When you are trying to stick to a budget, temptation will always be lurking around the corner, waiting to ruin your plans.  In the modern world of digital advertising and targeted ads, a good defense can be your best offense.  Here are some tips and tricks to avoid the monster of temptation that will be following you everywhere, quite literally.

Digital advertising being your number one follower

You can’t look anywhere nowadays without seeing or hearing ads – on your phone, social media, podcasts, emails – they are out there, and you might not even be aware of it.  Checking out a pair of headphones on your laptop at work?  Oh, you’ll be seeing ads for those same headphones later on your Facebook feed, probably Instagram, and popping up in other searches.  Advertisers purposely track and target your online usage.  These are designed specifically to grab you.  Don’t give into it.  If something catches your eye, write it down on a wish list or try to remember it for a later time.  Never act on impulse.

Identify need vs want

When something catches your eye, and by this point we know it’s not a coincidence, think in terms of need versus want.  Is this object of desire something that will provide immediate joy that is fleeting?  Or will it be a long-term love?  Keep a wish list of wants and if your budget allows for a little splurge, you’ll have things that have caught your interest.  You might even find some of those items don’t attract you the same way they use to. 

The next new thing

It’s so difficult when something new and shiny presents itself to you.  There will be a lot of those things, and they somehow know especially when you are trying to set a firm budget.  How do they work their sorcery like that?  Knowing that in this life there will always be new things, this isn’t the last chance for anything, will aid you on your budget quest.  Advertising wants you to think if you don’t act now, without thinking, you will be missing out.  Don’t let FOMO get the best of you, especially when you have bigger sights set on your budget.

Quality vs quantity

This old saying rings true, especially with your budget.  Think of your money, time, and effort as limited resources (as they are) and you want to spend that precious gold the most effective way you can.  Going out to dinner with friends you haven’t seen in weeks to catch up?  Quality time well spent.  Starbucks twice a day?  Eh, maybe think of alternative coffee solutions to save a little on your budget.  Make those little swaps and they’ll start to add up and provide you with a fun fulfilling life as well. 

A note on clothes

Clothes are the easiest way to part you with your money and budget goals.  When it comes to adding new pieces to your wardrobe, here’s a good rule of thumb.  If you can think of at least five different scenarios to wear it, it could be worth the investment.  These have to be actual real scenarios in your life, not generic “oh I’ll wear it out sometime.”  You’ll be thoughtfully curating a wardrobe instead of throwing random articles into it that just collect dust. 

Stay vigilant out there and stick to your guns, your budget goals are worth it and will leave you with more freedom in the long run. 

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