But I want it . . .

adminFamily Who Saves, Personal Finance

We might be great at telling our kids no, but do we tell ourselves “No”?  The holidays are approaching, your savings goals are clear . . .and there are daily temptations to throw those goals out the window and make impulse purchases instead.  The grocery store, department stores, even fast food can throw you off track if you don’t plan ahead.  Here are a few tips to keep you on track!

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  • Meal Planning–When you know dinner is planned, you won’t eat out when you’re tired.  When you have a grocery list and you stick to it, you’ll save a lot of money.
  • Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. Everything looks delicious and ends up in the cart 🙂
  • Use cash when you’re buying anything NOT on the list.  Have an envelope with some cash specifically FOR impulse purchases.
  • Similar to using cash, decide what your impulse budget will be for the month–how much can you spend on items not in your budget?
  • Have a list for Target, Walmart (or any other department store you go to).  Anything that isn’t on the list, goes in the kiddy seat of the cart. Before you check out, add up what those non-list items cost and decide if it fits in your budget.
  • Give your kids a calculator and ask them to add things up as they go into the cart.  Tell them what the budget is for that trip–they’re great at holding you accountable!  (This one is a little dangerous if you’re an impulse shopper, but great lesson for the kiddos!)
  • Create some boundaries with your spouse: What amount can you spend without discussing it with your spouse?  $100? $200?  decide on an amount together and then stick to it.
  • Create some boundaries with yourself: What amount can you spend without taking 24 hours to think about it? Decide that you won’t spend over $100 on ANYthing without giving yourself 24 hours to think about it.  Over half the time, you’ll realize the next day that you didn’t need it (or you can’t afford it right now).

Of course, all of these tips are easier if you have a monthly budget that works for you and your family!  

Need help getting a budget set up?  If you bank with Plaza Park Bank, our bankers would happy to talk through a few budgeting tips.  If you need more help (like credit/debt counseling), we can recommend a number of local agencies with awesome resources!  Just give us a call 320-252-4200.