Want to control your spending? Try the 30 day rule
You receive a notification on your phone. An online shopping site offers discounts on clothing and footwear. You check the offers and end up buying a few things because the offers were irresistible. But this was not the first time you have made such purchases.
Shopping can’t put a huge hole in your pocket. If you win well, say, ₹60,000 to 70,000 per month, spending occasionally ₹1000 to 1500 doesn’t sound like a lot. However, there was no rush to buy these items – you were shopping on impulse because you like something or the deal was too tempting.
Such little impulse purchases start to mess your finances over time without you realizing it. It’s not necessarily a question of how much is involved – it’s a matter of habit.
One solution to curb these impulse purchases is the 30-day rule. Not only can this help you break the habit of mindless spending, but it will also help you budget and instill discipline and better decision-making ability regarding your finances.
HOW THE RULE WORKS
The rule is simple: if you see something you want, wait 30 days before buying it. After 30 days, if you still want to purchase the item, proceed to purchase. If you forget it or realize you don’t need it, you will end up saving that expense. Unspent money is money saved.
If you buy things on impulse, the 30-day rule can help you learn about deferred gratification and make smart spending decisions.
If you want to go further, save the money that is worth the price of the item in a fixed 30-day envelope or deposit. You reserve funds that you may or may not need later. In a way, you will end up budgeting for the purchase. If you don’t buy the item, invest that amount in your goals.
Initially, this may not work. But if there are few instances where you decide not to buy, you will start to feel good. Over time, you can curb impulse buying.
(Do you have personal finance questions? Send them to [email protected] and get answers from industry experts)
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