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Five ways to curb unconscious spending

"Do you know where your money is going every month? Your unconscious spending could be costing you more than you think!"

Does it sometimes feel as if there’s a hole in your wallet? Instead of a pocket full of cash, you’re left with a pocket full of worries at the end of the month, no matter how hard you try. This is called unconscious spending – while you’re hard at work, your wallet is leaking money without you realising it.

We don’t just spend money at the shops – with debit orders and online subscription services, we are spending money all the time. Add up your music, gym membership, apps and cell phone contract, and you quickly realise how much unconscious spending is costing you. 

It’s not easy to take back control of where your money goes. It might mean cancelling that TV subscription for a while, or going pay-as-you-go instead of getting a brand-new phone. But get it right, and your wallet will know who’s boss. 

Here are some practical tips to be more conscious of where your money goes:

1. Get savvy about subscriptions and memberships

Make a list of all the subscriptions and memberships you have, such as magazines, apps, TV and streaming services, and gym memberships. Decide whether you really need them, or if you can live without them for a while. 

2. Don’t ignore your debit orders

What are the services you pay for every month? Debit orders can include debt repayments, insurance, and car payments. As they cost a lot of money, you might win in the short term by skipping payments, but you’ll pay for it in the long run. Keep going.

3. Stay strong in the store

That feeling you get when you’re standing in line to pay and you are surrounded by bite-size snacks, beautiful magazines and ice-cold drinks… These little impulse buys seem harmless, but they add up. Do your grocery shopping once every two weeks, and your total grocery bill will drop.

4. Look at the prices

For things we buy every month, it’s easy to just put it in the trolley and move on. Make a habit of looking at the prices, and start comparing between different brands and even different shops. Also, look out for specials that give you an extra bit of savings if you buy more.

5. Up your grocery shopping game

Do you go shopping the day after payday? You might need to pick up some essentials, but try to avoid making big purchases or buying nice-to-haves. Rather go home and think about what you need to do with your money this month.