1. Beat the urge to buy by changing your view
Your emotions play a significant role when it comes to spending and most marketing techniques exploit your emotions and encourage you to buy things you don’t need. Moreover, we think about our monthly salary while spending. This often means that a nice t-shirt or shoes look really cheap.
Hack: Start thinking in terms of daily income. Divide the price of spend by your daily income. Suddenly the item would not look that cheap, making you reevaluate the purchase decisions.
This exercise will not only reduce excessive spending in the short-term but also help in keeping you on track towards financial well-being in the long-term. Align your expenditure accordingly, to add value.
2. Make buying difficult
The impulse to purchase instantly is almost impossible to resist in today’s age of Instagram ads. The amazing pictures and the easy flow is designed to make you act fast.
Hack: Instead of adding the item to your cart, add it to your Wishlist. By doing this you satisfy the urge to act but don’t actually spend. When you look again at your Wishlist you will suddenly think why the hell was I buying this.
3. Pay your future self
It is not a surprise that people who earn more spend more. But do you remember to pay for your future self?
Those who have a habit of “paying themselves first”, are more likely to build a long-lasting financial cushion. By “paying yourself”, I mean that you should save and invest for the future. But, all of us know it yet we don’t do it.
Hack: Put a weekly reminder to save a certain amount in Siri /Google Assistant/ Calendar asking you. So, you will have increased savings. Even better tell this to your close friends, family and ask them to remind you consistently.
You are activating social pressure and commitment behaviors by doing this, which eventually help you save more.
4. Beware of the small ticket expense
Typically, when you think about money – be it an income or expense – you visualize round figures. This also means that small purchases usually of less than ₹1000 seem to be just a few hundreds. But this leads to more spending on small amounts.
HACK: Before doing any purchase either say the value aloud or write it down. By doing this you suddenly break the chain of mental maths and can think again on the decision.
5. Limit frequency rather than just amount
We are often told to budget our expenses and should strictly stick to it. However, in certain cases having just a planned budget is not enough to curb spending. Sometimes, you tend to spend more than the budgeted amount because you end-up going or doing something numerous times. For instance, suppose you go out to eat with a monthly budget of 5000. After visiting your favorite restaurant twice, the third time you exceed your budget.
Hack:: Leverage your Siri and Google Assistant’s location reminder feature. Set an alert which asks you “ Are you going to eat out again and Spend ₹500 again?” as soon as you leave your home or office.
Again this breaks our click- act mechanism and forces you to rethink your decision.