Do you ever feel like no matter what you do or how hard you try, your bank account is always empty or overdrawn? Don’t despair, and don’t feel embarrassed. Regardless of how much you make, everyone needs a little help finding the perfect financial balance. Here are eight simple ways to be smart about spending your money when it comes to day-to-day purchases and online shopping.

 

BABY STEPS

The first mistake people make when trying to rectify a situation, whether it be diet, money or otherwise, is that they try to go from zero to sixty straight off the bat. So, before you make a plan, consider the following.

  • Budget it out. Before you begin anything, having a budget is essential.
    • Start by listing all of your expenses (fixed and flexible) and your income.
    • Surf the internet for a while to look for a budget that suits your lifestyle and feels right.
    • Spend a month or two logging your spending and trying to wing the budget type in order to see if it’s actually a practical solution for your situation.
  • List Happy Buys. Your happy buys are the little things (that can add up over the course of a week, month and year) that bring you joy, that make life enjoyable. Once you’ve done your budget, list these out with the individual costs and frequency in which you purchase them. Here are a few examples of your happy buys.
    • Coffee (even the cheap stuff)
    • Lunch
    • Take-out
    • Subscription boxes
    • Anything of excess (make-up, clothes, toys, gadgets, etc.)
  • Trial and Error. Once you’ve got your list of happy buys, try eliminating one each week and take note of whether or not you really missed it. Much of our overspending is habitual, and with a bit of analysis, we may realize we’re totally okay without it.
  • Reduce vs. Eliminate. Were there some things on your happy buys list that you can’t live without? The next step is to reduce the frequency of consumption. Rather than eliminate your morning latté, try making it at home all week with the exception of Friday mornings. Who knows, you may even enjoy it all the more so! Same with take-out. Rather than grab delivery, spend a little more time planning and preparing for your meals, saving take-out for when you’ve had an awful day or something unexpected came up, and you couldn’t cook.
  • Alternate vs. Mass Consumption. Do you have a food subscription, multiple streaming subscriptions and clothes subscriptions? Rather than get it all at once, why not reduce your subscriptions to one per month. Alternate food subscriptions and clothing subscriptions, or at the very least alternate your streaming subscriptions. I mean, how much tv can one person watch – even during the pandemic? You will end up appreciating whatever it is you spend on that much more.

 

CURB ONLINE SPENDING

Is the bulk of your excess spending on your phone? You aren’t alone. Did you know that “30 percent of e-commerce in Canada this year will come from mobile devices.” – UPS. Not to mention the purchases made on a computer or tablet. Try making these adjustments to better your online spending habits.

  • Ditch the Apps. There’s a reason that retailers prompt you to download their app. Not only do apps make it easier to shop and get notified of sales, but it also becomes a habit-forming ritual. For many, this ritual becomes daily, if not several times a day, leading to addiction. In fact, shopping addiction is a real and scary thing. “The culprit, according to other brain-imaging studies, such as a 2010 report in Science, may be faulty dopamine receptors: Those who tend toward impulsivity experience a bigger release of the neurotransmitter than the rest of us, which leads them to crave another hit.” – Elle.com. Any way you look at it, when something is quite literally at the tip of our fingers, it’s pretty hard to say no. So, just delete the app, and if you really need to shop online, you can work on your typing skills and use a web browser!
  • Delete Payment Info. Next to the apps, having your payment information (credit card and debit card) saved in your browser or on your phone may be convenient, but it also makes it easier to impulse buy. Try deleting your cache and removing your cards from your phone. Store them in your wallet and leave it in the car or garage. Next time you’re lying in bed and browsing the world of online shopping, there’s a fair chance you won’t want to leave the comfort of your bed to grab your wallet from the car. If in the morning you still want to buy the item, it’ll be waiting for you in the cart…which leads us to the next point.
  • Don’t Log In. While saving your login info on your browser is practical for business-related sites, social media, email and the like, it’s just another way of enabling online shopping when it comes to commercial sites. Imagine you’ve deleted the app, removed your payment information and dodged that late-night purchase. Having those items sitting in your online cart is just another way retailers pull you back in. Not to mention the often-clever abandon cart emails you’ll soon receive. Unless you are genuinely ready to buy, leave logging in until the end.

 

If on the road to recovering financial control, you find yourself in need of financial assistance, 24Cash is ready to offer you a small, online loan. 24Cash is dedicated to helping hardworking individuals get back on their feet.