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I am a sucker for coffee shops. When you walk in and that aroma of fresh ground beans hits you like a wall, you see the shelves with custom designed mugs and tinkers. It is so enticing and easy to say, "Well, it's only $9.99." For others, it might be that swimsuit on sale or that tool set on sale for Memorial Day weekend.
Before you spend your paycheck this weekend as many people are about to receive their Friday paycheck, I have 3 tips to provide you to help save you money and to strengthen your financial situation.
According to Ellie Kay & Danna Demetre in Lean Body Fat Wallet, this book focuses on losing weight, paying off debt, and saving money, but what you may find intriguing is their take on dumping debt.
In Chapter 3, they discuss the 3D Habit which stands for Determine, Distract, and Delay. You utilize these strategies to deter any temptation with shopping urges or impulses you may crave when walking the aisles or feel that sudden urge to buy that item on sale.
This can also apply to eating at restaurants.
#1 Recognize you do/don't need it
When impulses occur, we tend not to think logically. Some of you may be emotional shoppers. Some may by on a whim or it is a de-stressor, etc. Whatever the situation may be, ask yourself, "Do I really NEED, not want, NEED this item?"
Then ask yourself what would you do with this item and will you and the family benefit from it.
Finally, does it impact your finances? If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, have overdrafts, or already struggles to keep your bill payments on time, then need to prioritize. You must make your payments on time and first prior to any purchases for a variety or reasons.
#2 Find a distraction
If you still find yourself wanting to purchase that item, find a distraction such as shopping around to check out other more affordable options or search online. This can separate you from that item to really let you focus and think it through if you can really afford that purchase.
Sometimes the frustration of shopping around will make you realize the item isn't worth the effort.
Also, it gives your mind a chance to start questioning itself and becomes more logical. If you find this to continue to be an issue, then you must recognize that and plan your day where it avoids such temptations and distractions.
When it comes to shopping, I have a tendency to spend money at one particular retail store. Because I am a big fan of their clothing and the way it fits, I recognize and understand that I must avoid this store when out and about making errands or shopping for the kids.
Recognizing that temptation and finding a distraction is the best tool.
#3 Think about your purchase
Dave Ramsey discusses Chapter 5, Ignorance and Keeping Up with the Joneses, in his book The Total Money Makeover, that buying items just to keep with your friends or neighbors is frivolous and irresponsible. As humans, we tend to have a habit of focusing on what we don't have versus recognizing what we do have.
My son has just about every Lego known to man because of his collection over the years. Yet, every time we walk the mall, we must visit the Lego Store and instantly I hear, "I don't have that one!". It's the same mentality as a 6-year old that we share in common with our friends. We want that nice SUV or nice patio set, etc.
I hope these three ways to avoid your impulses to shopping has helped you saved money. If you found useful ways to curb your appetite for spending, comment below to share with our community.