• How to stop that spending binge

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    JEREMY JESSLEY TAN, RFP

    It’s been a couple of weeks now since I started trying to decide whether to buy wireless earphones. I’ve been thinking of buying a set since my phone doesn’t have a plug for the wired ones. So I went to the mall and found out that the branded ones cost from P3,000 to P5,000. And these are just the regular ones, I was surprised that they could cost as much as P10,000. To be honest, I really didn’t need these expensive earphones; I just wanted a pair so I could watch videos through my phone. So I contemplated buying it for a couple of weeks until some other work stuff occupied my time and then I felt like I didn’t want one anymore. Whew! Saved P3,000 just like that.

    I’m sure many people have found themselves in a similar dilemma and some probably had success holding back that urge to buy something they didn’t really need. But I’m quite sure there are a lot more who just can’t help it. And sometimes the urge gets overwhelming and that’s when financial problems creep in. So here are some tips to help you keep yourself in check from going on that shopping spree you can’t afford:

    Don’t let emotions get the best of you. Our emotions play a very important part when we spend. All logic is thrown out the window when emotions justify our spending. We like to spend when we’re happy; we love to spend more when we are sad. Make spending more of a logical choice rather than an emotional one. Or put a cap on your emotional spending so you would know your limit and you won’t go overboard and eventually regret spending too much.

    Love what you do. Well, I didn’t mean shopping, but more of loving the work that pays the bills or provides for shopping. Loving what we do allows us to focus more on doing our best and spending more time to hone our craft in our jobs. We tend to forget about things like shopping when our minds are preoccupied with other things that we find more important. If we don’t like what we do, our tendency is to slack off and just think of happy thoughts, which oftentimes translate into buying things we want but perhaps can’t afford.

    Lessen your idle time. One of my favorite quotes that I try to remind myself of everyday is from entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, “You’ve got to make your actions back up your ambition.” So as much as possible, I try to fill in my daily schedules and lessen the time during which I do nothing. A lot of times, doing nothing sets us up to think of things like shopping, traveling or any activity that would require us to spend. And this could get us distracted from what we truly want. That would also allow us to sidestep our long-term goals for short-term joy.

    Do not justify too much. What I’ve learned over the years is that the more I try to justify buying the things I want, the more it means I don’t really need them. If we follow logic, it’s only one of two choices – do we need it or not? If the answer is the former, then the next question is, ‘Can I afford it without breaking my budget?’ If yes, then buy. If no, then move on. It’s as simple as that. Try to catch yourself from making too many justifications for you purchases. Make it a simple logical process.

    Jeremy Jessley Tan, RFP® is a registered financial planner of RFP Philippines. To learn more about personal financial planning, attend the 64th RFP program this September. To inquire, email info@rfp.ph or text <name><e-mail><RFP> at 0917-9689774.

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