5 Ways to Create Healthier Spending Habits
For spontaneous spenders, the word “budgeting” can cause alarm bells, with the thought of having money left over at the end of the month seeming unattainable. People often think budgeting means having to cut back on the things that they enjoy. Being money smart doesn’t have to mean you miss out.
It was recently reported that in their lifetime, a British person will spend on average £144,000 on impulse shopping. This can include anything from the chocolate bar that you grab as you get to the till and other small purchases which soon add up, to regularly splashing out on new clothes.
There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself every once in a while, who doesn’t deserve a little retail therapy. However, if this is happening a little too often and you’re in need of looking after the pounds, there are a number of changes you can make.
The experts at PIWoP, a price drop alert tool, know how important the value is of every pound that you save. They offer five ways that people can create healthier spending habits and become money savvy.
Are you more attracted to the sale or the item?
It can be tempting to pick up a product because the discount on it seems too good to miss, sometimes this appeals to consumers even more than the item itself. If this is the case, think about if you really need it, if it’s the money off label that’s caught your attention rather than the actual product, leave it on the shelf and save yourself money. That way, when you see something that you really want, even if it’s at full price, you’re more likely to have the extra money available to buy it.
Budget and prioritise
Some expenses come out every month, write down what these are and then work out what you have left over. Then factor in things which are bound to occur, such as meeting friends for dinner or needing new school shoes for the kids. Prioritise these additional outgoings, certain things will need budgeting for, a weekly takeaway pizza is unfortunately not one of them! Cutting out spending that isn’t a priority could leave you with considerably more money at the end of the month.
Why are you spending?
Treating yourself to a new outfit so you feel confident at an upcoming event or rewarding yourself after a lot of hard work is of course okay. However, if this happens on a regular basis and your bank account is suffering for it, it might be time to change your spending habits. Consider why you are spending and how productive it is. For example, if you spend when you are stressed or bored, there are other ways to blow off some steam that are considerably cheaper. Spending is often used as a short-term fix to feeling better, as soon as you remind yourself of this, you’ll be less tempted to overspend.
Do you need the item now?
Finding a product that you really like or can imagine yourself needing for your next holiday or when the house is redecorated can make it easy to buy it right away. However, think about if you really need the item right now. If you’re moving house next year, although those lamps or expensive armchair might get you feeling excited, it might be better to wait for any upcoming end of season sales. Technology is helping consumers to do this by taking price comparison services one step further, such as the PIWoP tool. It allows consumers who have the tool installed on their computer, tablet or phone and see an item they like, to use it to enter the price they want to pay for it and the tool then alerts them if that item does go to or more likely below their PIWoP (Price I Want to Pay). Even waiting until the next day can make you realise that you don’t really need it, or that your money could be better spent elsewhere.
If you’re a real foodie who enjoys going out to eat, creating healthier spending habits doesn’t mean you have to stop doing what you enjoy. Or you might be interested in fashion and are eager to keep up with what’s new this season. Set yourself goals such as only eating at a restaurant one or two times a month (or however much you can afford without overspending) or allow yourself a couple of treats a month when it comes to clothes. Saving money while still allowing yourself a few luxuries will feel much more satisfying than regularly spending and then feeling stressed a few weeks after.