Then it’s a good time to start counting your pennies.
Here’s a familiar scenario at the start of every month: You just got your pay cheque and you feel like a million bucks. You can’t wait to hit the bar for drinks with your gal pals or shop the latest shoe collection. A week or two later you realize that your bank balance is dangerously low and you wonder how you’ll survive the rest of the month. You promise yourself that you’ll be careful about your expenses next month. But, come payday again, you, sadly, repeat the same vicious cycle.
Most of us are guilty of spending money on things we don’t need. While it may be a major problem, there are ways to deal with it. Three Lankan girls tell us what methods have actually helped them control impulse spending.
MAKE A LIST AND STICK TO IT
“I often went grocery without a plan in mind. It was my mother who instilled in me the importance of making a list along with a rough budget, and sticking to it. Usually, I walked every aisle in the supermarket and picked up stuff for the month. The moment I see something on discount, I grab it without a second thought. Most times it’s not even a product I use, but the lure of a reduced price is too strong. Not anymore! I installed the ColorNote app on my phone and keep a template. It’s amazing how a little planning helps!” – Shana, 25
UNSUBSCRIBE FROM EMAIL AND TEXT MESSAGES FROM VENDORS
“Turn off mobile and e-mail notifications from clothing stores or food outlets. Pizza Hut, Dominos and KFC constantly send me messages about offers and discounts. With online ordering, it’s easy to buy stuff with your card. So, invariably I spent all my money on junk food. I ended up gaining weight (in a not so good way) and got broke pretty fast. My friend took matters into her own hands and unsubscribed me from all the discounted services. No more unwanted deals breaking my bank now!” – Priya, 22
CANCEL UNNECESSARY CARDS
“In Colombo, it’s easier to carry around credit/debit cards rather than a wad of cash. It’s also safer that way in case your wallet gets lost or stolen. But the disadvantage is being able to buy whatever you want, knowing you always have access to money. That’s exactly what happened to me every time I went shopping at ODEL or Cotton Collection. I kept using my credit card until I racked up a huge bill at the end of the month. My husband was so shocked when he saw how much I’d spent. I felt really guilty so we sat down and figured out how to stop this habit. I cancelled my credit card after paying my dues and only kept one debit card in my purse. This account only had a limited amount so I knew I had to be careful about how I used it. The SMS alerts that give real-time updates on every purchase I make, along with the bank balance, helps me a great deal.” – Hansi, 32
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