Impulsive Spending : Breaking the habit

Hey there. This is a follow up to my previous post Financial Obliviousness.  If you haven’t read it, click!

As students, our financial lows are frequent. When the highs come, there’s a tendency of burning through that paper. This ranges from last minute hang outs to splurging on clothing. 
How to stop? It’s probably habitual at this point. Treating yourself is not wrong. We just have to discern the difference between a treat /necessity  and a regrettable expense. Two questions to always ask yourself : Do you want or need it? & Will you regret it later? 
There are methodical ways to curb hasty spending. Such as:
1. Always Budget
This is the most important one. Will it bust your wallet? What are your current or pressing priorities?  Be it eating out or buying airtime. Financial responsibility includes accounting for the little things. Allocate money appropriately. Take care of necessities first.

2. Think it over
Decide whether to buy an item over a set period of time. It can be anything from 3 days to a month. Should the urge to make the purchase persist, go ahead. It may be cheaper! This also tests the willingness to make the trip back. Personally if it’s not good enough to make me want to leave my house, it’s not worth it.
3. List
Make a list beforehand and do not stray from it. This ensures everything necessary is bought. Budget well. Unsure about the cost? Check or ask around.
Tip: keep old receipts

4. Track as you go
Be it shopping, eating out or having drinks keep track. The trickiest times are during social outings. Once a certain limit is crossed, ask for the tab. It can always be started afresh. Think of it as a way to
remind people of their limits. Nobody wants to argue about money at the end of a good time.

5. Company
Shopping or going out with people who have the same problem as you… not smart. You’ll simply encourage each other and go home broke. Be mindful!

                                                                    6.Cash Only
Debit cards, a blessing and a curse. Swiping is too easy! Carrying cash means it’s unlikely other items will be bought. It’s harder to hand over money. It makes everyone think twice.
7. Two Rounds
I think we all know the pain of finding the same item for a lower price. Worse still, something you like better but can no longer afford. My Dad goes through all the shops twice. First time, to browse and compare prices. Round two, buy what caught really stood out. Needless to say, he’s pretty good at Christmas and birthdays!
It’s your choice what combination of methods to use. What matters is attaining the goal. Breaking this habit means there’ll be more to save. The next question, how to save? Come back for my next post, part three of Financial Obliviousness : Student saving.

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