How many times have you scribbled or typed out your obvious expenses, then assigned a portion (or the remaining portion) for the fun stuff...shopping, a concert, a trip? Do you stick with that plan...or did you overspend and find yourself scrambling the next month? What causes you to get off course? And do you just give up with one mistake? A monthly spending plan can be easily thrown off if we are not aware of certain negative behaviors.
This week, we’re going to outline Seven Types of Financial Self-Sabotage and How To Avoid Them. We invite you to follow along, answer the questions posed in each section, and consider how to move forward in your debt elimination and savings. We all have the potential to be our own worst financial enemy...and we are here to help you identify and adjust your spending behaviors so that you can...you guessed it...live more abundantly!
1. Impulse buying
We have all been tempted while shopping. There’s the BOGO trap...where we only intended on buying one pair of shoes, but end up with two because the second one was 50% off. There’s the clearance sale sandpit, where hard-earned money is transformed into clothing that still has the bright-red price tags on them months later. And a favorite...the end-cap displays! Two for $5 for items that we must have, even when they were not on the list!
It happens. But when it becomes a pattern, instead of a random occurrence, it will have a negative impact on your financial transformation, especially if household expenses are being sacrificed. Once you recognize the behavior, and it’s impact, there are ways to avoid impulse buying in the short- and long-term. Become familiar with your triggers. If sales are a trigger for you, then unsubscribe from your favorite newsletters, emails, notifications, and magazines. Remove the visual temptation so it’s out of sight, out of mind.
Another method that relies on accountability is the W.A.I.T. method.
Weigh your options. (Are there better deals elsewhere?)
Assess your financial situation. (Does this purchase allow you to stick with your budget/spending plan?)
Inventory your needs. (Do you need it...or it is a slightly different version of something you already have?)
Trust Delayed Gratification...and Him! (No questions...just trust that God has already worked out what you need.)
2. Additional income used for lifestyle increase
When you receive a bonus or additional income, how do you use these funds? Often times, we get so excited about a windfall that we end up consuming more...instead of applying the increase to debt elimination or savings. And without clear goals, increasing lifestyle could take precedence over financial success . Now, we aren’t saying not to treat yourself! You earned it! But think about it this way...if you were living and thriving comfortably prior to the increase, why not use the increase to be a catalyst for future increase? Allot a portion for the “Fun Fund”, but also invest your financial health so that living abundantly becomes your reality!