I need you to hear this loud and clear:
You do NOT have to stop spending money when you create a financial plan.
You just need to stop spending money on s*** you don’t care about —->
Tell me if this is you:
- You realize you want something.
- You go right to Amazon and purchase it.
- Later that night, you get hit with a wave of regret, realizing you once again caved to impulse buying.
Or maybe this is you:
- You feel like you make good money.
- You don’t feel like you are buying giant or extravagant items.
- But at the end of every month, you wonder – where and the heck did all my money go?
Let me say this one more time…
You don’t have to stop spending money. You just need to stop spending money on s*** you don’t care about.
It’s vital to identify the root of what’s causing you to shop and what your triggers may be. Trying to adjust your behavior without recognizing why it’s there isn’t likely to result in long-term change.
How do you do that?
Let’s work through some of my favorite tips and exercises I use with my one-on-one clients:
Reframe your purchase to something you love
I try to frame my purchases with the two discretionary spends I love most – food and travel! If I’m about to purchase something for $60 online, I will always reframe my purchase with what else could I spend this on?
- Checking luggage guilt-free.
- A fun night out at the new restaurant I’ve wanted to try but a wee bit expensive.
- Booking the slightly nicer AirBnB for my next trip.
Let’s be real here! Sometimes no matter how I reframe the purchase, I still want that item. But, I feel so good knowing that I paused and made sure this purchase would really bring me joy.
Suppose you find yourself saying “meh, I’ll pass”. Nice work! Be proud of yourself for walking away. Acknowledge that you just passed on a purchase because you would rather spend it on something else you love.
2. Set up physical and virtual hurdles
- Cancel all your retail email subscriptions. No seriously…Do It. Just like it doesn’t make sense to go to a store if you’re trying to spend less, it doesn’t make sense to subject yourself to the temptation of email offers.
- Clear your computer cookies! If you want something bad enough, you will go get your plastic of choice.
- Delete your shopping and food delivery apps on your phone. I find that my clients find this to be incredibly beneficial for food delivery apps.
3. Gamify (Always!)
- Use the 48-hour rule: One of my favorite tactics is the two-day shopping cart purchase pause. Every time you add an item to your online shopping cart, you must leave it there for two days before purchasing. If you really still want the item after 48 hours, then buy it — but you’ll find that using this strategy will recognize real needs from impulse buys.
One Day A Week Cart: Add things to your shopping cart, but only allow yourself to make ALL of your online shopping purchases one day of the week (Sundays, for example). Not only does this incorporate the 48-Hour Rules, but this will also help you see what you are about to spend in a snapshot and help you make decisions about what you really want vs what is an impulse purchase.
Was this helpful?
Understanding WHY you spend money is the very first step to financial freedom. Creating awareness around emotional spending is one of the first things I tackle with my clients in 1:1 coaching.
If you are ready to learn more about your own spending habits and how to become aware of them, set up a Discovery Call with me today.
Hi, I’m Mickallyn, a Mortgage Lender/Banker turned Financial Coach. When student loans put me in debt, I knew I didn’t want to live the rest of my life paying them off, so I figured out how to pay them all off in just a year. Now I have zero debt, 3 homes, 4 college degrees and am raising two little boys. I’ve traveled to over 22 countries and live a debt free life. I’m committed to helping others do the same through 1 on 1 coaching and personalized plans that actually work.
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