START TRACKING YOUR SPEND
Get to know where you spend, how it makes you feel and what really matters when it comes to your money!
Let's stop pretending that being good at money means you need to be good at math. Instead, let's listen to our body and our mind.
Impulse spending can get the best of us all. It’s no easy feat tuning out all the constant marketing noise we face all day, every day. Especially during these mind-numbing lockdowns, package delivery is sometimes the only exciting thing in the day. If you’re struggling with your shopping habits during these crazy times, you’re not alone.
Check out these ten tips that I’ve personally used to help curb that urge and support you in reaching your financial goals.
This one may be hard with ongoing global lockdowns, but if you have the option to shop safely, try telling yourself that anything you see online has to be purchased in-store. You’ll quickly realize that the extra effort isn’t worth it and will avoid the unnecessary impulse buy. If you’re like my boyfriend and me, leaving the house takes extra effort, so that additional hurdle may get you to think twice.
Whether you’re shopping out or online, the second pair of eyes is a great idea to help keep you accountable. When you’re shopping alone, it’s much easier to splurge because you think “no one has to know” — team up with a financially conscious friend that understands your goals. Send them a picture of everything you’re considering buying, and they can do the same. Together, you can help each other see reason and avoid the dreadful buyer’s remorse.
This is a definitive rule that I find helps me the most with my impulse buying. Half the fun is browsing on websites and filling your cart. If you force yourself to wait a week and think things over, often you find that you never go back to that cart ever again. You got the entertainment that you needed at that moment, and no harm is done. If you do decide that you want to purchase your items after a week, it’s no longer a purchase purely on impulse, and at least you know you’re buying for the right reasons.
Are you constantly getting inundated with email advertisements from your favourite brands? It’s great getting the occasional deal, but they’re emailing them to you for a reason. It entices you to shop, and in turn, makes them money. If you’re shopping more than you would’ve otherwise, is it a deal? If the daily shopping reminder is becoming too much, hit that unsubscribe button. And, if it seems like a ton of effort, use an online service to help take care of those unsubscribes for you.
Shopping sites will often have a “remember me” feature that saves your credit card details and eliminates the need to even reach for the wallet. Checking out takes all of two clicks. I love having my details saved for my weekly grocery order, but for non-necessities, it may be worth removing if you’re struggling with the temptation. That additional minute it takes to input your credit card details may be the difference between checking out instantaneously and taking that extra week to think things through.
These days, it’s hard to visualize real money leaving your pocket when shopping online and strictly using credit cards. One-click and *poof* your paycheck can be gone in an instant without realizing it. That’s why many debt-payoff methods avoid using credit cards entirely and use cold hard cash to help you understand where your money is going. Although I don’t think that’s realistic, a good middle ground could be turning on your banking notifications.
You can set them up so every time you make a purchase, you get notified of what you bought and how much. You can also set up limits in various categories to get a notification when you reach your limit. It’s an easy way to recognize your daily spending habits. A bonus is that you can easily detect credit card theft.
Why do we impulse shop? Well, it’s because it’s fun and makes us feel good! It’s called retail therapy for a reason. I understand your struggle and have experienced it firsthand. Instead of stopping impulse shopping completely, try creating a designated “fun budget” just for these moments. That way, you can still scratch that itch without going overboard. It’s crucial your financially conscious lifestyle doesn’t feel restrictive and makes you happy!
Canadians spend almost half their day on screens and nearly two hours a day on social media. We’re constantly inundated with advertisements for businesses trying to sell us their products during that time. For me, the biggest culprits are influencers on Instagram, YouTube, and Tiktok. I’m notorious for following the latest Tiktok skincare or makeup trend. There’s a reason influencers receive so much PR, their marketing WORKS.
If you find that you’re falling prey, there are several things you can do. Unfollow influencers that make you feel pressured to have the latest trends and avoid watching anything with the title “haul,” “skincare routine,” or “makeup review,” and fast forward through ads on YouTube. I understand that creators need to be compensated for their work, but if it’s decreasing your financial wellbeing, then cut that sh*t out.
Every browser has an incognito or private mode that keeps your web browsing secret. When you’re in private mode, your browsing history isn’t saved. When you’re shopping on incognito mode, your browser history also won’t save what’s in your shopping cart, and neither will your account information. It won’t stop you from getting targeted ads, but it will stop you from getting those “you’ve still got something in your cart!” notifications. Out of sight, out of mind.
I know it seems cliché, but practicing mindfulness can improve so many situations, especially for breaking habits like impulse buying. The next time you feel the urge to shop impulsively, take a step back. Check-in with yourself. What other emotions or outside circumstances are at play? Maybe impulse shopping is masking something else. Breathing exercises or self-love meditations are a great way to bring it all back and get present with yourself.
You can also write yourself a note with positive affirmations and words of encouragement to read whenever you feel the urge to shop. Remind yourself how you felt last time. Remind yourself of your goals.
In Ontario, where I’m from, they just announced another month-long lockdown. We’ve been through it this past year. Sometimes joy comes in the form of a walk outside, but sometimes it comes in the form of ordering a new skincare product. Both are forms of self-care, and sometimes you need a little extra that day. Don’t be too hard on yourself to be perfect all the time. Use these tips if and when you need them.
Oh no, you missed the live webinar! But, good news: Mixed Up Money is pleased to share a resource for anyone planning for a future child or family.
Mixed Up Money is pleased to share a free resource for anyone looking to cut back on non-essential spending. My most-requested product is these monthly calendars to share on your Instagram story, use as a phone background, or print off to track your spending habits.