A Facebook friend asked me an interesting question the other day.
How do you keep yourself from buying random things and going off budget? I’m always coming home with things that I never really meant to go out and get. But in the store I think, “Oh, that is a good price” or “Oh, I need that and didn’t think of it before”. That kind of stuff. The having a list helps, but doesn’t always neutralize the impulse shopper in me. Any other tips?
I hear you! I have a hard time controlling my impulse buys, and have for many years, even after trying and trying to learn to be more frugal. I think that it takes a lot of practice to not buy things on impulse.
I’m greatly helped by the fact that the culture of spending and buying is much less prevalent in France than in the United States, although that may have changed now with the recession. There are fewer opportunities to spend (stores aren’t open as late, nor on Sunday), and there aren’t as many credit cards being pushed on people.
I also try to have ‘no-spend’ days where I don’t spend any money at all. Along with that comes the days where I try to plan my spending- I know that I want to buy XY&Z (new fall clthes for my daughter, for example), and so I head out on a certain day to buy them. But I don’t try to plan too much, other than giving myself a general limit and having a general idea of what I want to buy. By trying to have a mix between planned and not too planned, I hope to be able to keep my spending a bit under control.
Being frugal takes practice and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m far from perfect!
Your turn: What advice do you have for Rachel? How do you keep a lid on impulse purchases? Do you shop from a list? Have no spend days?