You see it, you want it, you buy it—and then comes that steady wave of regret. We’ve all been in this cycle at one point or another, and it doesn’t feel great. But if you’ve gotten into the habit of impulse spending—whether it’s on a regular basis or simply when you’re under stress—it can be difficult to save money and get ahead.
Let’s save more of your money so you can watch it grow and improve your financial health. Here are nine easy, effective tips to help you get started. As always, we welcome you to contact Interior Savings for personalized financial advice.
Forget about your money
If you tuck money away where you can’t easily see it, you’ll be less likely to spend it—especially if you check your bank account balance regularly and avoid using credit cards. Start a savings account and have automated deposits every week. Trust us—even a small amount helps! Not only will this strategy force you to be mindful with what’s in your day-to-day bank account, it will help you build an emergency fund.
If you like shopping, no problem—just be sure to plan ahead. Use the auto-deposit strategy described above but instead of having it go into an emergency fund, consider that account “fun money” and splurge on whatever you’d like at the end of every month. This routine should satisfy your urge to shop while keeping you on track.
Planning ahead in general is very helpful. When you make a list, price things out and stick to your plan, you’re far less likely to go overboard and overspend (or buy things that aren’t on your list at all). Planning and budgeting your dollars is an effective way to stay focused and avoid temptation, so give it a try.
Keep your eyes on the prize
If you have a big goal—for example, a vacation or a down payment on a house—display visual reminders to keep you focused on your goal. This may mean posting a photo of your dream home or ideal vacation destination on the fridge or near your computer. Or, make it the background image on your phone. It’s also smart to review your goals regularly and track your progress, as this can be very motivating.
Delete your credit card details
Tempted to shop online at the touch of a button? Delete your credit card and other payment information from all websites and apps. You may also want to delete Apple Pay, Google Pay and other smartphone features that make spending quick and easy (trust us, the loss of convenience is better than the loss of spending money). Adding this manual step may be the pause you need to reconsider purchases and make better financial decisions.
Give yourself an allowance
If you want to be able to spend (relatively) freely throughout the month, give yourself a cash allowance or deposit an allowance in a specific savings account. This discretionary spending fund can also be put onto a prepaid credit card each month, if you prefer. Find out what method works best for you, set it up and stay on budget!
Take a time out when shopping online
Online browsing often leads to a lot of “add to cart” moments, but you don’t need to pull the trigger and complete every purchase. Instead of checking out, walk away and wait 24 hours. You may find that you don’t need (or even want) those purchases after all. Waiting is always better than spending and regretting it.
Delete your shopping apps
Avoid spending temptation by deleting any apps from your favourite retailers. You should also delete meal delivery apps, as these costs add up quickly and cost way more than cooking at home ever would. If you really want takeout, budget for it and avoid delivery apps with extra surcharges. Collectively, those fees can take a big bite out of your budget.
Hit that unsubscribe button
If you open your inbox in the morning, see a bunch of promotions from your favourite brands and feel inclined to click through to their website, it’s time to stop temptation at the source. Search the word “unsubscribe” in your inbox and remove yourself from any and all retail mailing lists. It’s that easy—goodbye marketing emails, hello more money in your bank account.
Get to the root of your spending
If you’re still struggling with impulse buying, it may be time to figure out why you’ve got this particular behavioural trait. Try getting to the root of it—are you bored? Feeling sad, lonely or tired? Are you avoiding work, household chores or an emotional situation in your personal life? Talk it out with a trusted friend, think about it independently or consider consulting with a cognitive behavioural therapist for professional advice. You’ll be glad you addressed the underlying issue so you can move forward with your financial health. Good luck—we know you’ve got this!