Our lack of self-control us costing us; it’s costing us big.

At the time of writing this blog our national credit card debt stood at $32 billion – that’s an average of $4,300 for every single credit card holder. That’s a lot of money to owe, and if we owe this much, it’s not surprising so many people need help with debt.

A chunk of this $32 billion would be non-impulse purchases, I am sure a bunch of it is. So we are asking the question, is impulse spending ie. lack of self-control costing us big?

The answer is yes.

Think about everything you’ve bought in the last month, how much of that was stuff you didn’t need, but wanted? The chances are, these were all impulse purchases.

Whilst we’ve previously written about bad habits costing us thousands of dollars and the 6 bad habits which are costing us money, these articles are looking at more mainstream everyday purchases, it’s the one off purchases which are the real killers.

Will budgeting help?

Budgeting is a great tool, it can help with debt management, it can help us keep track and see what we are spending. Budgeting is also a great tool for helping us see how much extra money we have to spend. If you don’t already, make sure to set up and follow a budget so you can cut down on the number of impulse purchases you make.

You can download our free budget spreadsheet here.

Impulse spending is natural

In order to make any changes in our lives, we have to accept it as an issue/problem. Impulse spending is natural – well maybe not natural, but we all do it. That’s okay. Sometimes we have to be able to make impulse purchases, if we count every dollar we would most likely go insane. In this case it would be a reward purchase and not an impulse purchase so much.

It’s important to ensure you have your basic necessities covered such as rent, food, bills and debt payments. Whilst you should focus on looking at paying down our debt as soon as possible, we also need the ability to reward ourselves, and sometimes this is through an ‘impulse spend’. Other times, we need a bit of help with debt too!

I am not advocating going out and spending your money on whatever you want, but you do need to build some ‘reward’ money into your budget so you can treat yourself when you hit a goal.

If you continue to slog day in and day out with no reward, you will lose heart and fall off the wagon completely. Remember how your New Year’s resolutions worked out? Not well, I am betting.

Check out one of our blog posts on a beginner’s guide to financial goal setting. This is a good guide to help you set up goals and start reaching them.

Impulse spending is not the enemy, but it can stop us from getting help with debt, especially when this help is us paying off our debt sooner.