Everyone has those moments when you casually stroll around a mall, then all of a sudden, you stop in your tracks, things around you blur, and the world slowly swirls to focus on the big red sign in front of your favourite store: SALE. Everything with a percent-off tag suddenly looks so irresistible and you cannot just let them fall into other people’s hands. These are times when we lose control of our spending. It may seem harmless, but feeling this way at every visit to the mall puts your income at risk and can prevent you from reaching more important financial goals. You need a few financial advice to control your spending to save your money from going down the drain. Who are Portafina
The first thing you need to do is to set priorities. Make a list of the things you need and make sure to spend money on them first before other things. If you plan on going to the grocery store, for example, bringing with you a shopping list and sticking to it saves time and money but not putting unnecessary items in your cart. Asking yourself questions like “Can I afford this?”, “Do I need this?”, or “Have I checked if it’s cheaper somewhere else?” can also stop you from buying on impulse.
Next is to spend within your means. One way to do this is by patronising the use of cash over credit cards. Only bring with you the approximate amount of cash you need and leave your credit cards at home. In this case, no matter how tempted you are to buy something beyond your budget, you have no choice but to walk away. Think of credit cards as your “debt cards” because you are spending the bank’s money every time you swipe. Make sure your debts are a low as possible so you can pay for them fully on time. Every month you fail to pay makes the value of your debt higher.
The third tip is to make a budget diary. This can help identify the trends in your spending and monitor your total expenses. Have a daily limit on the maximum amount you can spend. If you go beyond it, review your purchases and check where you might have bought something you didn’t really need.
Constantly spending more than what you earn can lead you to a financial storm. Before you know it, you no longer have savings for your financial goals and all of what you earn goes to paying your debts. If you reach this point, you can always seek the assistance of a financial adviser to pull you out of crisis.