When you always work hard, you deserve some treat by giving in to little temptations. That’s probably right. But if you’re the type who gets surprised when you suddenly ran out of your hard-earned money when you haven’t even made major purchases yet, maybe you could go through every little purchases you made, however “little” or “regular” they seem to be. There, you might be able to trace where your money went.
Now if you’re thinking of being more conscious of your purchases, you could try these simple but tried and tested tricks to help you spend less on unnecessary purchases and get to save more.
- Practice the “stranger test“. Jason Fitzpatrick of Lifehacker suggests this test by trying to imagine a stranger offering you the purchase in one hand and the cash to buy it in the other. Which would you choose? If you say the cash, then you’re better off not making the purchase.
- Realize the power of saying NO. Are you the type who easily gets sweet-talked by advertisements? Ads operate on propaganda techniques to make you buy their products. Remember, advertisers want you to buy not because you need the product, but because it’s their job to sell. So don’t feel bad when you say ‘No’ to buying, however great the promo sounds to you. Later on, you’d thank yourself profusely for not buying something that you don’t need after all.
- Keep in mind the “urgency test” when shopping. This technique from a blog in Budgets Are Sexy works well when shopping for clothes. When you think of buying, say for example, a killer dress, ask yourself “Would I want to wear this dress right here, right now?”. If you say no, then don’t buy it.
- Don’t spend extra money on ‘extras’ you don’t need. Are you fond of purchases sold this way: “Buy 2, get 1 for 50% off”, “Buy 1 for 99, 2 for 179” and other seemingly great promos and big discounts? Don’t be tricked easily. While you can truly get discounts from such promos, you have to think first whether you actually need an extra item or you can simply use just one. Then think how much you could save with those extra items you could have spent money on but not really need.
- Procrastination is good for non-essential purchases. Make two lists of purchases you need to make – one for essential and the other for not-so-essential or not-so-urgent items. Make sure to prioritize the essential purchases. Keep the second list and keep putting off these purchases to give you time to decide if they’re still worth spending money on or not anymore.
For more money tips and financial management ideas, get a copy of I Wish they Taught Money in High School at all major bookstores nationwide including National Bookstore, Fully Booked and Powerbooks. You can also purchase it online via www.lifestyleupgrade101.com/shop. We deliver for FREE nationwide!