He adds that this pause can help calm the “emotional brain” and activate the “rational brain,” the one that holds you accountable tomorrow. “Ask yourself: Can I afford this? Where am I going to put it? How am I going to feel about this purchase tomorrow? How am I going to pay for this?,” he says.
1. WAIT A DAY OR TWO Here are five strategies to help you navigate impulse spending.
When you feel that overwhelming urge to spend, wait 24 to 48 hours to see if you still want an item, suggests Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist based in Colorado. As some restrictions have eased, it’s likely that you’ve had new spending needs: returning to work, visiting with friends and family, and partaking in other back-to-normal activities. But when the nonessentials threaten to put your finances in jeopardy, it’s important to keep your financial goals on track.
Credit cards may help or hurt, depending on how you spend. Klontz says that people spend significantly more money when using their credit cards instead of cash. He suggests keeping a cash envelope to use in areas where you tend to overspend, like dining out, for example. Also, minimize impulses by not storing credit card information on websites or apps, says Kathy Longo, a certified financial planner and president of Flourish Wealth Management, a financial planning firm in Minneapolis. 2. PRACTICE SAFE CREDIT CARD HABITS
If you can’t bring yourself to wait, a store’s return policy may prove useful should regret set in. The return protection benefit on a credit card, if available, can also offer a backup option. When you make a purchase with the card that offers the benefit, it can provide a window of time to file a claim and receive a refund when a retailer’s return policy fails.
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