Our spending habits can either make or mar us. Some people are disciplined enough to possess good spending habits but the majority continue to grapple with poor spending habits. We would love to drive that new car model, wear the latest designer clothes, go binge eating or drinking or even buy the latest phone when the one we have is working perfectly. Our bad spending habits lead us to get these things even when we cannot afford them. These bad spending habits could spell doom for us if not properly controlled. If you are suffering from poor spending habits and are always in debt because of it, know that you are not alone. Although I am not promising a total elimination of poor spending habits, here are a few useful tips on how to fix that impulse to spend when you shouldn’t.
- Save: It is so important to always set aside some money for yourself as soon as you get your salary. For those of us with poor spending habits, it is better to create another account that has restricted access. You can discuss with your bank to take a certain amount (should not be less than 10 percent of salary) every month. This habit can help you save for the rainy day and also cut down on the money you could have used to fuel your poor spending habits.
- Make a budget: Another way to tackle poor spending habits is to always create a budget. It could be a monthly or weekly budget. This will help prioritize your needs over your wants. Using a budget will help you plan effectively on how you spend your money thereby leaving little room for poor spending habits.
- Avoid impulse buying: Impulse buying is a classic example of poor spending. We all have that ‘guilty pleasure’- something we find difficult to resist. Therefore, it is advisable to always make a list for shopping and carry the exact amount needed or something close to it. So even if that spending habit comes calling, there will be no money to give to it.
- Get help from loved ones: Family and friends could serve as potent allies in your struggle against poor spending habits. If we let them know of our resolve to change our spending habits, they would gladly support us by bringing us back to our senses whenever we want to go astray.
- Observe your spending patterns: We could also do a lot of soul searching. We should think carefully and observe reasons and circumstances behind our spending habits. We could think of those things we love to splurge on, make a list of why and when we spend so much on them. This could provide a clue or pattern about our spending habits and help us deal effectively with the bad spending. This ‘soul searching’ can also help us to come up with better alternatives that could replace the poor spending habits. For instance, instead of drinking a carton of beer because you are sad, you could talk to somebody about your problem.
In addition, we should always try to delay and thoroughly think about any major purchase we make in order to determine if we really need it, or if it’s just one of those frivolous expenses. This can be a major saving grace when our bad spending habits tempt us.
It is pretty obvious that poor spending habits have been the bane of many. Poor spending habits can lead to feelings of guilt, low self-esteem and most importantly bankruptcy. Therefore, it is necessary to tackle then head on. The tips outlined in this article will help you overcome your poor spending habits and make your finances better for it.