The temptation to buy is all around us. If you’re a spender, you’ll find it hard to resist the temptation to reach for your credit card every time you want something. You have trouble separating your wants from your needs and struggle to pay off the full balance on your credit card each month let alone save each month. If this sounds like you and you want to make a change, here are some tips to help you take control of your money.
- Write down what you want vs what you need. Wants are not necessities. They belong in a wish list only to be purchased when you have extra money available or you have purposely saved money to purchase it.
- Don’t buy to fill a void. If you are an impulsive or emotional buyer, get help dealing with what is causing you to be unhappy. Buying materials things to resolve emotional issues is a temporary, short-term state of euphoria.
- Set aside an allowance. Kids are hard to say no to when they want something. So aside from your wants, you also have to manage your kids’ wants. Set aside an allowance for miscellaneous purchases so you and your kids don’t feel completely deprived of little luxuries that are well deserved.
- Don’t bring kids shopping. To expand on point number 3, another way to control your spending is not to bring kids to the store with you or if you have to bring them with you, avoid going down the toy aisle. It’s difficult to deal with a screaming child throwing a tantrum in public so you will cave into buying them the toy they want.
- Shop with a list. Whether you are grocery shopping or shopping for clothes, make a list of exactly what you need and beeline to those aisles. Resist the temptation to wander into areas that may encourage your impulsive buying.
- Set financial goals. If you have a white board, set your financial goals both short term and long-term, to serve as a physical reminder of why you make little sacrifices. Write down your savings goal and investment goals and your projected timeline to achieve it. Then track your progress.
- Track your budget. Along with creating a financial goal, track your budget. You can download apps to help you with managing your budget. Click here for the best apps for tracking your budget.
Single Parents are challenged with the same financial demands as dual income couples but must learn to do more with less. This means that your money needs to stretch a lot further but most importantly, you have to control how and when you spend. Your kids will learn from your habits so build some discipline around money management and you will find it easier to save and to achieve your financial goals.