How to stop wasting money on things you don’t need (leaving lockdown edition)

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Without a doubt, we are living in extraordinary times. With the lockdown measures being lifted, people’s spending patterns and habits are rapidly changing, affecting everything from food shopping to personal budgets. As a result of COVID-19, the nation has been shopping online and comfort spending a lot more to make up for the lack of social activities.

Now that there’s the option to eat out or go to the movies, everyone is going crazy and spending a lot more than they should, all in the name of ‘freedom’. Some of you have been cutting cuts during lockdown by waiting for sales or using online discount codes to save on your shopping; those codes only work online, not in store. As the outside is opening up, it is crucial not to get a handle on your spending habits. So here’s how to stop wasting money on this you don’t need.

Budgeting – 

Before you leave your house and start spending money carelessly, you need to take a look and write down what you’re earning, your monthly income, the expenses and the outgoings. Then figure out how much is realistic to spend on essentials and saving, whatever is remaining you can spend on treating yourself. There’s plenty of apps or online tools that could help you to save and budget better. Creating a budgeting plan can help you keep track of your spending whilst helping you save and reach your financial goals; it can also help show you where you’re overspending and where you need to cut back, such as buying too many take-aways or shoes. 

Delayed gratification

The idea of delayed gratification is the resistance to the temptation of a straightaway pleasure, with the hope that you can get something more valuable and long-lasting if you wait longer for it. For instance, you’re on a diet, and you have a weight goal; a few days into this diet, you want some fast food. But instead of getting it straight away and falling into temptation, you delay it until after you’ve reached your goal, knowing that it will taste and feel better later on as a reward, you won’t feel guilty for cheating on your diet and that you’ve accomplished your goal. 

This notion applies to your finances too. Set yourself realistic financial goals, and when you’ve met that, you can reward yourself accordingly. 

Think about it

Now that lockdown is over, you have to fight the urge to buy new unnecessary products for the sake of buying them. A lot of people spent more during lockdown because they were bored and found themselves with a lot more time on their hands, which is now an unconscious habit. Before your next pleasure purchase, ask yourself some questions.

  1. Why am I buying this
  2. Can I find a cheap version
  3. Is this really necessary
  4. How will this benefit my life
  5. How long will I use this for
  6. What do I already have in my wardrobe/cupboards

If you were unsuccessful with talking yourself out of buying, then the final deterrent is sleeping. Before you confirm that order, sleep on it. See how you feel when you wake up, majority of the time, you either won’t remember that order basket, or you’ll realise that you don’t need it. But feel free to add it to your wishlist so that you can treat yourself another time. If you wake up and still want it – buy it.