While starting afresh is traditionally done at the beginning of a new year, there’s no reason why it can’t be done a few months down the line. More often than not, the trials and stresses of January mean that, by the time you’ve managed to recover from the holiday season, focus on work once more and re-route your way in efficiency, you’re far too exhausted to tackle any new task you set yourself at the end of December. Changing a significant part of your life can be best done once the dust has settled and you have time to give your all to the new project.
Being smarter with the way that we shop and spend money is something that many of us endeavour to do but in many cases, it is much easier said than done. With a lifetime of bad habits stacking up against us, we are often our own worst enemies when it comes to saving. Changing just a few small habits, however, can drastically change things up and before long, you might just notice a few extra pennies stacking their way up in your account. Just because you shop more smartly, it doesn’t mean that you can’t splurge from time to time.
Know Your Triggers
While we might aim to be sensible in the kinds of purchases that we make, there are certain areas in which many of us are helpless and, no matter how strong our resistance might seem to be, we just can’t help splashing the cash when faced with something we want. Identifying the areas in which you are more likely to spend money is a great first step in understanding how exactly you can avoid such impulse purchases. If shoes are your thing, try and avoid looking at shoe shops or online sales until you really need a new pair. Likewise, if you’re a sucker for makeup, make a list of the current items that you have and browse new purchases only when you’re sure you need a replacement. Avoiding what you can’t control is the first way to shop a little more carefully.
Change Your Routine
If you find yourself at the mall every weekend like clockwork, try changing up your routine to include new activities. Surrounding yourself with tempting purchases is one of the worst ways in which you can try to overcome your spending habits, so getting away from it all might just give you the perspective you need. You can try visiting friends, journeying to a nearby town or picking up a new hobby. Once you fill the gap that shopping once took in your life, you might be surprised by how much you don’t miss it at all.
Leave Before You Purchase
Although avoiding shops when you’re trying to save is a great idea, you will have to go shopping eventually and when you do, it pays to be smart about your approach. If you are looking to make a specific purchase, allow yourself sufficient time to really think it through before going ahead with it. Even if you find the perfect item, leave the store before buying it and come back an hour or so later. If you still feel the same way about the item, then you know that it is something that you genuinely want to buy; if you’re not sure about it, leave it and move on to something else.
Shop With A Specific List
Going out with only a vague idea of what you want to buy is a great way in which to get distracted and come back with arms full of shopping bags. While it might be hard at first, making yourself a specific list of items can be a great way of controlling your spending habits and only purchasing what you really need. If shopping lists like these don’t work for you, you can try taking out a specific amount of cash and leaving your credit cards at home. Shopping like this will mean you will only spend what you absolutely want to and won’t splurge on unnecessary items.
Take It Slowly
Changing all of your shopping habits at once might feel like a tempting idea but if you pile on too many techniques at once, you risk failing before you’ve even really begun. Habits take time in which to really take over and breaking old ones can often take even longer. Committing to one shopping method is a great idea in order to give yourself the time to get used to spending less and approaching your retail experience with a different head. The more comfortable you get with the new habits, the easier that picking up new ones will become!
What about you? Do you have any secrets about how to change your shopping habits? Comment below and let us know your best tricks!