This week I want to share a short, but vital, financial tip: It’s okay to let coupons expire.
The other day at the gym, I overheard someone sharing a story with her friend how she ran to Kohl’s that weekend because she had $30 of Kohl’s cash (free money!) that was going to expire. Letting this coupon expire would be like throwing $30 down the drain, so off shopping she went.
You don’t need me to tell you what happened next.
When it comes to mastering your finances, nearly everyone’s biggest challenge is sticking to your spending plan. Almost anywhere you look or listen, there is messaging designed to convince you to part with your money. How in the world are you going to mange your spending to be consistent with your financial goals?
There is a lot that goes into your spending habits, and much of it is psychological – hence the growing prevalence of research into behavioral finance, as recently seen with the awarding of this year’s Nobel Price in Economics to University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler for his work in this area.
Long-term, successfully spending in line with your plan requires a shift in your mindset and your habits. It’s not always something that can happen quickly. In the short-term, however, there are systems you can put in place to help you stick to your spending plan until you’ve developed the habits to keep your spending on auto-pilot.
One of the most effective short-term solutions is using artificial restraints. (more…)