New habits for habitual spenders
Find what works for you by taking one step at a time, instead of trying to change everything at once.
Perhaps this is you: get home from work, grab the mail, head straight for the couch, flip through the letters and realize, “ugh, credit card bill.” Open the envelope in slow-mo, unfold the paper, also in slow-mo. Bam. Dramatic music might as well play in the background.
Familiar? That’s OK. We’ve all been there, heard the dramatic music, felt the pang of credit card debt that’s growing vs. shrinking. Seriously, no judgment here. Don’t get discouraged. Changing spending habits isn’t easy, but it can be done.
Don’t go 0-60 when making changes to your budget or spending habits. You’re more likely to succeed by taking small steps toward a change.
It’s easy to complete a budget, it’s harder to live by it. Find what works for you by taking one step at a time, instead of trying to change everything at once.
Why it works
Small changes build habits that turn into a routine. Eventually, small changes start showing results, and as you build in more changes into your routine, you’ll start to see bigger results. Want to make it feel easier? Start with one small, manageable change today to make that change last in the long run.
1. “$0 a Day Challenge”
How many days in month can you spend $0? Keeping track of your progress can help you see how well you’re doing, and keep you motivated. Though there are certainly days when not spending isn’t an option. And that’s OK.
2. Set a weekly budget — starting on Monday.
When the money you allotted for the week is gone, you’re done spending for the week. This can help be more selective during the week when choosing to spend at events, for meals out or a quick coffee, you name it. Especially if you’re likely to spend more when the weekend comes, it can be helpful to envision how much you will have left over throughout the week.
3. Cash only night out.
Night on the town? Street fest? Weekend away? Only bring the cash you allot for the occasion. Dodge the surprise (or impulse) purchases.
4. Pool vs. Solo-ride-sharing
Ride sharing offers options! Have the extra time? Take a ride-share pool vs. a solo ride. You’ll save some bucks and maybe make some new buds.
You know yourself better than anyone else. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something different until you find what works for you. Choose one change today and see where it takes you.