Humans by nature have good days and bad days – some days we are weak and some we are strong.

It is entirely possible to convince yourself of something one day and do the total opposite the following day.  Here we share some strategies to put in place on your strong days to help you through the not so strong ones.

Let the saver in you preach to the spender in you for an agreed period of time and see what changes you can make.

Take a month off spending

There are so many ways to help yourself stick to this.  One idea is to make a bargain that you won’t purchase anything outside of essentials for a full month.  Stick a calendar on your fridge or cupboard door and each time you have the desire to make a purchase write down it down on that date with the price.  If the impulse fades, put a line through it, if it’s still there at the end of the month and you’ve worked through the below techniques, maybe it’s worth buying.

Work out what your purchase costs you in work hours

If you really want that dress, how much does it convert to in work hours?  As an example $200 might be 4 hours of your pre-tax salary.  That’s half a day of the blood, sweat and tears that contributed to the money in your account.  Is it still worth it?

Stay away from your weak spots

If there is a certain mall, shopping strip or shop that you tend to spend at just don’t go there.

Unsubscribe from retail store emails

Do you really need to know when a shop has a sale?  If you need an item, you will look for it.  These emails have the tendency to entice us to spend money when we wouldn’t otherwise do so.  For those who want access to these emails when you need an item, consider setting up a separate email account from your everyday account.  The constant barrage of emails won’t get in to your psyche and encourage you to spend.

Have alternatives to shopping when you are bored or looking for something to do

If you find yourself about to jump online and peruse a catalogue or hit one of the online shopping sites have a list of go-to things you can do instead.  Read a magazine, have a hot bath with a good book, go for a run, head to the beach for a walk or swim, pick up the phone and have a chat with someone you would normally chat with online.  Stay away from the computer/tablet/phone!

Have a money goal

Do you have plans or aspirations that require money to help you achieve them?  What are they?  How much do you need?  Think about how you want your money to work for you, and understand what non-essential purchases do to the timeline that leads to achieving your goal.

Change the way you pay

Often we stick our non-essential purchases on credit card.  A savings account balance going down can be unattractive where using the credit card is pain free.  Consider paying cash instead, for some this can be an immediate deterrent.

Stash your non-essential spending money in an online account

Put a middle step in between you and your money.  Rather than having all your funds easily accessible consider having funds for non-essential spending in an account that you need to shift money from overnight.  24 hours to think about the purchase coupled with the inconvenience of moving money may cut down the impulse.

Shop with a list

When you do hit the shops, do it with a list.  Sticking to your list is a great habit to get yourself in to.  You can use this throughout the year as well.  Know your gift recipients through the year, and any big purchases you are intending on making.  Shop around and plan rather than heading out just to buy!

Check out online spending reports

To motivate and educate yourself just that little bit more, check your spending reports over the last week or month.  This will help you understand where your money is going and potentially the hot spots you need to stay away from.  This can be a rewarding experience as you change your spending habits and see change happen in front of you.

Do you spend a lot of money on impulse purchases? SHARE WITH US in the comments below. 

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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  • I recently went through my wardrobe, chucked some things out and found things that I had forgotten about. I feel like I have a brand new wardrobe and won’t need to buy clothes for a while


  • well done to these who manage to save. it can be hard to do and especially when you want to give your kids the best. great article by the way.


  • We started actively shopping with a list and it has definitely helped curb unnecessary items. We have also changed from several small shops to only one larger one per week.


  • This is going to make a difference in my next shop!


  • thanks for posting this.
    I normally have a budget and this year did really well putting $100 away for 13 weeks as I booked myself with my mum to go to bali. putting $100 away was sooooo hard, it didn’t leave me much. im pretty sure if I was strict enough that I wasn’t buying rubbish food, I would have been okay. im basically all over the place in my mind lately this week, eating and drinking rubbish food, working more but less time at school with my kids which I feel guilty about.
    I don’t shop online but I used to look at catalogues until they stop turning up in my letterbox for unknown reason at the moment therefore im not tempted to buy anything unless I jump on the website. I went to savers which is a big op shop, I only went in there to look which I did but found out on the 23rd may savers is having a one off 50% off all clothings. ive found some clothes that im surprised its still there from last year unless its the same style but different clothing. im really want to buy some clothes but thinking wither I should take the risk to wait until the 23rd and if the clothes that I want is stil there, take it otherwise just miss out. I don’t have much clothes for myself as I normally get things for my kids. ive stopped buying toys for my children so they only wait for their birthdays/ xmas or they can save up for it. I only get clothes for my children if they are too small. my son’s clothes goes to my daughter which she’s a tomboy, my son has been comfortable wearing 2nd hand clothes but have got him few new clothes for outings. as for entertainment, im trying to do free things but using petrol isn’t free. we do have a bike each but haven’t used it as much as we should.
    I just need to get motivated and get out there saving money.


  • I did have an impulse shop the other day on DVD’s when l went to buy one but bought six as the price was so low! Normally l am pretty good thou!


  • I am such an expert in not impulse buying.
    Thankfully i dont enjoy shopping at all and never have.
    Ive always had to work to a strict budget which I think is part of the reason why i dont enjoy shopping.


  • Great tips thanks for sharing


  • Timely. Hubby and I were talking about our budget tonight. This is a great article thanks Jen.


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