The Top 5 Ways to Avoid Spending Mistakes

spending mistakes

Spending comes in four sizes: small—that gourmet cup of coffee, medium—a new purse, large—new furniture, and extra large—that kitchen re-do.  No matter what spending size you “wear” most often, you can save more by avoiding these Top 5 Ways to Avoid SpendingMistakes.

1. Put it on hold.

Not sure if you want it?  Wait.  Put it on hold and think about it.  The bigger the purchase, the more you’ll want to give it serious thought.  Avoid the impulse to get it now before “they run out,”  “it’s not on sale,” or “you won’t be able to find one anywhere else.

2. Leave the kids behind.

No, don’t leave your kids behind where you’re shopping, just try not to take them in the first place.  I have bought so many duds because I was rushing and trying to make a purchase quickly while my children where whining or having meltdowns.  Children + shopping = poor purchase decisions.

3. You stay behind too.

How many times have you gone to the mall, to the thrift store, or to the little shop on the corner “just to look,” but instead of come home with something you just couldn’t resist?  If you really want to get serious about avoiding spending mistakes, stay home unless you have a specific item you’re looking for.  Then, when you are shopping, resist the urge to buy just because you stumble upon something cute, unique, or on sale.

If you do decide to shop, write down everything you spend for a month.  At the end of the month see where your dollars have gone.

4. Count the cost.

This is where the credit card meets the road.  Can you buy the item you’re eying without putting it on your credit card?  If you can’t buy something outright, don’t buy it.  If you’re not good about keeping up with your spending, and then you can’t pay off your credit card at the end of the month, don’t buy it.  If it will keep you from buying something you really need, or from saving or giving what you committed to, don’t buy it.

5. Forget Tory, Pottery Barn, and Toms.

Okay, it is fun to have the latest brands, and we have nothing against cute clothes or home stuff.  But, do you really need the more expensive pair of shoes, when the non-name brand ballet flats will do the trick just as well?  Get your big picture savings plan in mind (maybe you’re saving for a family trip, a new car, or to pay off that oppressive debt) and walk right on by the fancy stuff.