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Independent Living Skills: Tips for controlling impulse spending

By Michael Hineberg, Independent Living Services Coordinator
Maybe you are like many people who can’t pass up a deal, whether you need the thing or not. You get home with your “treasure” and it just sits there. We are all subject to media advertising trying to persuade people to buy things.

Here are some practical tips to break free from impulse spending:

  1. Limit the amount of money you have access to daily.
  2. Categorize money in envelopes such as food, transportation, social, etc.
  3. Start a savings account. Have fun watching it grow.
  4. Pay high priority bills first.
  5. Use cash only; do not carry debit cards or credit cards.
  6. Go to the store with a list and money for the purchase; do not bring extra money.
  7. Stick to your shopping list.
  8. Wait 24 hours to a week before making big purchases.
  9. Do not do your grocery shopping when you are hungry.
  10. Distinguish between wants and needs.
  11. Establish savings goals, including funds for an emergency, vacation, etc.
  12. Track every penny you spend for a month.
  13. Put most of your money in a traditional passbook savings account, without ATM access. The extra effort to go to the bank will serve as a deterrent to spending impulsively.

Money management skills are among the many Independent Living Skills we teach at Independence First. For more information, call 414-291-7520 V/Relay.