Are you someone who walks into a store or shops online and you see an item and you have to have it? It could be a pair of shoes or jewelry a purse or a game system or a game, you just have to get it and you hit purchase or you hand over your credit card.
I’m going to share with you some questions to ask yourself when you are tempted to buy something. When you want to make an impulse buy, not food or paying for necessities. I’m talking about something that you didn’t need but you all of a sudden saw it and now you want it.
Questions to ask yourself when you are tempted to buy something:
I didn’t know it existed 5 minutes ago and I was relatively happy, can I walk out of this store and pretend that I never saw it?
Can I scroll past without clicking that Buy It Now button?
Can I still live a full life if I just say no?
Do I have the money to pay for it?
Do I have other bills that I should be paying instead of buying this?
Is this a need this or is it just a want?
Will this purchase hurt or help my goal of becoming debt-free?
Will I get buyer’s remorse later on and feel guilty about spending the money?
If you just walk away chances are you will have forgotten about it by the time you get home, or just scroll past it and it will be out of sight, out of mind. If you are still thinking about it sleep on it. Usually, after a night’s sleep, you have a better perspective and you decide that you really can’t afford it or simply you just don’t need it. For large purchases like a car, give it a week or a month, do some research online and compare prices, you need to think about things like interest rate if you are going to finance it or are you going to deplete your savings to pay for it.
The reality of it:
Don’t get me wrong, it is fun to have nice things sometimes or a new gadget to play with but that feeling will wear off after a short time and the nice thing you bought won’t be new anymore. There will always be some newer better version of the gadget you had to have and you will have to do it all over again to get that “high”.
Think about how many hours will I have to work to pay for that and am I willing to give up financial freedom for something that will make me happy for a day or two. If you continue to search for that “high”, the cycle will continue over and over, you will never feel fulfilled and you will have endless amounts of things and an empty wallet.
Try to break the cycle and get your “high” by putting money into your emergency fund and watching it grow or putting extra money towards those credit cards or student loans. If you pay off one credit card use the amount you were paying and put it towards the next credit card, call your credit card company and ask for a reduced interest rate.
If you have staggering debt from student loans call whoever is holding those loans and ask if you can reduce your interest rate. Maybe you can consolidate into one payment, check to make sure there is no early payoff penalty.
Have a goal in mind:
Have a goal in mind, think about all the things you want to accomplish. Do you want to pay off all your debt and someday buy a home or save up and pay cash for a car. Maybe you want to save money to get braces for your kids or send them to college. Keep reminding yourself that you are working towards a goal and being impulsive and just buying that game or pair of shoes will keep you from achieving your goal.
Don’t go shopping to entertain yourself. Stay away or if you do need to go just look straight forward and say to yourself, “I don’t need it, I don’t need it”. Get an app on your phone to read books from the library instead of scrolling and looking at shopping sites. Do what you have to do to keep yourself on track.
Write down your goals:
When we think about doing things we always have the best intentions. When it comes down to making the decision to buy or not buy it’s really easy to talk yourself into it. Write down your goals on a piece of paper. I want to have this bill paid off by this date, I want to have my car paid off by this date or I want to have this $ amount in the bank before the end of the month. Write it in bright red marker so you can’t “accidentally” not see it, bring it with you wherever you go.
Put your list of goals in your wallet so you can see it before you take that credit card out to pay. Don’t have your computer save your credit card number so you have to go to your wallet every time. Hopefully, you will see your big red note and it reminds you to stay on track, keep doing what you’re doing, don’t deviate from your plan.
Share your goals with others to keep you accountable:
Like I said earlier we always plan things in our mind and we have the best intentions of doing the smart thing. But if we don’t have anyone to keep us accountable then it’s really easy to say, just this once or I’ve been working hard so I deserve a treat.
If you feel comfortable, tell someone you trust what your goals are, maybe even give them a copy of your goal sheet. I’m not saying tell everyone in the world your financial business, choose someone that will keep it confidential. Make sure this is a person that is close enough to you and will be able to say “should you be buying that”? This should be a person that is trustworthy and makes good financial decisions in their own life. Last of all, you can’t get mad at them. You were the one who asked them to keep you accountable and you can’t be upset with them for doing their job.
I promise that once you get to the right mindset of paying down debt and saving money, you will get a “high” watching those balances drop or watching your bank account increase. You will just want to continue to do it more and more, you might even challenge yourself to pay even more off or save even more. It will feel good to say ” no, I don’t need it”, and eventually you’ll become an expert at it, it will be like second nature.
You might like these articles:
Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
How I’m Saving over $900 per Year
Quirkiest Money Saving/Thrifty things I do to save a buck
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