One of the biggest roadblocks to frugal living include really bad shopping habits that need to be broken. Investopedia’s list of 6 Habits That Will Make You Broke inspired us to express our thoughts on four of their six points. These are some of the most common habits that really wreck one’s budget. And if shopaholics keep on harboring these habits, then not even the best budgeting tools will help them dig out of the ditch they’ll certainly get themselves into. The first step to resolving your financial problems is to acknowledge what you’ve got and deciding to address them.
So, if you’re guilty of any of these habits, see what you can do about acting on them.
The four major bad habits that Investopedia had pointed out are the following:
1. Window Shopping – If you don’t see it, then you won’t want it. While window shopping IS pretty relaxing, the major problem is that when you see an item you really want and hope to get, you tend to succumb to impulse buying. In a moment of weakness, you may make an unnecessary dent on your budget, or worse, your credit card. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a no annual fee credit card or any other card with fabulous terms — you’re still spending your money and paying interest on it. If it’s not in your budget, and if it’s not a scheduled purchase, then it’s something you shouldn’t be purchasing at the moment. So, if window shopping is really a source of relaxation for you, try going window shopping without cash or cards.
Also, it may help to schedule your purchases of certain items. For instance, buy clothes only quarterly, and stock up money for that time, and go looking at merchandise only then. That way, if you do make a dent on the budget, then it’s scheduled, justified, and actually factored in. Nothing gets edged out, and your budget remains well preserved.
2. Carrying Lots of Cash – Doing this can make you feel like you have the liberty to spend all your money on items that are not necessary. If you don’t have too much on you, then you’ll be less tempted to spend. You can think about carrying a prepaid debit card along with you that’s funded up to a reasonable amount, or try going out with only enough money to buy what you need (or for emergencies). That way, you don’t touch the money that may actually be meant for more important things, like your monthly rent.
3. Shopping With Your Emotions – Comfort shopping is detrimental to your financial health. Really. When you try to comfort yourself by buying stuff, you’re encouraging a bad shopping habit while repressing emotions that actually need to be dealt with. If you’re facing major problems and you cope with it by shopping, you’re only creating another problem for yourself — a financial one. So stop the bad habits and end the bad cycle. Don’t shop when you’re in trouble. Face your main problem. And when you need to comfort yourself, find cheap or free ways to ease your emotions. Play with your kids or your pets. Become a volunteer. You could also ask your spouse to give you a massage. Or, you could watch the sunrise, sunset, or the autumn leaves fall on your porch. Try anything that can warm your heart without costing you a fortune.
4. Not Planning Ahead – Is it time for you to admit to yourself that You Need A Budget? There is a higher likelihood of you being able to stop impulse spending if you’ve written down the things you could and should buy or spend on, and then actually stick to your list. A budget gives you financial boundaries; following it should help you control your finances.
Investopedia has some great points, and we agree. Let’s all follow these tips, and get financially fit!