In the next few weeks your spending is likely to go up, with all the gift-giving and festive days out, but that doesn’t mean that you have to let your shopping habit get the better of you! There are sure-fire ways of staying within your budget and learning to control your overspending habit:
Do you really need it?
The first thing you need to ask yourself when you are out shopping is ‘do I really need this?’ If I had £1 for every time the answer was ‘no’, I’d not need to have a budget! Loads of us are trapped making bad spending decisions, but it’s sometimes hard to stop; that’s why asking yourself the simple question, of ‘want or need?’ can break the cycle. If you do need it, and it’s within your budget, then go ahead. However, if you just like it, try not buying it straight away. Give yourself some cooling off time and you’ll probably find that after a while it loses its appeal!
Before you go shopping make a list of all the things you are heading out to buy. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a physical list, but make sure you have a definite idea of what you are looking for and how much you have to spend. By sticking to a list you stop yourself from picking up random items and wasting money on things you didn’t come out for.
Have a goal
Set a long-term money goal. Having something to focus your savings on is going to help you to cut down on making frivolous, impulse purchases. Choose something that you really want – a holiday, a new car or something a little smaller like some new clothes. Regardless of what you pick, make sure it means something to you.
Grab a frugal friend
Do you know someone who loves to live frugally? They are usually the friend that is very good at finding the best deals for practically anything. Well, if you do have someone like this, take them shopping with you! Give them a heads up that you need them to be your voice of reason when you are shopping. If you can’t get together for a shopping trip, give them a call when you are out just so you can get some clarity before you spend all your money!
If you think that going out shopping is too much temptation then take your shop online. Just like shopping in a store, go online with a list of what you are looking for. You might even manage to find a discount code or special offer; if you have time on your side set yourself up a Google alert to find the best possible price for the item you need.