Money & Career

Three ways to cut the urge to spend money

Lots of people seem almost unable to not shop. Hey, not all of us have the ability to defer gratification

A Stanford University study shows that those who can defer are much more likely to be successful.

Fondly referred to as the Marshmallow Test, the basic premise was that if a kid could resist eating a marshmallow presented, she would be rewarded with two. It turns out, those who resisted experienced greater success in life than those who didn’t.

So what if you’re impulsive by nature? Are you doomed to never be a saver? Well, maybe, unless you put some discipline in your spending. Here are some ways to go about doing that:

1. Hold the buy: Before you buy anything, you must add it to your list and let it sit there for a specific amount of time – three days, a week, or two weeks. If you still want it, you can go back and get it. If you don’t, put the money you were going to spend into a savings account.

2. Experiment with a buying fast: The idea is to see how long you can go without spending money on anything other than the absolute necessities. For every transaction you don’t do in a month, put the amount you would have spent (or a representative amount like $10) into a savings account.

3. Track your spending: It’s amazing how much money we spend without even realizing how much money we’re spending. Track where your money is going for a month, and then decide where you’re going to trim to have the money to save.

If you decide that all this seems like too much work, too hard, too anal, hey, it’s your money. You can do with it as you wish. But once you decide to not save, to give into to every impulse that buzzes in your little brain, don’t whine about not having any money saved. It’s irritating.

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