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Before You Pull Out Your Wallet, HALT

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If you’ve experienced buyer’s remorse, you’re familiar with the toll it can take on both your mind and your wallet. For example, have you ever tracked your spending after an eventful weekend only to find that you’ve gone over budget by a staggering amount?

Part of the problem is the fact that you’re retroactively budgeting instead of being proactive about your finances. Retroactive budgeting involves tracking where you spent your money. While keeping a record of your spending is a good habit, you can’t go back and change what’s in the past. Proactive budgeting, on the other hand, lets you plan what you’re going to do with your hard-earned money. You can set limits on how much you’ll spend on brunch, going out, clothes, and travel, making you more likely to procure more savings at the end of each month.

But sometimes, even the most frugal of us can get caught up in impulse purchases. Before you swipe your credit card, HALT.

The HALT method involves considering why you feel the need to buy something by determining if your purchase is spurred on by feelings of Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, or Tiredness. Is your purchase fulfilling a legitimate need, or a temporary void? New Era Debt Solutions reveals things you should do if your emotions are compelling you to make an unnecessary purchase:

H – Hunger

Going grocery shopping when you’re starving is a big mistake – you may find much more food items in your cart than you would normally buy. When you show up to work without snacks or lunch, all the restaurants near your office are suddenly calling out your name. When hunger strikes, it can be easy to ignore the price tags and splurge on your meals.

Our advice? Pack your lunches and run to the market when your stomach is already satisfied.

A – Anger

Especially for those in relationships, shopping sprees fueled by anger are not uncommon. If a partner said or did something upsetting, it can be tempting to whip out your credit card as a sort of punishment to your loved one.

Instead, address your angry feelings through more healthy outlets, like exercise or journaling.

L – Loneliness

If you’re not spending much time with friends, it’s possible you might substitute social interaction with activities you can do alone, like spa and salon treatments, buying online memberships for gaming or streaming services, and making other impulse purchases. Material items will never generate the same kind of happiness that comes from personal relationships. Invest more of your time in friendships and less of your money on material things.

T – Tiredness

When you’re tired and stressed, it can be much easier to pay someone else to cook your food, clean your house, or even walk your dog than to do these activities yourself. But when you add up all these expenses, you’ll ask yourself if it was worth the price.

Getting the right amount of sleep is important if you want to be more energized and focused throughout your day. With the right energy levels, you won’t be too tired to complete the chores you would have otherwise paid someone else to do.

Do you need help achieving financial freedom? Contact us to learn more about finding the debt relief option that best fits your needs and budget. We look forward to getting to know you and creating a plan designed just for you. Our counselors are with you every step of the way.

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