Five ways to spend smarter
How you spend your money is critical to your financial success. Smart spending habits keep you out of expensive debt, giving you the means to invest in your future dreams. What is the best way to keep from overspending? Below are 5 valuable tips.
- Set a budget and plan your shopping. If you don’t know how much you can afford to spend this week, you’re headed into trouble. Fixed expenses, like your monthly rent, mortgage, utilities, or loan payments, don’t change month to month. Discretionary expenses include even your food budget— you could spend it all on take-out, or plan modest meals using a supermarket sales flyer. Know what you can reasonably spend and stick within your budget. Make it a game to save as much as you can.
- Have a goal to work for, with a reward. Spending smarter is much easier with a target to hit. Make it concrete: such as saving for something big or having the money to pay down debt. Then treat yourself to a modest reward after meeting your monthly goal.
- Plan before you shop. If there’s something you really want, then take the time to research the market. Buy smarter. Compare prices; figure out the brand or model that’s ideal. Make it an informed decision—not an impulsive one. Choose how to spend your money before you actually spend it. Then take pride in your purchase.
- We all have that weak spot. It trips us up every time. Maybe it’s eating out. Or retail therapy when you’re sad. That yummy bakery around the corner. Skimming the shopping apps late at night then mindlessly spending. Know your danger zone and take concrete steps to stay out of it. A $5 coffee everyday adds up to over $1,800 a year. Pay attention to every purchase as they do add up.
- Enjoy life. Spending smart helps you achieve goals such as saving for a home or car. It means the freedom of getting out of debt—and staying that way. But a too-tight budget will pinch just like shoes that are too small. Eventually it will stop being fun, and you will want out. Instead, let yourself enjoy life modestly, alternating fun splurges with more modest pleasures.
Spend smarter so you won’t be tempted to overspend. Your Financial Advisor can help you develop a budget and a smart spending plan.