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When a sale arises, it can be difficult to turn away or to avoid shopping altogether, especially when there is merchandise you may feel you ‘need’ or have to own. If you are out shopping but on a budget, sticking to the set amount you have to spend can seem difficult and even overwhelming when our ‘buy now’ mentality is activated by phrases like, “Before it’s too late!”
Knowing is Half the Battle
Before you head out shopping, understanding your own finances and the bills or expenses you are required to pay each month will help you to create a spending budget regardless of what you are looking to buy. Planning your finances ahead of time and knowing when specific bills are due is highly recommended if you have difficulty staying away from impulse purchases or sales. In this instance, the cliché holds true: Knowledge is power.
Set A Specific Budget For Each Trip
Set a budget each time you plan to shop. Create a list of the necessities, and do not deviate. Know how much you have available to spend and stop yourself from potentially overspending or purchasing merchandise or food that you do not need.
Build a ‘Wish List Fund’
Reward a dedicated savings effort by contributing a small amount to a ‘Wish List fund’. With a controlled amount dedicated to the purchase of unessential items, you can satisfy your occasional sales cravings and maintain a disciplined financial front. Set a goal for how much you plan to save each week and stick with it. The more positive habits you form financially, the easier it will be to keep yourself balanced with the money you do have.
Shop With Cash
When you believe you may encounter sales while you are out shopping that are hard to resist, consider shopping with cash only. Take the cash you have budgeted for and avoid using credit or debit cards to pay for splurges, even those at a discounted price. Instead, using cash will allow for minimal swaying of any budget you have set in place. “Forgetting” your credit cards or physically cutting them up and throwing them away will also stop you from making impulsive shopping trips and purchases while you are out, even during a hot sale.
Keep Your Finances Up To Date
Keep up with your bank accounts and your household or individual finances at all times. Enroll in online banking and stay actively involved in every purchase or online bill you pay to ensure you are saving money and you have enough to cover all living expenses.
That BOGO shoe sale or One-Weekend store-wide extravaganza sounds fun and exciting. Making a purchase for less than perceived value gives us the endorphin rush of ‘VICTORY!!!’, but with a little planning and discipline you can make sure your budget stands the test of ‘limited-time’.
Author Bio: Jennifer Willard is a new blogger in the financial community. She writes for her own personal finance blog, Crayons & Coins, about her journey out of debt and life as a mother and spender.