We all know holidays are the peak time for most people in terms of spending…but it’s easy to forget how much we spent now that they holidays are (long) over. It’s also easy to spend using a credit card, and if you have more than one those expenses rack up quick. I’ve culled the web for effective tips on smart spending – and as always, if you have a tip to add, please e-mail me!
Cash Over Credit
Few of us actually have cash in our wallets or purses these days…the debit card is king. Just like a credit card, debit cards can be dangerous if you’re not mindful of how much you have in your account, or where you are related to your limit. Spending only in cash will cause you to spend less.
You know how much money you make, right? Do you always know what you’re spending it on? A budget can help you develop a plan for your money on a regular basis – once you create one you can allocate where all of your money goes. If you don’t spend what you thought then you have a surplus, extra fun cash.
The new year is the toughest time to stay disciplined – with diets, spending and other parts of our daily lives. Think of it as taking the hard road – as opposed to the easy road – hard decisions are just that – hard to make. But once you make them you’re often glad you did. The reward will be there waiting for you.
No Entitlement Spending
If we work hard, we get rewarded, right? Yes! Rewards are exactly that – rewards…if you get them frequently then they become something called entitlement spending – otherwise known as a habit. Don’t develop bad habits – in avoiding regular entitlement spending you’ll spend because you earned it, and not because you “deserve” it.
Wait Before Buying
I’m one of the world’s most impulsive buyers, so I recognize the behavior in myself and others right away. Waiting before a purchase (even a day or two) ensures you really want it, and that you’ll appreciate it. There’s nothing worse than spending on something that sits in a closet or store room.
Each time you sign up for a discount or freebie, you’re actually subscribing to their list (unless you’re savvy enough to know where to uncheck in the mouse print) – and shopping emails can be the worst in terms of temptation. Online coupons are easy to find and they don’t subscribe you to company mailing lists – relieving your inbox, too.
In a city with such an amazing climate (and virtually no shopping malls that are indoors), beaches and parks, get out there! Take advantage of the fresh air and live up to that resolution you made – exercise boosts your endorphins – the feel good neurotransmitters in your brain. It also takes your mind off of shopping and spending. If you do it right you’ll be too tired to shop!