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5 simple habits to help you beat the urge to splurge

Finance & Money

Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2019

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Impulse buying can be incredibly hard to control. We’ve all been there. There’s a new gadget that you really want and it’s 40% off, or the online sales have begun and with every website click, the banner ads are flashing tempting offers.


“Ag, it’s only R200,” you might have told yourself. But, as you know, it soon adds up.


The new year means a new, improved, financial you and part of this new you involves curbing impulse buying that has been undermining your monthly budget. Don’t be disheartened, though, because it is possible to change the money habits of a lifetime.


Here are 5 simple strategies you can introduce that will help you fight the urge to spend and start saving money instead.


  1. The 30-day rule

Implementing the 30-day rule means that you can’t buy anything (except the obvious necessities) until a 30-day period has passed. Every time you feel the urge to buy something, write it on your list and note the date. Keep your list on the fridge or somewhere easily visible. If, after 30 days, you still want it, you can buy it – because you’ve earned it! Hopefully, you might find that the desire to buy the item has passed and you no longer want it. If so, cross it off your list and move on.


  1. Avoid trigger-spending places (like the mall)

If you are tempted to spend unnecessary money when you visit the mall, avoid shopping there. Instead, go to a supermarket that isn’t located in a mall or start doing your food shopping online.

  1. Don’t browse online shopping sites

Stay away from online shopping sites where buying is literally just a click away. Online shopping apps are particularly notorious as they mimic browsing through social media and make you feel good after spending money. Delete them from your phone and avoid browsing unless you’re looking for something specific.

  1. Freeze your credit card (literally)

If buying on credit is a problem for you, consider giving it up entirely. If that’s not an option, then put it in a ziploc bag with a little water and place it in the freezer. Now, if you feel the urge to spend, you will have to wait for it to defrost. Those few hours may be enough for you to reconsider the purchase.

  1. Have an end goal in mind

If your goal is to be debt-free; to save for a holiday of a lifetime, or to pay for further studying, for example, then it will help to keep this goal in mind when the urge to spend becomes hard to resist. Remind yourself that spending spontaneously will affect this goal and possibly jeopardise it entirely.


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