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How can the 30-day rule help you save?

by | Jul 1, 2022 | Personal Finance

It’s the guilty pleasure we all enjoy, you walk into the convenience store for a bottle of milk, and by the time you get to the till, your trolley is packed with ingredients for an online recipe that – you felt like trying out just because you FINALLY found parmesan cheese on your way to pick up the milk. Okay, maybe we aren’t all aspiring gourmet chef de cuisines within the secret bounds of our kitchens, but we all pick up a few items that were not on our shopping list every now and then. While almost every consumer impulsively grabs more than they’d planned on from time to time, impulsive buying is one the biggest culprits preventing you from achieving your savings goals.

You might brush it off it as a small chocolate bar because you ‘need’ a sugar high, or a colourful scarf because ‘it’s just too cute’, but if it was not planned for in your budget ahead of time, it is an impulse buy. Everyone is entitled to treating themselves every once in a while, I mean you have earned it right? However, trust me, you are more likely to enjoy these items far better if you make room for them in your preplanned budget, rather than simply grabbing them regardless. Make habit of budgeting for random miscellaneous purchases in advance through a ‘fun spend’ fund and this could save you a lot of headaches and money shortages every month.

Budgeting for sundry purchases and ofcourse, not exceeding your budgeted amount on these items is one way of getting a grip on impulsive buying. Another way is using the 30-day rule for saving. The analogy is simple, whenever you are considering making an impulse purchase, pause and think about it for 30 days before proceeding with the purchase. After 30 days, if you still want to buy the item, feel free to do so. This works because, when you force yourself to wait on all your non-essentials, you remove the emotion from your spending.

Often, when we buy things on impulse it is very likely attached to some kind of emotion. This could be the instant gratification that shopping or the item in question might present, or the rewarding sense of achievement when you can afford to spoil yourself, spending money is a very emotional experience. This is why all the many emotions we go through on a daily basis often reveal themselves in our money habits.

In this context then, the 30-day rule for saving is effective because it eliminates the instinctive emotion that is attached to buying, so that when we have sobered up from the emotion of it all, we are able to discern whether we can do without an item we want to buy or not.

Incorporate your 30-day savings as a part of your finances by determining what you need and what you want, opening a savings account, and creating an entertainment fund. This strategy can be used to amplify your budget, help control your spending, and put your savings back on track. It can weave into your overall financial plan and help control the urge to impulse buy.

Another way of implementing the 30-day rule is by transferring your savings into a locked savings account that prevents you from withdraw from it without penalty for 30 days. Most banks can help you implement this method by offering a 32-day notice savings account which enforces a 32-day notice period for any withdrawals from that account.

Founder and Debt Counsellor at National Debt Advisors Sebastien Alexanderson said saving money is an integral part of any healthy personal finance management strategy. It can help navigate tricky situations, meet financial obligations, and build wealth.

“Saving money is vital. It provides financial security and freedom and secures you in a financial emergency. By saving money, you can avoid debt, which relieves stress. Implementing smart savings tools like the 30-day rule can help give our saving efforts more ease,” said Alexanderson.

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