Have you ever checked your bank account and been surprised at how much money was remaining? Sometimes it may feel like your money is disappearing before your eyes! Certain situations can increase our likelihood to impulse spend, and being aware of these can reduce hidden money drainers. Before you shop, remember your TEMPO:
Time of day: Try to shop at a time of the day or week when you have an adequate amount of time and feel less stressed. When you are tired and under pressure, you are more likely to make unwise choices, such as buying fast-food instead of groceries to cook. Give yourself the time you need to accomplish your task the way you set out to.
Environment: Certain environments can increase your desire to spend. While it may be fun to “kill time” at the mall, that time can easily become a costly trip.
Mood: Be cautious of certain moods and emotional states that make you more prone to impulse purchases. I’m sure you have heard that you should never go grocery shopping when you are hungry, as you are more likely to buy additional food that was not on your list. Pay attention to the moods that increase your shopping behaviors and try to limit shopping while in those moods.
Place: Are there certain stores that you just can’t resist purchasing something from? Maybe you regularly browse your favorite shop online to see what is new, and before you know it you have a whole shopping cart full of items you did not need. Once you understand the places that cause you to unnecessarily spend, you can be sure to avoid those spots as regularly as possible.
Occasion: Identify the occasions that cause you to impulse buy. Do you feel the need to spend more during summer holidays or when you catch up with a certain friend? The best way to manage these costs is by ensuring your budget has wiggle room for seasonal or irregular expenses.
If you can be aware of your TEMPO, you will reduce your impulse purchases and gain better control over your spending habits. To learn more about how to manage your TEMPO, visit myMoneyCoach.