Spending Diversions

Spending Diversions
Posted By :Elena Difiore
Posted At : Monday, Jan 17, 2011

It happens all the time…you’re walking through the mall and that new plasma TV on display catches your eye. Or maybe you’re simply running errands, picking up food or laundry detergent, and you find yourself wandering over to the kitchen section checking out new electronic mixers you know you can’t afford. So what are we to do when the temptations of impulse spending arise as they do from time to time? Here at Unlock Your Wealth, we’ve compiled some of our own personal techniques for warding off unwanted spending.

Call a Friend

Or as Regis would put it, use a lifeline! Don’t be ashamed if you’re not strong enough to just walk away–most people need help cutting back on spending and re-evaluating their finances, so why not turn to a friend? The next time you feel the urge to splurge, dial up someone close to you, whether it’s a friend or a family member. The closer they are to you, the more likely they are to be able to convince you to walk away with your wallet unscathed.

The 30-Day Rule

Sometimes, we feel the need to make impulse purchases simply because it’s convenient. Why wait when that brand new stereo is right in front of you and possibly even on sale? This way of thinking is what makes impulse spending so hard to control. Instead of jumping on the next big item that catches your eye, try taking a 30-day timeout. Walk away from the purchase with the intent to come back and buy the product in 30 days. Once 30 days have passed, ask yourself if you still really want/need that particular item as much as you felt you did the first time you considered buying it. This allows you to really contemplate and consider where your hard-earned money is going instead of letting your bank account be affected by every whim or impulse you come across.

Keep a Spending Tracker

These are also known as money ledgers. If you need a lot of help in the area of impulse spending, why not start tracking where exactly all of your money goes? Spending trackers are relatively cheap and small, some can even fit in your back pocket, and will help you monitor where each dollar of your paycheck disappears to. It may seem tedious and even a little guilt-inducing, but that’s the point! Keeping a spending tracker makes us keenly aware of our daily spending routine and unhealthy fiscal habits. It’s easy to just “swipe and go,” but when you’re forced to calculate where every penny goes, you’ll probably find yourself second-guessing a lot of what you once considered “normal” purchases.

When it comes down to it, the best policy is to be open about your spending. Sharing your financial questions and issues with others helps keep you on track and provides a system of accountability which will hopefully prevent future financial “binging.” Try these tips out the next time you’re tempted to shop until you drop and see if they don’t help keep a few more dollars in your pocket

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