time and see what changes you can make.

Take a month off spending
There are so many ways to help yourself stick to this.  One idea is to make a bargain that you won’t purchase anything outside of essentials for a full month.  Stick a calendar on your fridge or cupboard door and each time you have the desire to make a purchase write down it down on that date with the price.  If the impulse fades, put a line through it, if it’s still there at the end of the month and you’ve worked through the below techniques, maybe it’s worth buying.

Work out what your purchase costs you in work hours
If you really want that dress, how much does it convert to in work hours?  As an example $200 might be 4 hours of your pre-tax salary.  That’s half a day of the blood, sweat and tears that contributed to the money in your account.  Is it still worth it?

Stay away from your weak spots
If there is a certain mall, shopping strip or shop that you tend to spend at just don’t go there.

Unsubscribe from retail store emails
Do you really need to know when a shop has a sale?  If you need an item, you will look for it.  These emails have the tendency to entice us to spend money when we wouldn’t otherwise do so.  For those who want access to these emails when you need an item, consider setting up a separate email account from your everyday account.  The constant barrage of emails won’t get in to your psyche and encourage you to spend.

Have alternatives to shopping when you are bored or looking for something to do
If you find yourself about to jump online and peruse a catalogue or hit one of the online shopping sites have a list of go-to things you can do instead.  Read a magazine, have a hot bath with a good book, go for a run, head to the beach for a walk or swim, pick up the phone and have a chat with someone you would normally chat with online.  Stay away from the computer/tablet/phone!

Have a money goal
Do you have plans or aspirations that require money to help you achieve them?  What are they?  How much do you need?  Think about how you want your money to work for you, and understand what non-essential purchases do to the timeline that leads to achieving your goal.

Change the way you pay
Often we stick our non-essential purchases on credit card.  A savings account balance going down can be unattractive where using the credit card is pain free.  Consider paying cash instead, for some this can be an immediate deterrent.

Stash your non-essential spending money in an online account
Put a middle step in between you and your money.  Rather than having all your funds easily accessible consider having funds for non-essential spending in an account that you need to shift money from overnight.  24 hours to think about the purchase coupled with the inconvenience of moving money may cut down the impulse.

Shop with a list
When you do hit the shops, do it with a list.  Sticking to your list is a great habit to get yourself in to.  You can use this throughout the year as well.  Know your gift recipients through the year, and any big purchases you are intending on making.  Shop around and plan rather than heading out just to buy!

Check your MoneyBrilliant spending reports
To motivate and educate yourself just that little bit more, check your spending reports over the last week or month.  This will help you understand where your money is going and potentially the hot spots you need to stay away from.  This can be a rewarding experience as you change your spending habits and see change happen in front of you.

To make it easy if you’re a MoneyBrilliant client we have included some links for you. Click and log in on desktop and be taken straight through to the last 90 days of spending in this category:

Grocery spending

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Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.

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