Today I wanted to share a savings tip with you from a former Spokester from Young & Free Alberta. It's extremely simple, but can be very effective when it comes to curbing your spending.
Impulse purchases can be dangerous because when you're in the moment of spending, you forget all about any savings goals or budgeting plans; all you can think of is what you're buying! It's only after you've returned home with all your shopping bags that you realize how much money you've just spent – and then buyer's remorse sets in.
Over the weekend I made an impulse buy on a great new leather handbag. I love the bag, but when I returned home I realized I also made another hefty shoe purchase just last week. I was disappointed with myself knowing that I have a specific saving goal for my future. This job as Spokester has allowed me to use the Green Machine as my own, but when the new Spokester takes over next summer I'll need a new ride. And buying a car takes money. So here are some great tips to remind yourself of your saving goals:
Place visual reminders of your saving goals in your wallet
This is an effective way of reminding you about your financial plans when all your brain can think about is spending.
You can place a small photo or message in with your cash, or make a simple photo sleeve for your debit or credit card by taping two pieces of paper together. The reminder can be positive or negative – as long as it makes you think twice before reaching for your debit card! Here are some different ideas:
- Write out a noticeable message on a piece of paper, like "Are you serious? You have food at home!" and keep it with your cash if you're prone to spur-of-the-moment fast food expenses.
- Keep a photo of a savings goal (a vacation scene, a laptop, a pair of shoes, or anything else you're saving up to buy) in a visible spot in your wallet. When you open it up, you'll realize that there are more important things you'd rather spend your money on than whatever it is you're about to buy.
- 'Decorate' a homemade credit card/debit card sleeve with the amount of debt you're in the process of paying off or with your tuition costs. It may not be the friendliest form of motivation – but whenever you pull out the plastic, you'll be reminded of your true financial priorities.
So try it out for yourself! Place visual cues near your money to stay on financial track.