We are told that financial management is 80% habit and 20% knowledge. Here are 10 Behavioural Hacks That Can Save You Money:
1. Budget Before You Buy
You might think this goes without saying but, it is the most important money habit to develop – budget your spending before making a single purchase. This way you can soberly choose what spending you want to prioritise and determine how much you will allocate to each category and item.
2. Eat Before You Go
Whether shopping for groceries or something else, when you have fueled up with food before you hit the shops, you are less likely to splurge in the food isle or stop somewhere for fast food you had not budgeted for.
3. Leave Children Behind
Kids will make you buy more; whether you are responding to the pressure of their immediate requests or, just being with them at the store makes you want to get things for them. Leave them with someone you trust so that you can shop free of undue influence.
4. Don’t Shop When You’re Down
There is something about wanting to lift your spirits with something special. Avoid any transactions, especially for personal items, when you feel low so, that you don’t go all the way out as a feel-good remedy for the blues.
5. Pay Bills First
Make sure to pay tithes and offerings and important bills before other expenses. Even if you have set aside a budget for other expenditures, you are more likely to overspend and compromise important payments. Pay all your bills first then spend on other categories on your budget.
6. Don’t Escort Friends to the Stores
When you agree to escort your friends to shops, know that you may be heading down a slippery slope of no return. Whether they say, ‘it’s only window shopping’ or ‘ I just need to get something real quick’, the likelihood that you will suddenly remember something you need or see something that you think would be a good idea to purchase, is extremely high. Unless you have budgeted for Miscellaneous expenditures or some “Free” money you can use at discretion, don’t escort friends to the stores. Don’t do it!
7. Replenish Stocks Before They Run Out
I don’t know if it’s a protective instinct that sounds an alarm when there is lack but, there is something about an empty fridge or kitchen cupboards or toiletry bottles that makes us not only want to restock what is gone but buy several others so ‘we never run out again’. Replenish stocks before they completely run out so that you can buy only what you need for the next cycle of that item.
8. Schedule Shopping
Whether at the beginning or the end of the month or every quarter, schedule when you will make purchases and make sure you consume what you have such that it doesn’t run out and require an unscheduled (and probably unbudgeted) purchase before its due date.
9. Avoid Holiday Spending During Holidays
Unless it is perishable food, try to avoid holiday spending during the holiday rush. Prices are usually higher and the excitement of being in the moment with everyone else can make you go out of pocket much more than you had planned to.
10. Stick to Your Lane
Go only where you planned to. If it is a certain section of a store, go to that section alone, get what you need to and get out. If it’s a specific shop, visit that one and that one alone. Don’t browse, stroll or take any detours towards any place or thing you had not planned to when you headed out on this shopping trip.
Share Your Wins
If you have other tips and tricks we can use to save our money and minds at the stores, please share them on the comments below. We all need all the help we can get to win with money.