When it comes to the true value of money, every dollar counts in terms of BIG potential – and that’s why all of that fun impulse buying can stand right in the way of your financial future. It’s so easy to go down a slippery slope because impulse purchases are typically pretty small. A lunch order here, a throw pillow there – it can really add up and leave you feeling like you’re living month-to-month, or even day-to-day sometimes. Can you relate? I’m here to help you change those habits and embrace the idea of opportunity when you think about what’s in your wallet.
Investing Vs. Impulse-Buying
If you instantly say “yes” to fun, unplanned purchases to blow off some steam, you are definitely not alone. In fact, a recent survey by Slickdeals found that Americans are impulsively spending an average of $450 a month, which is $5,400 a year, and a very significant $324,000 over a lifetime. Whoa! Your own numbers might look different, but investing even a portion of that amount means creating the opportunity to build your financial future.
Ready to shift that mindset from “spend for fun” to “invest for tomorrow”? Let’s take a quick look at the difference between investing and impulse-buying.
- Usually emotionally based, satisfying some other need
- Lack of planning – buying duplicates or unneeded items
- Less time to analyze the best deal
- Helps you feel more in control of your financial future
- Helps you feel more confident in your ability to grow your money
- “Dig your well” now so you can add to your long-term wealth
Peeling off even a portion of those unplanned dollars and investing them can create a snowball that builds faster than you might realize. Small, consistent changes are much easier to achieve, anyway. Big goals – especially long-term ones like buying a house – can’t be done all at once. They must be broken down. As Desmond Tutu famously said, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.”
How to stop the impulse buying behavior
When you get the itch to spend, ask yourself this question: is this the best use of these dollars, or am I missing an opportunity to build a better financial future? Impulse purchases are hard to avoid completely (and you don’t have to!), but keeping one eye steady on your investment goals puts you in more control overall. Keep the following tips in mind:
- Avoid temptation! Don’t go window shopping at the places you love when you know you need to save money.
- Don’t let the deal sway you! Just because something is on sale does not mean you saved money.
- Limit your credit card availability! Don’t carry your credit cards with you if you know you will use them.
- Stop social media shopping! This one goes back to the temptation tip – watch out for FOMO and remember that your life is already awesome.
- Give yourself permission to spend smartly! Life should be fun and you deserve that Starbucks mocha when you’ve had a tough week. But maybe don’t make it a daily purchase and instead make it an end-of-week celebration purchase!
Investing money is a personal decision that’s also based on our comfort levels with risk. The good thing is, there is a wide variety of investment options – like interest-bearing accounts, 401Ks and IRAs, real estate, stocks, and more. You can grow your money!
Learning how to avoid excessive impulse spending is not just possible, it’s worth it. Training yourself to recognize opportunity and invest in your future is not an overnight task. It takes conscious effort and it really helps to have support. If you are looking for help getting your $hit together or learning how to invest the money you have, join my tribe and take my Money Mindset Prep course today.