One of the things I hear over and over again from readers is that they have trouble controlling impulse spending.
"I just can't seem to stop spending money."
I understand it's hard. I have struggled with impulse spending. I think at some point we all have, especially those with a natural inclination toward spending. After all, there are spenders and there are savers.
But there are some ways to curb that need to spend.
1. Avoid triggers. If you are more likely to drop a cash at the Target Dollar Spot, don't let yourself veer your cart in that direction.
Avoid the make up counter at Dillards, or the bakery at Walmart.
For me it's Goodwill. I walk in and I see these really great prices and I think "hey, it's only $2.99." But if I do that enough times I can wreck my budget.
2. Don't shop while you're emotional. Just as you would't go to the supermarket while hungry, don't go to the mall or the shopping center when you're emotional.
If you're feeling angry, sad or vulnerable find a healthier way to deal with those feelings. Write in a journal, talk to a friend or go for a walk. Resist the urge to compensate for your feelings by shopping.
3. Carry cash. Okay, I admit it. I struggle with the envelope system. I would much rather just use my debit card. But, I know if I go to Target (Look, I am talking about Target again) with cash in hand I am far less likely to spend it on things I DON'T need.
If you walk into the store with $50 and you know you have to get milk, eggs and grapes for your family, you can't get that lipstick or fancy new hairspray.
4. Calculate how much it will really cost you. If you are using a credit card really think about how much that sweater is going to cost you once fees and interest are tacked on.
And while you may pay off your balance at the end of the month statistics show us that MOST consumers don't.
If you are on a budget and you spend money not earmarked for that impulse spend, what are you saying no to in order to purchase the shiny object that has your immediate attention?
Also, calculate how many hours you will have to work to pay for your purchase and then decide if it is worth it.
5. Block online retail sites. If the cute baby leggings on Zulily catch your fancy, or the latest new release on Amazon has you logging online to spend money, block those sites!
Resist the temptation by not even allowing it to enter your home through your computer screen.
This brings me to my next point...
6. Unsubscribe from email alerts. If you get an email from Gap telling you about the latest skirt sale, suddenly your closet might be in want of a new black pencil skirt. But if that email doesn't enter your inbox, the temptation isn't there.
Do I really need this? Do I have something else that will serve the same function? Where am I going to put it? Can I get it for a better price elsewhere?
However, if impulse spending is your issue, replace that last question with: Why do I want to buy this? Is there a need I am trying to fill with stuff? Am I just bored?
I hope these tips help you curb that impulse spending.
Join the conversation: Do you struggle with impulse spending and what do you to to stop it?