Click here for a bit of background of why I am posting these tips.
One of my specialities used to be impulse buying very expensive items and then find I never use them or never really needed them. A while back I read a article on lifehacker that was around impulse purchases and how to reduce or stop them. One of the ideas was called the $100 rule ( I have slightly adapted the rules to fit in with my lifestyle but the principle is the same).
Basically if you see a purchase you think you want you take the total cost of the item and divide it by $100, that gives you a cool off period in days ( or in my case weeks). After the cool off period you assess if you still want the purchase and if you can afford it. If the answer is yes to both the questions you purchase it. If you want the purchase but can not afford it you delay the purchase the cool off period then reassess again. If you don’t want the item you have saved lots of money :)
In remember the milk I have created a list called “$100 Rule”, whenever i see a item I really want i add it to the list and in due date add say “5 weeks” (for a $500 item). I tag it either canAfford or CanNotAfford and coolOff. Once the 5 weeks is up I capture the task in a a generic due search and assess the purchase. If I can afford the item and still want it it gets tagged with buy which gets added to my weekly shopping list. If i can not afford it I defer it for 5 weeks again. If i don’t want the item i delete it.
It has really cut down my impulse spending and I have managed to save some cash. But it is not as fun :(