You go to the mall and plan to just window shop, but you come home with a bag or two of new items. You want to save money, but because you’re stressed, you mindfully buy an extra muffin on your way home. You think taking a cab instead of biking to work is more convenient. And you don’t care about the loose change you dropped on the floor.
You may not be spending on big-ticket items, but your small and thoughtless purchases could be damaging your wallet. Here’s how to be more mindful of your spending to keep your savings up:
List Your Expenses
There’s no better way to be mindful of your spending than by listing everything you purchase, down to the smallest item. Yes, this includes the dollar-store purchase that you think is inconsequential. When you categorize your purchases, you’ll see just how much those purchases are costing you monthly. Keep a notebook and list everything down at the end of the day before you sleep so you can reflect on your spending. It might be hard to remember to do it at first, but work on making it a habit and you’ll thank yourself in the future.
We live in a time when online shopping is just as prevalent as heading to the mall to shop impulsively. Online shopping is convenient, and items get delivered to your doorstep. All you have to do is click a couple of buttons and voila! Your new purchases will be there in a day or two. It might be hard to keep track of your expenses when some of them are made online because there is no physical receipt, but there are apps that can help you with this. As soon as you buy face mask online, key it into your preferred app. Then, for your physical purchases, take photos of your actual receipts so you can keep a record of them online too.
Buy It Later
Impulse purchases are just that–impulsive. When you’re out and you don’t know how much is still in your account, you may be tempted to buy just one item and appease yourself. Then, you come home and realize you’ll have to pinch pennies because you spent too much and payday is still a couple of days away. Self-control would have stopped this from happening. Next time you feel like you really need to buy that one item, walk away and come back for it the next day. You’ll have time to assess your finances and see if you still want it. Of course, if it’s something you really need, you can go ahead and buy it. But if it’s an impulse buy, you won’t want it as much after some time has passed.
Everyone has that weakness that they spend money on. If it’s something that will make you happy, go ahead and buy it. However, if that happiness is temporary and you’ll regret it later, it’s best to be wise and save instead.