Everybody always talks about investment, rate of returns etc, which all in all sounds very nice and rosey. However, investments would not be possible if you do not have sufficient savings or capital. Plus, it’s also always recommended that you have set aside your emergency funds before investing.
And in a world where we are constantly connected to the brands we love via our mobile phone, sometimes it does get abit hard to save. I know i’ve been caught guilty once or twice, when I finally managed to reach my savings goal after months of saving, only to splurge it all away in one day when my favourite brand decided to send me a “one day only sale” via email. So today, our Singapore Finance Blog will share with you 5 tips on saving and how you can stop yourself from having that dreaded buyers remorse.
1) Don’t download shopping apps
In an era where we are as connected as we are, it is easy to get tempted into impulse and purchase buys. Afterall, businesses and entrepreneurs pay digital marketers thousands of dollars each month just for them to be able to grab your attention.
So the best defence to their offence is avoidance. Avoid even tempting yourself with their sales messages and avoid downloading any shopping apps and unsubscribe yourself from their mailing list. If apps force you to download their apps to purchase, thats a good indicator that they would be reaching out to you more. In that case, we would recommend deleting the app after your necessary purchase, and only download them again when you need it.
2) Let the item wait it out in Cart
At the spur of the moment, it is easy to fall into the trap of impulse buying. However, a good rule to follow is to keep the item in your cart for a few days or a week before coming back. Most times, if you come back and the item is no longer in the cart and you feel that reluctance to browse through the entire website to find that item again, it probably means you never wanted it in the first place. Give the item a few days and let your endorphins cool off a few days before deciding so that you know you are not buying at the spur of the moment.
However, full disclaimer that digital marketers are getting better at that, and these days tend to incorporate limited time sales and/or further tempting you with more discounts after adding to cart (which depending how you see it, could be a win too)
3) Can’t Spend Money if you have no Money to spend
So simple right? To not spend money, you just have to have no money to spend. Adopt the pay yourself first rule and transfer out the necessaries each time your pay day comes along. Necessaries include setting aside a sum of money for savings and investment, fixed cost such as rent and/or mortgage loan payments, amount for short term savings goal such as wedding and/or your year end holiday, monthly transport cost etc.
To take it a step further, you can also use our finance blog‘s financial calculator to work out your math every month. You can also use free available tools such as OCBC Savings Goal to “lock up” your money to avoid spending, or set budgeting caps on your credit card spending category to alert you each time you go over.
4) Justify your purchase by asking someone else
As a married man, each time I feel like spending anything over $50, i make it a point to check in with my wife first on her thoughts (NO! Im not whipped!). This person that you speak to can be your spouse, partner, parent, sibling or even a close friend. The reason for this is that sometimes we get too caught up in the way we think, that we make ourself believe that we need something. Hearing it from a 3rd party’s perspective often helps to break that narrow minded chain of thought and helps you gain new insights on your thinking. Also, when you bring the topic of purchasing the item, you are often then forced to try and justify why you need it. In doing so, you force your mind to think why do you actually want it, rather than just keep telling yourself that you want something.
5) Think of your purchase in per hour value
This has proven to be the most effective method for me personally at least. Each time i want to buy something, a $150 shoe for example. I work backwards to understand how much does that cost in terms of hours for me. For example, if im paid $15/hr. I would then think to myself if this $150 purchase is worth me standing at my desk and being yelled at by my boss for 10 hours.
The reason is because most of us see our monthly pay as an absolute figure. When you think you take hom $2,400 and wish to purchase a $150 shoe, it doesnt sound that drastic and you still have $2250 to spare for the month. When you put the item in hour value, it then converts the absolute transaction amount, into the amount of work you need to put in before you can afford the item.