When you review your personal finances on a regular basis, you may discover your regular shopping trips encourage you to spend money on unnecessary purchases and impulse buys. Cutting out impulse shopping of this nature can help with budgeting and ensuring cash to hand is always available. Spending your spare cash on hobbies, outings and social occasions will give you far greater happiness than you achieve from buying unnecessary shopping.
It may be difficult to avoid shopping completely, but follow these simple tips to help you budget your finances better so you reach long term targets:
- Minimize time spent browsing online retailers and shopping in your favorite stores. It will be difficult at first, but making a conscious effort to avoid impulse buying will soon become a habit.
- Make meal plans and grocery lists for the week ahead, so you won’t be tempted to buy unnecessary groceries from the store. Also, when you are heading out for a while, ensure you eat before you leave home, then there will be no temptation to eat out or waste cash on snacks.
- Create lists of all your needs and set target dates for purchases. If you know you’ll buy new running shoes next month, you won’t be tempted to buy some online next week. You have to get into a habit of distinguishing between items and products you need and those you want. Once your needs are met in full, you can opt to buy “wants”, however the simple task of recognizing that something you want is not essential to your daily life helps identify just what you really do want out of life.
Learn to avoid shopping as a social activity. You can meet friends in the park or head out hiking and enjoy fresh air and plenty of healthy exercise. This way you’re increasing energy levels and enjoying time out with your friends while avoiding the trap of wasteful expenditure on products, goods and services you don’t really need.