Whether we like to admit it or not, we’re all susceptible to impulse buying.
Danielle Wagasky, who stretched $14,000 a year to cover her family’s needs for five years, knows from first-hand experience.
Before becoming such a savvy saver, she dug herself into a financial hole. “I went shopping way too often. I went grocery shopping even when I didn’t need to because I was bored,” she writes in her book, “Living a Beautiful Life on Less.”
“I was constantly dipping into our savings to cover our checking account. I was late on bills and overdrafting like it was going out of style.”
Little by little, she curbed her overspending habit and dug herself out of debt. She also learned to resist impulse buys, thanks to one, simple strategy: When she sees something she wasn’t planning on buying and doesn’t actually need, she puts off the purchase for at least a day.
“Don’t purchase it on the spot,” Wagasky writes in her book. “Go home and think it over. If you decide it is something you would like to have, then add it to your budget and save for it. If the item is really worth it, you will save for it. If you don’t want to take the time to save for it, then you probably don’t really need it.”
This strategy is particularly handy when you’re considering sale items. It’s easy to justify spending money on something that seems like such a great deal, but “just because something is on sale does not mean you need to buy it,” she emphasises. “It is not a good deal if you don’t really need it.”