We’ve all experienced feeling a little guilty about buying something. That feeling when you’re unsure of whether you can actually afford something or not. Wouldn’t it be great though if you could go shopping and be guilt-free and feel like you’re in total control?
Well it’s possible and the solution is so simple and obvious. In fact, you already know what the solution is, you possibly just don’t want to hear it.
Make and stick to a budget!
That’s it! That really is as simple as it is. Once you have worked out how much money you make and spend each month, you simply need to create a budget. This way you can truly go shopping with no guilty feeling. If you have planned to spend say R2,000 per month on clothes – then go for it! (Don’t worry about the currency or figure, it’s just a example) And if you have been saving for some new expensive device, go and enjoy buying it! Have a look at how to budget for clothing as this is something that can often be tricky.
A good way to stick to your budget is to use cash. If you arrive at the shopping centre with a set amount of cash in an envelope (and no bank cards), then you really can’t spend any more than you planned to. You will see how the sales and “must-have” items are suddenly less tempting.
When you are in control of your finances it really is fun to go shopping and to spend money on the things you have planned for and saved for. And buying things within the budget is completely guilt-free as you don’t even need to think about whether you can afford it or not. You have already done that thinking and you know the answer.
Being in control of your money will reduce any stress you have that is related to money. The stress is usually because of lack of knowledge of your situation and feeling out of control. It can be sorted out with just a little effort (well initially it may be a lot of effort!)
REMEMBER: plan, budget, spend