Imagine the following scenario: you’re looking through the clothes at your favorite store or you see a deal online that looks too good to pass up. When this happens, it’s easy to spontaneously buy the item. It is important to be able to avoid this habit and following the 30-day rule can help you save money to get rid of debt, such as car payments or student loans.
Importance of Controlling
The amount that impulse spending hurts you depends on your monthly expenses and your income. If you make impulse purchases often and the item is higher priced, it will hurt you more. On the other hand, if you have room in your budget for these expenses, everything might be fine. However, if you are looking to pay off a loan from school, impulse buying can really hurt you. It is hard to get rid of debt when your money is going to unnecessary items. You’ll be able to put more money toward payments by controlling spending. Another way you can pay off your student loans faster is by looking into student loan consolidation in order to save yourself money. This often gets you a lower interest rate and shortens the life of the loan.
How it Works
Whenever you feel like spending money, whether that’s for a new video game, shoes, or even looking for a new car, make yourself stop. If you have the item in your hands, then put it back and leave the store. Once you get home, take some paper and write down the item’s name, where you found it, and how much it costs. Write down the date as well. Next, place this note where you can see it, like the refrigerator, a bulletin board, or your calendar. For the next 30 days, think about if you still want the item, but do not purchase it. At the end of the month, if you still want it, consider getting it. However, it’s a good idea to avoid using credit to get it.
That’s all there is to the rule. But you might be surprised at how well it works. One reason it works is because you aren’t denying getting yourself the item in the future. You’re just delaying gratification. Another advantage is that it allows you to research the item. That can help you decide if you really want it and it might help you find it for a lower price elsewhere. For example, you might find the item on Amazon and see that it gets low reviews. If it’s cheaper online, you can add it to a wish list and revisit in a month.
Wants vs. Needs
- Remember that this rule applies to wants rather than needs. For example, if your car is nearly out of gas, this is clearly a need. You could look around to find a better price, but it’s not something you can wait 30 days for. However, at the other end of the spectrum are wants, such as luxury items. This could include designer shoes, designer jewelry, or an expensive car. These are items that may be nice to have but aren’t necessary.