Temptations are everywhere, from the shelves of candy near the grocery store checkouts to the sale on a beloved brand of clothing that allows you to save money by taking advantage of a buy-one-get-one-free offer even though you really just need one pair of pants. Plus, the temptation to indulge seems to feel even stronger if you’re enjoying an evening out with friends or something else that’s fun. However, even those temptations aren’t impossible to tame.
Know Your Spending Triggers
There are some people who just can’t stop themselves from buying the latest and greatest electronic gadgets and others who are particularly compelled to buy collectible figurines. Put simply, you need to remember there is no limit to what might trigger a person to buy. Even more importantly, it’s crucial to figure out what your triggers are and work to manage them.
People commonly tell themselves things to justify buying items too. For example, you might say, “Since Lucy is buying a tub of popcorn, I may as well buy one too so she doesn’t think I’m weird when we’re watching the movie,” or “I should buy this dress now, because if I wait too long, the style might be discontinued.”
Marketers and manufacturers are well aware of these kinds of thoughts and they specifically position merchandise so it’s easy and straightforward for people to give into spending triggers. Fighting back takes work and patience, but willpower will help your bank account balance grow.
Announce Your Intentions and Accept Help From Friends
If you’re going on an outing with friends, it’s a good idea to say at the start of things that you’re trying to be responsible about your spending. It’s also smart to inform them if you’re trying to spend less than a certain amount of money. It’s especially important to verbalize your intentions when taking part in something that could easily become an expensive form of entertainment if precautions aren’t taken, such as a night where you and your closest gal pals try online gambling for the first time or arrange an after-work trip to the bar to unwind.
If you can set a budget and stick to it without getting encouragement from friends, you’re doing better than a lot of people can. Keep in mind there’s no harm in at least telling your friends you’d at least appreciate their help by not making you feel forced to buy something that would put you over your budget.
Friends can offer a great support system as you go through life and you can reciprocate when they’re dealing with similar things that might cause them to waver in their previously made decisions. For example, a friend might confide that she’s trying to lose 10 pounds before an upcoming beach trip. If that person starts thinking about how delicious a piece of apple pie would taste during a dinner out, you could simply say, “Hey, but it won’t taste as good as you’ll look in your swimsuit if you stick to your diet.”
Although you can’t get rid of temptations, it’s certainly possible to manage them. The tips above offer great starting points.