Spending money is fun, right? Well, spending too much could leave you in a financial funk, so if you're a shopaholic it's time to reign your spending in. But even if you don't need to reform, it's still smart to follow some sensible rules so that you avoid getting into a mess. These are the 7 shopping rules to live by if you want to avoid going broke …
1 Think before You Buy
Impulse purchases are the enemy of sensible finances! So always think before you spend your money. Even small amounts add up over time. You could be spending quite a lot on your impulse purchases, and it's a very bad habit to indulge. Be aware of the tricks stores use to part you from your cash - they depend on encouraging you to spend on the spur of the moment.
2 Need V Want
Do you tell yourself that you really need a new pair of shoes or a designer bag? There's a big difference between 'need' and 'want'! Always ask yourself whether you really need what you're tempted to buy. There are very few things that we really need, so when you realise that you don't need another pair of shoes you're more likely to leave them on the shelf (and save your cash).
3 Cash is King
If you do go shopping, one way to ensure you don't overspend is to take only cash. Leave your credit/debit cards at home. If you have a limited amount of cash with you and no way of spending more, then you can't overspend. On an evening out, take enough cash for your needs plus cab fare home.
4 Live within Your Budget (and You Must Make One)
Have you never made a budget? You should. Look at your spending patterns, and identify where your money goes. It could be quite an eye-opener. Then work out how much money you need for essential bills. What's left over is disposable income - and you don't need to dispose of all of it! Once you've made your budget, stick to it - that will help you avoid financial trouble.
5 Plan Your Spending
Rather than just spending when you feel like it, plan your spending. Have you got a big purchase coming up? Cut down on your spending in other areas. Do you want to go on vacation? Save up so you can afford it. Planning means that you won't get any nasty surprises and find yourself without funds when you need them.
6 Don't Try to Keep up with Other People
Just because your friends blow a small fortune on nights out and clothes doesn't mean that you have to as well. Tell them if you can't afford a night out or don't want to spend the money. Don't try to keep up with other people; you can quickly get into trouble if you're spending money you can't afford.
7 Have Savings and an Emergency Fund
I can't emphasise the importance enough of having savings and an emergency fund. Imagine if your car breaks down and you can't afford to repair it, or you need to take time off work and have bills to cover. Having money put by in an emergency fund means that you can deal with any situations that crop up.
What would you do if you had the money to do anything you wanted?