NIGERIA – Despite the unfavourable state of the economy, some people are still reckless spenders, and find it difficult to live within their means. With the coronavirus still having an adverse effect on the global economy coupled with the high cost of living occasioned by high inflationary trend, survival becomes a major challenge to many especially the common folks.
The situation has seen several people irrespective of their financial status making efforts to adjust their spending habits to cope with the new normal and avoid financial shame.
It is key to know that your spending habits determine how disciplined you are financially and without restraint, there is no way, you can have a grip on your finances even if your take-home pay is fat.
It is important you try as much as possible to live a disciplined life in all areas and appropriating it to your financial life, will help you to curb you spend your money.
Do you know that lack of financial discipline always leads to financial bankruptcy and if not well handled could be disastrous?
Although, curtailing your spending habits, especially when you are financially buoyant may not be easy as you may want to belong and also not desire to prioritise your needs, but it will do you a lot of good if you start developing a habit of financial discipline and continually work on it.
Besides, only people that are prudent in their spending can cope with the financial stress associated with COVID-19 owing to the hardship the unpleasant situation has inflicted on the masses and businesses.
The following tips can help you to curtail your spending habits especially if you are not finding it easy to have a grip on your money:
Study Your Shopping Mood
The first step to learn how to control your spending is to figure out what your shopping triggers are. Do you shop when you are bored or sad? Do you shop to impress friends? Do you shop on payday because you have money to spend? If you fall into any of this category, you need to study your mood and ask yourself if it is worth spending money when you are not in your right senses.
Better still, if you are moody, instead of going to a mall, why not visit and chat with your friends to lighten your mood.
Review Your Budget
Some of us usually prefer to take a peep at our budget monthly without bordering to have a glimpse of weekly expenses. If you are finding it too difficult to stick to your monthly budget, why not consider a weekly budget.
Besides, it will enable you to keep track with your daily expenses and bills that are due will make you realise how quickly your account diminishes.
Also, it is important you try as much as possible to stay on top of how much money you have in the bank so as not to spend recklessly.
Set Long Term Savings Goal
Having a long-term savings goal is a good idea because you can be reminded of what you are working towards when you hit the mall to shop.
Whether you are saving up for a particular project or trying to pay off you debt, make a diary of things that are expedient and ensure you go through your note often as a reminder to avoid unnecessary expenses.
Reduce Usage Of Credit Cards
Constant carriage or usage of credit cards particularly when you go a-shopping is not economical or money-wise and should be avoided like a plaque if you do not have a budget or list of items to purchase.
Although, not everyone has issues with credit cards especially those who are financially prudent, but for those who do not know how to say no to reckless spending or shun impulse buying, it is better to leave them at home if you do not want to run into debt.
Take Cash Only
Before going out to shop for household consumables, decide how much you intend to spend as this will enable you to have an idea of the amount of cash you need.
It also advisable you go with cash instead of your debit or credit cards to avoid worthless spending. By so doing, you are adhering to your budget.
Resolve To Be Prudent
Change your mind set about uncontrolled spending by having a strong determination to halt the urge to Spend.
Inculcate in yourself how to break the urge to spend carelessly by making up your mind to purchase items that you need and forgoing the ones you can do without. Constant practice of this pattern will help you to spend prudently and guard against frivolities, thus breaking the urge to spend.
Reduce Patronage Of Big Malls
Stop going to big shopping malls frequently to buy items you can obtain from a roadside trader if you really desire not to spend more. For example, if you are buying inexpensive items, you do not need to visit a big shopping mall or a supermarket as doing so would increase your purchases.
You can stick to groceries shopping once a week or less and try to reduce your visits to the mall or other stores down to once a month. By doing that, you will notice a change in your wallet for the better!
Try to resist discount sales especially if not budgeted for. Though, retailers know their customers, and they also know the irresistible pull of a flashy sales stand will attract more patronage and sales.
Nevertheless, how much is all this “saving” really costing you? Items not intended to buy but having a change of mind because of the attractive discount tag on it is called spending, not saving.
Each time you find yourself not spending above your budget particularly when doing your routine purchases, the money saved should be kept aside after which you can take it and spend it on whatever you desire.