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Do you ever feel like you’re constantly running out of money, but you can’t really figure out why? Or maybe you just want more money in your pocket.
Here’s a rule that will put you in better control of your money decisions and keep you from spending money unnecessarily. This magic rule is the Thirty Day Rule. Ok, so maybe it’s not really magic, but it will save you possibly hundreds of dollars in a year.
How The Thirty Day Rule Works
Whenever you feel the urge to make a purchase over a certain amount, don’t. Instead, wait thirty days and if you still feel like the purchase is a good idea, then you can buy it.
By giving yourself time to really think through the purchase, you can train yourself to spend money only on what’s necessary.
Set a threshold to use a way to gauge the expenses you’re allowed to buy right away versus those you’ll have to wait thirty days to purchase. For example, $20 might be your threshold. You’re allowed to buy unplanned expenses under $20, but anything above that must wait for thirty days.
Implementing The Thirty Day Rule
Keep track of the purchases in a notebook or a list app on your smartphone. Refer back to it as you weigh whether it’s worth purchasing or not.
During the thirty days, you should think the purchase over. Is it something you definitely need? What are the alternatives? Can you use credit card perks?
You should also research the item to be sure you pay the best price for it. Can you get the same product for less money by shopping at a different store or by choosing a different brand?
As time passes, you’ll often talk yourself out of buying the product because you realize you don’t really need it after all. Boom! You’ve just saved money. Had you purchased the item anyway, you would have just had another item in your house that went unused until you got rid of it.
Exceptions to the Rule
Use the thirty day rule as a general guideline for non-emergency purchases. However, if you have to pay for something critical to your survival, go ahead.
For example, if you’re in desperate need of new tires for your vehicle, it’s better to buy those than to wait thirty days.
What About Small Expenses?
Certain purchases seem inconsequential – a magazine at the checkout counter or ice cream on a Sunday afternoon. These purchases are typically ok, as long as you don’t let them get out of control. Even small expenses can add up to more than a hundred bucks in a month if you’re not paying attention.
You can set a specific budget for these pocket expenses and spend at will until you’ve met the budget.
The 30 day rule ensures you’re not wasting money on impulsive spending.
If you ultimately end up purchasing the item, then you have peace of mind knowing that you’ve thought it through, done your research, and you’ve made in informed decision to move forward.
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