On my journey to financial freedom, I knew I had to replace bad spending habits with good ones so I could achieve my financial goals in a timely manner. So, I created spending guidelines for myself. These standards were key to me overcoming my impulsive spending habits. Please take a moment to read them and add the ones that will enhance your financial plan.
Spending Guideline #1: I track my spending in my financial planner every Sunday.
Write down what you have spent during the previous 7 days each week for three months the Monthly Expense Tracker page of The Ultimate Financial Planner. This exercise gives you more insight on your spending triggers and habits. You may find that you habitually spend too much in Target every Monday after work as a means to relieve stress. But if you don’t do this exercise, you wont be able to identify your habits and you wont be able to correct them.
Spending Guideline #2: One “No Spend Week” per month.
Create a “no spend week” for yourself once a month to show yourself that you do not need to spend money every day. You are very capable of just living your life without constantly depleting your bank account.
Spending Guideline #3: I wait 24 hours before making large purchases.
When you find items you would like to purchase, browse the store while holding onto them for 5-10 minutes. This technique will allow time to ponder and decide if you really want or need the items.
When online shopping, add the items that you want in the shopping cart and leave it there a few days. Again, this gives you time to check in with your emotions and decide if a larger purchase is a wise purchase.
Do not use shopping as a stress-relieving method. When you are in an emotional state, your judgment is poor and you are more likely to spend impulsively.
Spending Guideline #4: I only shop with a limited amount of cash (the amount is determined each month in my budget). A debit/credit card does not come with me to the shopping malls.
Using cash and leaving your debit card tucked away will deter you from overspending because most of your money is “inaccessible” to you. This technique helps you stick to your spending plan and forces you to choose which pieces of clothing you are going to purchase versus purchasing all of them.
Spending Guideline #5: I am only allowed to shop if I have a list present. No browsing or window-shopping during this time of becoming financially free.
Chances are if you did not go to the store or mall for the items in your cart, you don’t need them and you are spending impulsively.
Now I want to hear from you…
Question: Do you currently have spending guidelines in place that keep you on track to achieving your financial goals? Leave your response in the comment section below.