We all spend daily to survive and to live the type of life we desire. Whether it’s spending on groceries, laundry service, a new footwear, the latest studded designer wrist watch, a vacation trip with the family or you just want to pay school fees, whatever it is we cannot totally avoid spending on one thing at a physical store or online. But sometimes we could go overboard with our spending habits that we begin to accumulate and abandon a lot of items we never use or just use once or twice before the next trend sets it.

In order to control your spending impulse and spend on just the things you need and less of what you want, below are tips on how to practice the 30 days spending rule effectively.

The idea is to be able to properly evaluate what you want to buy before buying it, the 30 day rule would give you time to consider if the product or service you are about to pay for is worth the price, and the effects of spending such amount on the products or services.

Here’s how it works:

Leave It

Whenever you feel the urge to splurge for new shoes, a new video-game, a new Swiss wrist watch or a new Apple gadget, force yourself to stop. If you’re already holding the item, put it back. Leave the store. If it’s online, leave the site and get busy with other things.

Make it obvious

When you get home or get offline, take a piece of paper and write down the name of the item, the store where you found it the current price and date. Now post this note someplace obvious: a calendar, the fridge, your computer, or your glassware cupboard.

The next 25 days

For the next twenty-five days, think about why you really want to buy the item, but do not buy it. Make a list of the things you would have done better if you have the item. For instance if it’s a kitchen accessory, would it make cooking better, if it’s a gadget would it make you more effective at work or more productive, or would it make you simply cool. At this point, you would be sure you want to buy it or not.

 Who and what are your influencers

Before you finally decide on whether you would buy it or not, find out who and what your influencers are. To make that easy pick any of the sentences that best suits why you are buying it

  • A celebrity was using the item and it looked cool and I want to look cool too.
  • The item is an improved version of an existing one and would be of great benefit to me.
  • It is what is trending and I don’t want to miss out on the trend.

If your objective answer is point two, you can go ahead and buy it, but if its point one or two, you should think about it again, so you don’t buy it today and realize there is a new trend 24 hours later.

That’s all there is to it. But it’s surprisingly effective. The 30-day rule works especially well because you aren’t actually denying yourself you’re simply delaying gratification. This rule has another advantage: it gives you a chance to research the item you want to purchase. This can save you from being cheated.

Sometimes the urge to spend is gone by the time you get home. Sometimes the urge grows stronger for a week or two but then subsides completely. It’s rare that you decide to buy something after 30 days of waiting, except it is very important that you even have to get more money to buy it.

For more insightful post on how to spend money on just your needs, click here.