Spending is a huge part of everyday life, whether it’s paying your bills, purchasing groceries, or a big night out. But there’s another kind of spending to think about—the spending you do when you don’t really know that you’re doing it.
Tactics and considerations:
- Kill your “zombie spending” habits. We’re talking about all those purchases you don’t think about, that keep you mindlessly spending. These purchases could include the daily coffee on the way to work, the one-click ordering on Amazon, or all those Seamless meals. It all adds up.
- Consider the cash diet. That means putting away your credit cards and only spending with cash. Studies have shown that people spend less when they use cash.
- Check your credit card and bank statements for recurring charges, like gym memberships, meal plan subscriptions, publications, streaming services, even things you didn’t know you’d signed up for, but are being charged for anyway. Cancel what you don’t use, and maybe even what you do use.
- Rein in your impulse spending. These purchases are similar to your morning coffee habit, but can really put a dent in your budget. We’re talking about those new sneakers, jewelry, or household items you might buy on the spot. This may come as a shock, but consumers spend a whopping $450 a month impulsively, according to a recent study.
Try waiting a day before hitting the buy button or make a significant purchase in a store. A 24-hour “cool down” period could help you make buying less of an emotional decision. It could also give you some time to research cheaper options elsewhere.
What is impulse spending?
An unplanned decision to buy something on the spot.