Have you ever gone into a store for one or two quick items and come out with $50 worth of things you don’t need? It’s easy to walk into Target and get drawn in by the new clothes or kitchenware. Before you know it, you’ve grabbed everything you came for and then some.
If you can’t help but pick up unwanted items every time you go to the store, try these tips to curb your spending next time you shop.
Shop with cash.
Generally, seniors are more likely to shop with cash than with a card. Try limiting yourself to only shopping with cash in the future. Take out what you need and don’t even bring your card into the store. When you have a clear idea of what you need and only the money to cover it, you won’t be tempted to overspend.
Make a list ahead of time.
It’s a good idea to make a list of what you absolutely need at the store, which can help prevent overspending. It can also be helpful to make a list of what you already have. Document your clothing and other possessions. Tempted by a new pair of sneakers or kitchen gadget? Refer back to your list and consider whether you really need the new item. Chances are, unless your old one is totally worn out, you don’t need a new item.
Ask your spouse to go.
Not everyone walks into a store and walks out with an armful of items that weren’t on the list. If your spouse is better at curbing their spending, send them to the store instead of going yourself. Or, make it a date and go together!
Think about why you’re shopping.
Sometimes, there might be a deeper reason you shop as much as you do. Maybe you show others you love and appreciate them by buying them gifts. Maybe you shop as an excuse to get out of the house. These aren’t bad things, but it can be helpful to recognize when you’re shopping out of need and shopping out of boredom or loneliness. Instead, try planning an afternoon or outing with a friend.
Plan for the long term.
One thing that can help you curb short term spending is to plan for a long term goal. Whether it’s a dream vacation or having a little extra in your retirement fund, keep these goals in mind. Not every purchase has to help you in the long term. However, staying goal-focused is a good way to keep yourself from spending $100 when you mean to spend $15.
Want to save more on everyday items? Check out our roundup of this week’s best discounts!
How do you stop overspending when you’re out? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments below!