If you’re a bit of an impulse shopper and find yourself in debt, there is likely a connection between the two. While working toward rebuilding your credit, don’t forget that you must be vigilant against spending when it is not required: your goal should be to save and to work at lowering your debt as much as possible.
If you have consolidated your debt into manageable payments, this is an especially good time to start saving any extra money. Just because consolidation can free up more funds doesn’t mean you should be spending them.
Ignore marketing ploys!
If you don’t already understand the basics behind good marketing, it may be a good time to learn what to look out for. Avoid diligently any ads on websites your frequent, even if it seems too good to pass up. Likewise, if possible, avoid the types of places that typically have the items you like. For an impulse buyer, there is no such thing as window shopping!
Don’t bring your credits cards with you!
If you do have to go shopping for a gift or new work clothes, for example, bring only the money you need with you. By not having a credit card available, you cannot purchase anything you cannot afford. Racking up a credit card on any impulse buys, however small or large, is only going to set back your debt consolidation efforts and put you in the position that led to debt consolidation in the first place.
Not only should you not bring your credit cards when you shop, but you should probably leave your friends behind as well. Even though your friend probably doesn’t want you to go into debt, their positive reactions to something you like can easily lead to your being pushed over the edge and making that snap-second decision to buy.
Learn the difference between wants and needs!
This sounds like common sense, but really stepping back a moment and considering how much you NEED something can save you from making a bad purchase. Yes, that new pair of running shoes might improve your morning jog, but not if you already have three pairs of running shoes. If it helps you, keep a small diary of everything you purchase, however small. Go over this once a week or so an make note of how often these expenses were more or less a waste of money.
Consolidate your debt
If you haven’t already consolidated your debt, now may be the time to do so. All those impulse purchases has left you with credit cards you simply can’t afford, and the only out (that’s legal) is to find proper financial help. Once you consolidate your debt, make sure to stick to your guns. As mentioned before, debt consolidation isn’t going to be helpful if you continue to allow your emotions to rule your spending habits instead of your logic.
Save your money
Finally, do everything you can to be saving at least a little bit of money from every paycheck. Create a separate savings account and don’t touch these funds unless an emergency comes up. Any time you break your own rule, punish yourself by selling something you like on eBay or donating it to Goodwill or eating ramen instead of something more expensive. If you can get past the month, your impulse buying and saving habits should become easier to improve.
Building your credit takes time but knowing the right and best resources is a big help. If you begin today, you can see progress in your credit within 6 months to 12 months, depending on your present credit score.