IMPULSE purchases can quickly destroy any sort of control that you previously used to manage your budget or any form of financial planning. Learning how to control your outgoings, including expenses, is far more difficult than managing your income.
Inspecting your bank account across the past 12 months will show you that your income is quite predictable. For employed individuals, the same amount will arrive in your account either weekly or monthly. There may be some slight variations when you have worked overtime or received incentive payments, but over time you will know what these are and when they will arrive.
Self-employed and small business owners know that their income may fluctuate seasonally, but mostly, over the longer term, it remains quite similar for most months and is unsurprising.
While it is difficult to increase your income without selling more, changing jobs or taking on additional work, you can control your expenses. Nevertheless, this is the area where many individuals have less discipline and can burst a budget without realizing.
Small impulse purchases, like the bars of chocolate at your supermarket checkout, will slowly drain your budget when you had not planned to purchase these items, but the clever planning of the marketing team helps you spend more than you intended.
The larger impulse purchases are those that destroy your planning and can place your bank account into terrible difficulties, just as your mortgage payment is due and before your next salary arrives.
These purchases are often decisions that are triggered by an exceptional sale where discounts are far higher than usual, or a special offer that you cannot refuse. Social pressure also requires you to purchase items and when you see them on sale, they are difficult to refuse.
You can control your expenses by being more disciplined and refusing to purchase items when the amount falls outside of your budget and planning.
When you pay much closer attention to your spending habits, you can begin to start controlling your financial destiny and focus on the planning that will help you secure your future. By directing some of your money towards savings and investments, the funds will be available when you need them over the longer term, perhaps when an emergency occurs or as a down payment when you move home.
There are some easy rules that everyone can learn and help you avoid those impulse purchases. When you see a great sale, sleep on it and consider during the following day whether you really need to purchase the item.
Plan your food shopping by taking a list with you and keep within your spending limit each month. Unless you are receiving rewards points, you could leave your credit card at home which will help you avoid the temptations.
Many individuals purchase items that are simply not required and may never be taken out of their packaging until you decide to sell or recycle it. At any stage, you can make decisions about how you are going to plan your financial future and when every member of your family understands how you can curb your spending by remaining in control, you will have more money and savings to show for your efforts in the future.