According to a recent survey conducted by Finder.com, some 78.2% of Brits have succumbed to impulsive purchases when shopping online. This equates to an average impulse spend of £32.60 per session, and a cumulative annual spend of £1.06 billion.
However, such impulse buys are more problematic against the backdrop of the spiralling cost of living crisis, especially with inflation expected to peak at 12% or higher in October.
But how can you spend your money responsibly and without feeling guilty? Here are some steps to help you to do this effectively:
Set Up the Right Savings Account
Savings are key to assuaging any guilt you have about impulsive and non-essential purchases, while also helping you to create some form of financial security in a strained economic climate.
Certainly, it’s much easier to spend your money freely in the knowledge that you have a finite amount of cash in the bank, especially as this continues to appreciate at a fixed rate of interest.
Of course, the key is to identify an accessible savings account with the best rate of interest, while factoring in any limits and restrictions depending on your own unique financial objectives.
From a psychological perspective, this enables you to justify individual items of expenditure against a growing pool of savings that can be relied upon during times of need or hardship.
Create Budgets and Adhere to These at All Times
Budgeting is key to financial security and sensible spending, while this also creates a sense of justification and enables you to rationalize any impulsive or unscheduled purchases.
The key is to be accurate when creating your weekly or monthly budget, as you look to deal with pence rather than pounds and build your spending plan around how frequently you’re paid.
When budgeting, you’ll need to report all outgoings alongside your total income, before using this information to identify precisely how much discretionary or disposable income you have within a specific timeframe.
So long as your impulse spending falls within your disposable income thresholds, you can proceed with genuine peace of mind and assuage any feelings of guilt that you may have.
Manage Your Spending in Real-Time
Occasionally, you may find yourself feeling guilty after a particularly indulgent or high-ticket impulse purchase. The key here is to be responsive and react accordingly, as you look to manage your finances proactively and in real-time.
For example, if you have a particularly expensive month and have made one or more impactful impulse or non-essential buys, you could create a temporary plan for the following months that’s focused on making additional savings.
This creates some breathing space and allows you to catch up on your finances while ensuring that no single purchase needs to be a genuine source of worry, stress, guilt, or regret.
Published by HOLR Magazine.