If your goals include reducing or controlling your spending, you’ve got to figure out ways to tame the temptation beast.
The world we live in now has so many more temptations than when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. There was no facebook, instagram or Kardashian’s (thank God!). The world was smaller and there were fewer Jones’s to keep up with.
In your 20’s and 30’s, you are laying the foundation for your financial life. You are making the decisions that will determine whether you are hanging out in a golf cart or handing out grocery carts. If you make the right choices and develop the right habits, you’ll set yourself up for success.
So what are the best ways to control temptation? Drum roll please, my top five ways to control temptations:
5. Consider a shopping ban for a week, a month or a year. Just like it is easier to have no cookies than just one cookie, it is easier to spend nothing on non-necessities for a period of time. This reduces your decision making to one question: Is it a necessity? If it isn’t a necessity, skip it for the period of time you’ve established. Need inspiration? Check out how Cait completed a two year shopping ban.
4. Use a list or a cart and put purchases in it for a 48 hour holding period. If you’re still thinking about this purchase in 48 hours, it is in your budget and if you don’t have any “bad” debt, go for it.
3. Set up separate savings accounts for each of your goals: Emergency Fund, Christmas Fund, Tire Fund, or Next Great Adventure Fund. Transfer money into each of these accounts monthly. Leave only what you have budgeted this month in your regular checking account so when that balance runs low, you’re done spending.
2. Automate a transfer to savings each time you get paid. With direct deposit, you should be able to send your paycheck to two different accounts–check with your HR department. If that is not available to you, set up an automatic transfer with your bank.
1. Automate your retirement contributions at work; ask if you can automatically increase your contribution by 1% when you receive your next raise.
Many of these are out of sight out of mind solutions. It is much easier to stick to your goals when you have moved money out of your sight.
What works for you? What did I miss?