The struggle is real: How to stop yourself from going broke buying junk you don’t need

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Keeping your wallet shut isn’t always easy. Use our tips below to help fight the urge to buy junk you don’t really need.

STORY BY HEATHER GONZALES

Impulse spending.

It’s the bad habit that drains bank accounts and that no one wants to acknowledge is a problem.

Having the urge to buy anything that catches your eye – be it a cup of Starbucks every morning to a pair of shoes at the mall – can easily undermine one’s budget.

The problem so often goes overlooked because, at any given time, the amounts we spend may not seem like that much. The problem is that all those small purchases add up by the end of the month.

Senior Mariah Druitt understands how impulse buying can snowball out of control.

“I started off being really good with my money, but then sales started happening,” Druitt said. “And, to begin with, my budgeting sucks. I need to change that, but the damage has been done.”

Beating the urge to spend, however, can be a difficult task at first. But, with help from the following strategies, one can easily overcome the urge.

1) Ask Yourself Questions

According to an article on thesimpledollar.com, before buying anything, “ask yourself a series of questions.”

The kind of questions could range from: “Will it be useful?” to “Is it necessary?”

At best, try to avoid reasoning with yourself why you need that item right now.

2) Pretend You Don’t Have as Much Money as You Think You Do

“If you’re given like $50 for whatever, put $30 of it in a place that you’ll know where you’ll remember it is and you won’t spend it. For me that’s my savings account,” said junior Carissa Pearce.

Or leave small cash and limit yourself with a $20 bill in your wallet for example and spend it, frugally, until it’s all gone.

3) Avoid the Money Pits

Online sites especially can easily target your wallet.

According to an article by Dave Ramsey, an author and motivational speaker about money and debt budgeting, “on average Americans spend $20 per week eating out at lunchtime… that’s $1,040 per year.”

Another area that the average American spends their money on is coffee trips. Coffee usually costing about $3.28 per day and can add up to a whoopin $23 per week, according to Ramsey’s article. Another $1,200 a year on top of eating out.

4) Make Goals with a Monthly Budget

“If you make say $400 a month for example 50 percent should go towards food and gas, a $50 minimum toward savings and emergency funds, $50 for miscellaneous expenses, and the rest toward a goal or something that you’re saving up for,” said UNR Accounting Major Lyn Kengle.

5) Always Ask Your Parents
“You still live with them why not use them,” Druitt said.

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