How do you overcome the urge to spend?


Have you ever made a trip to mall to pick up a few things and realise you just bought something at full price in a store you had no intentions of entering? Most of us shop (including men) because of the way we feel at the time. Like eating ice cream, buy makes us feel good. For my wife it’s all about colour. She will gravitate toward anything pink; a pink hand bag or skirt.

It’s also why we buy expensive cars and when we are due for an upgrade most of us are not looking for kilometres per litre or miles per gallon, it’s just not sexy enough. We instead, take the car for a test drive to get ‘feel’ for the car, right?

Have you ever stopped to do the math on items you have purchased and compared them to the hours of work you did in order to earn the money to pay for it? It’s quite liberating. When my wife and I do the grocery shopping I have worked out that I need to work five hours to pay for our food. Just the other day I considered buying a new shirt and realised I would have had to work one hour to pay for it and opted out; not to mention the weekends I drank two hours’ worth of alcohol.

The other thing we tend to do is buy the first thing we see because we choose not to deal-hunt.

Price compare

As you can see above if you bought your dishwasher at Harvey Norman you would have missed out on saving $103 if you had bought the exact same dishwasher at JB HI-FI.

So how do you beat the urge to spend?

  1. Ask yourself “Why am I buy this?”. “Do I need it or want it?”. “Is there a hidden reason?”.
  2. Give yourself a time-out. My wife and I will often say “If it’s here on payday, we will get it then”. Quite often we will have forgotten about it or chose not to return to the store.
  3. Allow a certain amount each week to be spent on ‘anything’. I call this mad money, but once it is gone, it is gone.
  4. Before you go shopping, discuss your future goals regarding your savings. If you are saving for that special holiday then talk about it and you will be less likely to binge spend.
  5. Don’t hang out with people who love sale diving. You will get caught up in the hype.
  6. Leave your credit card at home……………leave your credit card at home.
  7. If you decide to buy something then shop around for it. Check online first before you run all over the mall.
  8. Ask yourself if it is a NEED or a WANT. If it is a want then ask yourself “Why do I want it”. Sometimes you will be surprised by the answer.
  9. If you shop online then leave the item in the ‘shopping cart’ for one day to give you time think about it.
  10. Shop with someone who is more frugal than you. Ask them for their input if you get the urge to buy the latest item.

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