"How Do I Stop Being Impulsive?"
My answer? I don't know to stop the impulsive nature, but I DO know how to control my impulse to spend recklessly.
I am a SPENDER. I am the type of person who would go out and accidentally buy a truck. I am a spender to my very core. I like buying things.
Here are some steps I have taken that helped me reign in my impulsive spending nature, and it has allowed us to win financially!
- Written Spending Plan Putting together a written spending plan EVERY month before the month begins using the budget forms that are available on the TOOLS page. Jenn and I do this EVERY month before the month begins. Did you catch that? EVERY month. It reinforces the fact that we cannot flippantly spend our money and expect to succeed.
- Cash Envelopes I am an impulsive spender, but even I will not impulsively spend money on the electric bill. I won't impulsively purchase gasoline. I don't impulsively send extra money to the cable company. There are some things that I am not going to impulsively spend money on. However, there are some things that I am VERY impulsive about. Items like groceries, dining out, clothes, spending money, and entertainment. I can go through some money really fast with these items! Since I KNOW that I am impulsive for these spending categories, I use cash envelopes. At the start of the month we add up the amount we have put in the budget for these categories. We then pull that amount out in CASH. The rule is that we can not pull more money out from the bank AND we can not use the ATM or debit card. I can not overspend cash.
- Chopped Up Credit Cards You may pay yours off every month, but the vast majority of Americans do not. I was part of the vast majority, and I had to admit that I was a completely LOSER with credit cards. I ran those stupid things up three different times. STUPID with them. They really catered to my impulsive nature. So I did what had to be done and applied the scissor blades to them and shut the accounts down.
If you are a fellow spender, what have you done to control your impulsive spending habits?