Following yesterday’s topic of De-Cluttering, we will talk about Controlling Impulse Spending because we know the cluttering had to come from somewhere, right? My impulse spending usually happens at yard sales. You know the routine, you see something for $1 that you feel you must have and even better you can get 6 of them!!!! I now stay away from yard sales unless I am specifically looking for something.
Yesterday I had a couple of impulse buys at the store. Sigh…Jonathan and I took a morning test drive to college where he will take a couple classes for dual-enrollment to check how long it would take with traffic. Easy peasy, should have just gone straight home afterwards but no. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast then drove to Best Buy so Jonathan could use his money to purchase some new headphones but they weren’t open yet. So instead of sitting in the car, burning up or worse leaving the ac running for 30 minutes, we drove across the street to Trader Joe’s and the eye place to pick up my box of contacts. How do you just go in to Trader Joe’s to look around, you can’t. I bought some raspberries, dog treats, chocolate and coconut milk which I really NEEDED NONE OF IT! Oh well made good use of the raspberries when I arrived home and made a cheesecake – delish together, mmmmm.
Back to today’s topic – learning to control impulse spending. If we stay home, most of the time we are good but then again there is online ordering. 🙂 Our culture has marketing strategies everywhere we look -” buy now, pay later”! or “You need this now”, the latest greatest doodad or whatever. Or I really, really love this one, “Spend $50 get $10 back later, better yet, spend $100, get $20 later!” I have done that before and then forgot to go back the specified week to get my free $10 in stuff. STUFF, more STUFF!
So keeping in our frugal frame of mind, less needless spending, less bills, more freedom.
Here are some tips and suggestions from Andrea at FG:
- Refuse, refuse, refuse.
The best way to avoid clutter is to never purchase it to begin with. It’s only been during the last 6 months that I have literally been okay with simply not spending. I almost cringe when I think about buying something that we don’t absolutely need…Luxury is refusal…what beautiful words!
- Avoid the mall, big box stores, and other shopping centers like you would the plague.
Going shopping practically guarantees you’ll end up buying something on impulse. The sole purpose of these establishments is for you to spend money, period. Now, if you need to buy a few weekly/monthly staples (like I did today), go to a single store, get exact what’s on your list, and get the heck out. Don’t browse around looking at stuff. That’s a recipe for disaster…you’ll get sucked in. You have to treat this just like any other addiction. For example, you’d never suggest for someone who struggles with an over-consumption of alcohol to go into a bar. So, if you’re just wanting to get out of the house, find a place to go that does require you to spend money to have fun; i.e. the park, a walk around the neighborhood, or take the family on a hike for example.
- The List.
Like I just mentioned, if you have to go shopping, go with a list. And for the tricky part…stick to the list. Challenge yourself by saying, anything not on the list is strictly forbidden.
- Reduce your time in front of the television.
Not only your time, but if you have children this is the #1 way marketing companies reach their hearts. Here’s something to consider…what are the shows that you really enjoy? Turn the TV on only during that time. Or, like many others have found beneficial, use Hulu and/or Netflix to watch TV. I highly recommend that you give up the satellite or cable entirely — we did, and it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done.
- Be aware of Internet marketing.
I am in NO way suggesting that you cancel your Internet. Obviously, I love what the Internet has allowed by the way of idea-sharing and the like-minded communities that have formed. I just love reading blogs — always have, always will. But it seems like these days, advertising companies are beginning to target high traffic sites and the exposure to their marketing schemes is increasing. Just something to be aware of and watch out for.
- Limit magazine reading.
Likewise, magazines are designed with a primary focus in advertising. They rarely give you much of substance. I suggest reading a good book instead. That could be a much better use of your time and a much better way to attain knowledge.
- Monitor your urges.
It is super important to monitor our urges, simple because in most cases our urges are subconscious. And how can you control impulse spending when you may not even be aware of it? The best way to do this is to keep a record either on your phone or on a little notebook. You can do this by writing down every time you feel the impulse to buy. Once there is a greater awareness of your urges to buy things, you’ll be well on your way to controlling them.
- Use a 30-day list.
For the majority of us, there’s no real way to avoid spending all together. It’s about balance! So for those items that you really want to buy, put them on a 30-day list. This list is for the non-essentials (i.e. groceries and the like). This is such an effective way to curb impulse spending that we are dedicating an entire day of the challenge to discussing it’s benefits. So be sure to read tomorrow’s post to learn more about the 30-day list.
Now It’s Your Turn
Daily Goal: Determine your strategy for controlling impulse spending.
Keep using your daily goals sheet or a notebook to keep track of what you are doing each day.
Connect With The Community: Take a few minutes and head over to the facebook group. Share your “Frugal Living Daily Goal“, encourage, and support one another.
I WILL be staying home today because I must bake all day for the Market Saturday. 🙂
Have a fabulously, fun day!!!