Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for general information purposes only and do not constitute financial advice. If you’re in any doubt about your finances, you should seek financial advice. The views and opinions expressed by Dr Oliver are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of first direct.
Seen something you simply can’t live without? You’re the type to make it yours there and then. Lots of your purchasing decisions are made with your heart: and you’ve got some enviable items to show for it.
You don’t like to wait, or save for that matter, and you know you can borrow money if you need to. You love the thrill of owning the latest must have item, however may suffer from buyers remorse the day after when you have to face the financial consequences.
Whether you’re tapping for a morning latte, a lunchtime sandwich, a ticket for your commute, or an evening gym class, your phone is always in your hand. You’ve got lots of apps to help you keep track of your spending, debt and budget – but you don’t always stick to the rules you set yourself.
Right now, you don’t feel like you’ve got enough time to master pension planning or your long-term savings goals, but you’d like to do it someday soon.
Does this sound like you?
- You’re a fan of brands and you’ve been known to make impulse purchases.
- You regularly use your phone to manage your finances, or do some online shopping.
- You might have a loan or a long-term credit card balance.
Psychologist, Dr Oliver, shares his tips that could help improve your financial wellbeing…
Practising money mindfulness may help you. It’s a simple way to make yourself more aware of what resources you have financially, and where you want to get to in the future. To help build your money mindfulness skills, you first need to focus your attention on the present and calm your spending emotions.
Try the following tips:
- Keep a money diary using a specialist app, or simply put pen to paper. Every time you spend money, note down what you bought and why, how much it cost, and how it made you feel. Writing things down could help you learn to consider those purchases more carefully.
- Take a mindful pause as soon as you feel the urge to spend. To do this, bring your attention to your breathing instead. Breathe in and out, ten times. Then consider your urge to spend again – you may well find the impulse has passed. There’s loads of apps available to help you practice mindfulness skills like this, why not download one and see if it works for you?
- Try using cash instead of cards for a week. Set the amount of cash you allow yourself to spend during the week and stick to that. This helps avoid impulse purchases, which are more easily done with your credit or debit card.