It all started when your bff suggested you swing by Starbucks so you could try out the new Prickly Pear Frappuccino before you headed off to the beach. Then you used debit card to stock up on sun screen and water — two summertime necessities — and some snacks from CVS. Not a day later, you were swiping through the latest deals at H&M and snagging a few choice pieces for your summer wardrobe — of course, not forgetting to add a pair of sandals to match.
It’s nothing as serious an all-out spending spree but these small purchases can have the same negative effect on your finances. Every tap, swipe, and signaturealong the dotted line loosens a few dollars from your wallet until the bank balance blinking back at you is lower than you remembered — a lot lower. Suddenly, your modest pile of cash has dried up under the heat of your summer spending.
We’ve all been there before. When we realize we’ve spent more than we intend, it’s rarely ever one big purchase or single spending spree that tips us over into the red. No, the real culprit is the impulse buy — many of them to be precise. You know,that last-minute trip to Starbucks, the addition of snacks at the till, and the lure of an online sale.
Sometimes, as in the case of those snacks tacked on right before you cash out, it’s mindless buying habits that cause us to spend more than you mean. Others, it’s a classic case of #FOMO—or the Fear Of Missing Out. Instagram is full of people’s reactions to the latest Starbucks creation and your friends want you to try it with them. If you said no you could lose out on an amazing flavor and unforgettable time.
Then there’s a different subsect of spending entirely: instant gratification. Those purchases that make you feel a sudden surge of exhilaration when you snag the last Ed Sheeran ticket or those buys that substitute comfort when you stock up on Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
It doesn’t matter which one you’re more prone to — they all have the ability to harm your long-term financial goals. Goals like setting aside cash for a rainy day, contributing to a retirement plan, investing in mutual funds, or even funding your next summer vacation.
Whether it’s mindless purchases or #FOMO that’s your weakness, they’re all equally hard to stop. The art of self-discipline doesn’t come easy to all of us, especially those who are susceptible to a little retail therapy.
For some of us, our spending habits make it hard to cover necessities or unexpected emergencies. This is a frightening experience if you have no family to turn to for help. Depending on your history, conventional lenders may not help you either, leaving you wondering how you’ll pay for everything in time. Luckily, a company like MoneyKey, a direct lender of payday loans, offers a convenient alternative to family and the nation’s biggest banks. With loans that typically range between $200 and $1,000, the loan specialists at MoneyKey provide an ideal way to recover from your overspending.
They are not a long-term solution, however. To reverse the effects of your spending, you’ll have to do the hard task of eliminating your temptations. Though it may be difficult, it’s not impossible. You can improve your chances when you make the effort to change up your buying habits.
Leave your house with a plan. Use lists and budgets to keep you on track anytime you have to make a purchase.
Lock up your credit cards. If you suspect you’ll be triggered into buying things you shouldn’t, leave your credit cards at home. Carry only the cash you absolutely need to help squash overindulging. While you’re at it, uninstall mobile purchasing apps like Apple Pay from your phone, and you’ll eliminate one more temptation.
Make a goal board. Unleash your crafty side and create a dream board of all the things you want in your future. It doesn’t have to be flashy. It can even be a simple list if you aren’t creative. Just make sure it’s within your line of sight at least once a day, so you can remind yourself why you’re making these sacrifices.
Remove yourself from expensive situations.Sometimes we’re blindsided by our purchases. Other times we walk into a situation knowing full-well it will lead to over spending. Try to avoid these environments if you can. Let your friends know your financial goals and see if they’re willing to meet somewhere that won’t cause you to drop money.
Don’t be discouraged. Impulse buying is addictive, so don’t be surprised if you slip up now and then. The important part is how you recover from these minor indiscretions. Don’t get hung up on your mistakes; just move forward and start the next day without making a single purchase.
Keep positive, keep your head down, and keep trying to save money. It’s all you can do. It won’t be easy at first, but after a while it won’t be as hard. Before you know it, your anemic savings account will start to flesh out a bit and the lure of instant gratification will no longer compromise your financial goals.