The health of your finances is determined by the way we spend money and what we spend money on. What you decide to spend your money directly influences your success in saving and budgeting even while you may be frivolous or big spender.
If you are having troubles with meeting your monthly goals or are continually breaking your budget, it could be time to look at the way you spend. Below are 7 ways you can improve your spending habits and get back on track with your budget.
Assess what you spend on.
Look at your bank statements for the past month. Where has your money been going? Write down categories you see yourself spending in, such as dining out and gas purchases. You may be surprised at finding a higher dollar amount being spent than you previously thought. Assessing your spending will give you an excellent place to start making changes or cutbacks.
Don’t impulse buy.
It is a bad decision to buy things on impulse. It is not a must you buy it because it is on sale or something you want. Rule of thumb says if you didn’t walk into the store for that item, don’t buy it.
Plan your purchases.
It is advisable to shop around first before you buy what you need or want. Give room for comparison and never buy the first deal you come across. Patience and discipline can play a significant role in developing this habit. If you don’t need what your shopping for urgently, taking that extra bit of time to make your decision is usually worth it.
Don’t shop according to mood
Never shop while hungry. There is a lot of truth to it. Your purchases will often lead your hunger instead of rationality if you haven’t eaten in a while and you decide to take care of your grocery. Our moods directly influence spending habits in other areas as well. The next time you make a purchase that you don’t feel so great about after, pay attention to what mood you were in beforehand. It may help you consciously avoid this type of purchase next time.
Look at what motivates your purchases.
Purchases can be often motivated by the wrong things and it can lead to bad decisions being made. One of the things that can negatively drive your spending is moods. There are other factors that may repeat themselves in our buying habits. For instance, maybe you’re purchasing lunch every day while on your break because it’s the most convenient thing for you to do. You can easily change this into an opportunity to save money, however, if you prepared your lunch the night before at home and brought it with you.
Budget for fun activities.
When you are trying to spend and stay on track with your budget, it does not mean you have to eliminate everything you enjoy. You would even be saving money for yourself when you budget for things you enjoy. When there is no room in spending on fun things and activities, it creates an avenue for you to buy on impulse which you may later feel guilty of eventually. You will have the opportunity to have fun and still stay on budget if you allow yourself cash to play with.
Stop signing up for monthly subscription services.
Monthly subscription services can be enticing because they are convenient for services or goods you want at the time, and often they will offer discounts with your promise to buy them regularly. The fact of the matter is that often you subscribe and forget, or hardly use – but the charges keep getting taken out of your bank account. Scrap the monthly subscriptions unless it’s something you have a track record of actually using enough to warrant the signup.