Trust me when I say that impulse spending is easy. We have lived in a “24/7/365 buy buy buy” world our entire lives. So when you open your wallet without taking into consideration what it’s truly doing to your overall well being, I don’t necessarily lay all the guilt with you. It’s how we have been conditioned as a society.
Unfortunately, in order to reach your big money goals, you must control your impulse spending and learn how to curb this unhealthy habit.
If you’re ready to put your foot down to this “normal” way of life, I can help you. Here are 5 ways you can reduce impulse spending today:
1. Add Fun Money to Your Budget
One of the major reasons that budgets, or spending plans fail, is because they are too restrictive.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you have to be intentional about writing in fun money and spending money into your budget, or you’re going to have a bad time.
The repercussions of not doing this are actually quite large. If you don’t have any fun money in your budget, you could easily end up impulsively spending money, or you could become so frustrated that you quit. Or both.
We need to avoid these things, which is why I suggest prioritizing fun money to reduce impulse spending.
Put a set amount of money aside in your budget so that you can buy things for yourself guilt free. When you have spent that money, you’re done for the rest of the month.
Remember that budgets aren’t meant to be “set in stone”. They are there to be a guideline and to work with you, not against you.
2. Avoid Spending Triggers
If you know you’re going to drop $200 in Target if you go into Target, avoid Target. It’s really that simple.
Our triggers can look like anything from browsing at Target to getting in a fight with our spouse and clicking ‘Add to Cart’ on Amazon 5 minutes later– it’s different for everyone.
The first step is to acknowledge what those spending triggers are for you and learn how to avoid them. The second step is to come up with healthier coping mechanisms that are less monetarily taxing.
Not sure how to identify these triggers? During my Flourish FinanciALLI Group Coaching Program we will uncover why you have certain money habits, how you can still shop and treat yourself while paying off debt, how to make your money work for you and more (12 modules + coaching calls).
3. Clear Out your (Retail) Emails
One of the easiest ways to reduce impulse spending is to take away the temptation in your inbox.
Email marketing has become a focal point in any retailers online digital strategy. That means that your inbox is more than likely filled with promotional emails from your favorite shopping locations.
Instead of being tempted to click on that “gotta have it sale,” use unroll.me to bulk unsubscribe from these retailer emails. You also have the option to put these emails in a “roundup email” that way instead of getting 50 sale emails a day, you only receive one.
If you’re not up for downloading unroll.me, take the time to manually unsubscribe from each email you receive. Spend a few minutes every day until you get through them all. Slow and steady wins the race and you can count that as a win each day for combatting the impulse spending monster.
4. Remove Auto-Fill Off of Your Computer
Much like unsubscribing from retailer emails, this tip to reduce impulse spending is about putting barriers up for yourself.
Retailers make it as easy as possible for you to give them your money. One of the ways in which they do this is by using credit card and debit card auto-fill on their websites. They allow you to save your card information so buying is just a click away.
Just a click away is the perfect recipe to impulsively spend money. That’s why I urge you to take any and all card information off of your computer, off of online portals and off of retailer websites.
They may make it easy for you to spend your hard earned money, but you don’t have to make it easy for you to.
5. Wait 24 Hours Before You Purchase Anything
When all else fails, waiting typically wins. Time is the ultimate victor against impulse spending, but it takes time to train your brain to think like instead of favoring a quick endorphin release with a new purchase.
Instead of having no rules when it comes to what you buy on a day-to-day basis, implement a 24-hour waiting period.
If you really want something, anything, you have to wait at least a day before making the decision to buy it. During that time you can ask yourself if you really need it, what value it would bring to your life, if you can do without it, or if you can improvise and come up with a compromise without purchasing the particular item.
Sometimes, all it takes is time away to put things into perspective.
Did this article on ways to reduce impulse spending help you? Do you have any other tips and tricks to reduce impulse spending? Let me know in the comments below!
If you are still overwhelmed by your impulse spending and want my personalized feedback and attention to break free from it, reach out!
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