Written by: Anuva Kakkar
How many failed attempts at saving money have you experienced till date? Does this sound familiar- before each payday, you decide to spend our money mindfully on the essential stuff for the entire month, but then “there’s only one life and we should live without compromising” attitude makes you want to purchase a whole lot of unnecessary stuff?
Well, this is how you are likely to face an empty bank account repeatedly. Moreover, you will end up with zero savings again by the end of the year.
I know you are struggling to control your overspending habits. You understand the importance of spending rationally and building an emergency fund, which is why you probably landed on this article. I know you want to purchase your own house, go for a long vacation, and travel the globe, but I also know that you are failing to control your expenditure pattern again and again.
Therefore, I am sharing six exceptionally well-tested rules to help you in spending less and saving more. In case, you have your own experiences and guidelines, share with us in the comment section. Let us learn from each other.
Know the science behind shopping
When you go for shopping in-store or on an app, looking at those pretty dresses, your brain releases dopamine which gives the sensation of pleasure and joy. This hormone makes humans excited to an extreme level and that's when the craving for buying that blue colour dress wore by a model hits up.
However, the study shows dopamine is not released when a person makes a purchase, rather it is generated in anticipation of purchasing an item. This means the joy remains till the time you don’t get that blue dress. Once you purchase, the joy fades away. Research also shows that window-shopping gives the same level of happiness.
So now, when you know how the brain reacts to shopping, there is a high chance that you can control your emotions.
Buy it tomorrow rule
To make a wise purchase, I use “buy it tomorrow rule”. It suggests waiting for 24-hours instead of immediately purchasing and paying. Delaying the purchase helps you understand whether the item is a necessity or merely a desire. In the period of 24 hours, I question myself the following-
Why do I need this product?
How often am I going to use this item?
Is this adding value to my life?
If at all the purchase is a requirement, I get it by the end of the next day. And, I save my hard-earned money by discouraging the unnecessary purchases of some items of desire.
Bring the essence of minimalism in your lifestyle
We have been taught to have more of everything, because apparently that makes us look richer. We have grown up in a maximalist culture and hence, coordinating between expenses and savings is a big-time struggle for us. You would agree with this, right?
Now, to get rid of overspending habits in the long-term, we have to make changes in our lifestyle and kill the root cause. Therefore, I talk about minimalism. It is a lifestyle where people enjoy living with less and choose to spend on only the essentials. Through minimalism, we can get rid of overspending as it guides us to purchase the necessary, leaving behind all the things unnecessary and wasteful. Minimalism has many other benefits- you can read this article to understand more about it.
Surround yourself with mindful spenders
This is the simplest technique to stop overspending. We should surround ourself with those who spend rationally and follow sensible budget guidelines. Make sure, whenever you next go shopping, take along your once such friend and experience the difference yourself.
Kakeibo is a Japanese technique of spending less and saving money. To control overspending, it is suggested that we should have a set budget.
There are many budgeting apps today which make our life a lot easier. However, Kakeibo asks us to sincerely write our budget in a dairy every month. It is a belief that writing on paper has a conscious impact on the brain.
Kakeibo also asks us to categorise the budget based on the amount of money we are bringing in every month, the amount of money going out on necessities, wants, and unexpected events, and the goal amount of savings. It further asks us to track our spending by journalising daily and calculating performance at the end of the month by examining how much is actually saved.
It may sound like a simple technique, but it does wonders if followed correctly.
Keep aside a percentage of your income on every payday
According to this rule, every month on receiving your paycheck, you have to take a fixed percentage from your salary aside into another account in the name of savings. This is one of the most effective techniques to cut your spending bandwidth at the start of every month. You can even automate this process by putting a standing instruction on your bank account. Try this for six months and then check your savings account balance at the end of the 6th month. It surely works as a huge motivation and a great start to savings.
Thank you for reading. We hope that these rules assist you somewhere or the other in improving your saving pattern. We suggest you follow them and learn by practising with discipline. Fall and stand. Wish you more savings and less expenditure!
If you have your own rules that you follow, let us know in the comments. It would be great to learn from each other.