Borrowers who become over-reliant on paycheck advances almost always struggle with resisting spending urges. When the urge to splurge sets in, the impulse can be difficult to extinguish. Many consumers succumb to the spending urge only to end up with buyer’s remorse and a mountain of debt later on. Too often, borrowers use paycheck advances to finance past or future spending sprees for items that are largely unnecessary. If you would like to break the borrowing cycle, you will need to learn to fight your spending urges. In this post, we’ll give you helpful, practical suggestions to help you control impulse spending.
Impulse spenders often have trouble discerning needs from wants. Advertisers barrage consumers with marketing messages whose goal it is to make buyers want something they probably do not need. These messages are psychologically compelling and may be difficult to ignore. For this reason, it’s important to become cognizant of why you buy and remain aware of the difference between purchasing wants and needs. For instance, you might be tired of your old pair of trainers and would like to buy the fancy new pair you saw advertised on tele. However, unless your old shoes are falling apart, you probably don’t need that new pair. Teach yourself to hold off on any purchases for which you haven’t saved in advance.
One effective way to curb your spending is to put an index card in your purse or wallet. Whenever you encounter an item you’d like to purchase, jot it down on your card. Make yourself wait at least one or two weeks before you buy the item. Think of this time as a cooling-off period. During this time, if you see another item you’d like to buy, you can add it to your card as long as you never have more than three items on the card at any given time. In other words, if you already have three items on your index card and see something else you want to buy, you will need to remove an item from the card before you add the new item. When impulse spenders adopt the index card method, they usually find that they are always erasing old desired items to make space for the latest must-have purchase.
Impulse spending is infinitely easier to control when your money supply is limited. That is, if you limit your spending to what you have on hand in cash, you will naturally spend less money. Credit cards and even debit cards can make you feel as if your money supply is endless or that you’re spending money that isn’t “real.” By forcing yourself to pay in cash, you are more visually aware of exactly how much you’re spending. In addition, if you take out a certain amount of cash per week and forbid yourself from spending more than that allowance, you will not have the means to spend impulsively and still pay your other bills.