Why do some households manage their finances effectively while other people wonder where their money went long before their next pay check? The answer to this is three-fold: it’s important to have enough income to support a household, but it’s just as important to have the right mind-set and skills.
Don’t you just love the smell of fresh bread, donuts and other pastries as you pass the grocery store’s entrance? Not to even mention the gadget display table that catches your eye, as you make your way to the cashier. There’s probably nothing you can do to avoid these manoeuvred marketing gimmicks, or is there?
According to Matthys Potgieter, spokesperson and debt counsellor at DebtSafe, the most important rule for you and other consumers is to stick to what you need and NOT to what you want.
How can you do this exactly, since everything in the shops or in your online search, looks very ‘attractive’? Potgieter recommends the following five steps to avoid adding unnecessary items to your shopping cart:
Regain FOCUS – The first step to avoid getting side-tracked (when it comes to your finances and shopping) is to outline your monthly and annual financial goals before spending. When you need to make certain choices, you will then have the bigger ‘financial picture’ in mind and avoid over-spending. Thus, be realistic and play a strategic financial game for a change – plan and gain insight before you spend.
Train your brain – Now that you have your bigger ‘financial picture’ in mind, be strong and know that it is okay to say NO to unnecessary spending. Train your brain in money psychology and walk away from so-called ‘sales’ or items you do not need. Be practical and use tools like the 22seven phone app to keep you updated on your saving progress and spending alerts.
A shopping list and some willpower go hand in hand – How do you keep your self-control intact now that you have learned to change your money psychology? It is all about putting pen to paper – make a shopping list. Without this tool you are surely worse off and definitely going in the direction of what you want and not what you need. Stick to the shopping list – NO exceptions.
Put an end to your STUFF addiction – Stuff can make your life more comfortable, that is indeed true, but what about a simple life without clutter or unwanted items? When you remove unnecessary possessions, you will find that you can enjoy the things that really matter– family, friends and more financial freedom. Vernon Howard sets the perfect reminder: “You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.”
Leave a legacy – Be the ‘good financial guy’ throughout your life-journey. Set a decent financial management example for others and teach your kids money-savvy principles. Also, make sure to clear your debt and not burden your loved ones with a financial mess when you are not here anymore. What they learn from you will benefit them for years (and generations) to come.