If you are like me, then shopping constitutes as your therapy, your cardio and your stress relief all-in-one activity. It makes my heart happy but my bank account cry. I’ve needed a serious reality check regarding my shopping habits lately. I am the girl quick to spend $3.75 on a latte, go to the movies three nights a week and wants to go everywhere, but that just isn’t possible on my budget. These are the ways I’m making sure my spending habits are in check…
1. Analyze Your Spending/Saving Habits
The first thing I need to do is be realistic about my finances. What is coming in and what is going out? You can use an online service like Mint or create a chart to compare what you spend. Write down all of your essentials (food, rent, phone bill, Internet, loans, etc.) as well as what you would like to be spending money on/what you already are spending money on that isn’t necessary (manicures, clothing, Sunday brunch). Decide which items you can cut out of your budget and which are absolutely necessary in your life.
2. Leave It Behind
How do I really know that I want something? I leave it behind. I leave a store thinking, “No I don’t need this, I can always get it another day.” Then all I can do is think about that item. If you completely forget about it then you probably don’t care about it that much and can live without it. This is the best way to avoid a costly impulse buy.