Let’s face it, we’ve all indulged in something that isn’t a “need” from time to time. Whether it’s a fancy dinner you really can’t afford, or a new pair of boots when you have four at home, there’s always some kind of guilty pleasure we want to spend our money on.
A recent survey from Capital One sought to find out just what those guilty pleasures are.
There’s nothing wrong with spending on guilty pleasures every once in a while, of course. The problem arises when you’re eating into the funds for your actual needs, like housing or groceries, or when your spending is a point of stress.
25 per cent of the Canadians surveyed say that their “guilty pleasure” spending is actually preventing them from hitting their financial goals. If that sounds like you, there are a few things you can try to reign in that spending:
Write it down: It’s amazing how much you can reduce your spending just by being accountable to yourself. Every time you buy something, especially a splurge. If you see how much you spent at the end of the month and aren’t happy with it, it’s a good indicator to cut back a bit next month.
Prioritize the important things: If you really look forward to that dinner out with friends at a fancy restaurant twice a month, don’t cut it out completely. See if there are other “indulgences” like lazy-day pizza ordering you can cut out instead to make more room in your budget for the expenses that really matter to you.
Pay yourself first: Saving is much harder when it’s the last thing on your mind, but if you make it a priority, you won’t hurt your savings goals by over-indulging. Set up an automatic withdrawal into a savings account, so you won’t even see the money (and accidentally spend it) when that paycheque hits your bank account.