I am upset today. The reasons don’t matter, but I am one of these people who will, when angry or hurt, try to placate myself by buying something. So maybe it was kismet when I came across this article on spending too much money, why we do it and some tips on how we can learn to rein ourselves in.

  • H.A.L.T.- -Life coach and financial whiz Syble Solomon creator of Habitudes suggests using this great acronym to help recognize when you’re vulnerable to spending money you shouldn’t. HALT-Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. If you’re any of these things at the end of a long day, just head home, eat something and chill. If you’re just starting your day, and you’re already stressed out, think about the consequences and avoid trying to cheer yourself up by buying something.
  • If alcohol increases the chances that you’ll spend your hard-earned money on your new “friends” at your favorite bar and grill, take steps to limit that spending, before alcohol and emotion empty your wallet or boost your credit card debt. Take only the amount of cash you want to spend and/or let your designated driver hold on to your credit cards.
  • Don’t spend that tax refund! A tax refund isn’t free money; it is already your money, that you overpaid the government during the year. It should have been working for you, in investments or savings accounts or paying off debt. Since the cash is already yours how do you want to spend it?
  • Buying online. It is tempting when you open emails with the promise of “unbelievable savings” to spend your hard-earned money. But something Solomon recommends that seems to work for me is this. Stopping and thinking.  I know it sounds remedial but it works. Before I checkout, I look at the stuff in the cart, think about how long I had to work to buy it, think about all my other bills, think about whether these are things I need or simply want. By the time I’m done with all this contemplating, I usually escape out of the website I’m in and move on. Money saved.