How to get rid of bad habits to buy unnecessary and increase the savings
In the article I want to make some recommendations how give up the habit of wasting much money on shopping, which makes your wallet thinner and doesn’t let you fulfill your really important dreams and plans. As a motivating example, I can tell about my old friend Michael, who followed (I wish he had done it earlier) my advice and stopped wasting his salary on the most advanced gadgets.
5 useful tips
All of us waste our money from time to time. Some people don’t notice this: a cafe on their way to work, business lunch in a cafe; but others have to survive till pay day after the shopping on black Friday. We buy more than we need, being trapped by marketers. How to avoid wasting money, are there any efficient ways to become financially disciplined? What rules are to be followed, to have more money? Let’s look at some tips, how to give up the habit of wasting money and make your money work for you. My friend Michael, who I have mentioned, is a good guy and quite a successful manager at a large company, single, works 14-16 a day and gets “good” salary.
1. Don’t confuse your wishes with your needs
Michael has recently bought a new TV, despite my arguments:
- Why do you want it? You have had your previous one only for a few month.
- “You don’t understand anything, the new one is thinner and is OLED-based, it is the best possible image now”, he answered.
- “What a perfect argument! And what if tomorrow there is a TV with a transparent template, for example”, I tried to talk him out of the purchase.
And what was the result? The first few days after Michael had bought that new device, he was euphoric. It’s natural. I know, that human body develops dopamine, which influences the wishes strongly and makes us try to fulfill them. The same is with Michael, the only thought about having new device rises level of dopamine, making him get what he wants by all means. At my friend’s example, by means of wasting money on a new TV.
So, that is dopamine what makes us want something, we actually don’t need. Try to distinguish between such sudden wishes and true needs.
2. Find out true cause of your habits
I noticed, that while Michael was absorbed by his work, he had no thoughts about buying a new iPhone. But when, at a meeting his boss was not satisfied by his department performance, then my friend was overwhelmed by the desire to calm and comfort himself. Michael didn’t even notice he was looking through a new smartphone features on official website and imagined himself its happy owner.
You know, that a habit is a kind of way which your brain follows to get satisfaction. When we imagine an action a few times, neural connections in our brains grow stronger. And the connections speed up signals and response. Any response is triggered by something. In our example it is Michael's failures at work, after which he particularly wants to possess a new gadget. That is the force of habit. It is necessary to know about such triggers of bad habits. When Michael thinks “Is it not time to buy a new smartphone?”, I ask myself “What are you about?” You bought your phone half a year ago and it is in perfect condition. It is all because you boss’s criticism.
So, identify, what causes an overwhelming urge to spend money, find out the triggers of your habit to buy things you don’t need.
3. Feel your condition
At last Michael has heard me and realized, that thoughts about a new gadget are caused by his boss’s criticism. Besides, he has noted that he is more vulnerable to criticism when he hasn’t had enough sleep, breakfast or has a cold. Then, Michael, as most people, loses self discipline and control over his bad habits. How to avoid impulse purchases caused by stress. The most effective way is to feed your brain with glucose, which quickly gives energy to regain your strength and reasonable arguments.
So, help your brain to control your bad habit, feed it with fast energy.
4. Identify the reward and change the way to it
When Michael wants to buy a thing he doesn’t really need, and I try to talk him out of the pointless purchase, he finds reasonable arguments for that. Smartphone will survive the amount of daily calls and won’t switch off at an important moment because the battery is low, smart clock will allow to monitor his physical state, TV will add colors to an action movie. Of course, in fact, Michael spends much time at work and wants to reward himself for it. Dopamine increases the desired effect.
But do I suggest Michael abandon his needs? I don’t, obviously. The best way is to change the manner of satisfying the needs. I simply know, that “happiness hormone”, endorphin is a good pain killer. You can simply go to the cinema, attend a massage session or drive a cart. Choose those ways to satisfy your needs, which are available at low costs.
Michael decided to save up for his youth dream, pilot course, as it is so romantic. Now, after another our “failed” meeting, instead of choosing a new gadget, he puts 500 dollars to his bank savings account and gets closer to his dream.
Old habits die hard, try looking for other ways to satisfy yourself.
5. Stay the chosen course
Do you know, that our developed intelligence prevents us from staying the chosen course. First, we tend to overestimate our self control. We eat the second piece of cake, although we decided to give up sweets and pastry starting from Monday. I confess, I did so myself. Second, we are often deceived by our mind: “Yes, I lost control, couldn’t help, but it is alright, I’ll start from next Monday”, I justified myself. “I have worked hard today, so I have the right to relax”, Michael usually explains himself. Such arguments are mental traps, don’t believe them. Follow your clear plan by algorithm “if, then”.
For example, I had the following conversation with Michael:
- Last month I didn’t buy a new tab, so I can spend money on a new TV this month.
- No, then, you didn’t buy a tab, because you want to go on for pilots course, and not because you vitally need a TV a couple of inches thinner. If you are willing to give up your dream, go ahead and buy it.
Yay! He has listened to me.
So, don’t trust the arguments, which come to your mind. Always remember the reasons why you are cutting yourself back on wasting money.
Have you stopped wasting your money? What’s next?
Buy only thing you really need and save up the money. You’ll be surprised, how fast you can save for example 3000 dollars. Where to invest the money read here.
By the way, Michael has quickly saved up enough to go on for pilots course, and now he regularly gets his dose of endorphin watching the surrounding from a bird’s eye view.
The content of this article reflects the author’s opinion and does not necessarily reflect the official position of LiteForex. The material published on this page is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered as the provision of investment advice for the purposes of Directive 2004/39/EC.