How to be a conscious spender

Spending consciously can really help improve your finances and make you feel good about your spending – you’ll feel far more in control. 

Being out of control with your spending is very stressful. So, aim to be a conscious spender this year and you could see a big difference in your life.

Take your time

On your journey to becoming a conscious spender, time is your friend. If you tend to buy on impulse, taking time out to think hard about the purchase can help. After a few days you might realise it’s not a good buy, or decide to wait longer before committing. Choose wisely and make sure what you buy will bring you joy, and that you’ll still love it after a week.

Do you really need it?

Minimalism and frugality are hot trends right now. Getting on board with these mindsets could inspire you. You don’t need to be extreme, but using up what you have, and selling what you don’t need are good first steps before you start buying more new things.

Make a list

I list everything I’d like to buy, but have put on hold. They’re usually small things, like makeup, a beauty product, or a new book. Every time I get paid, I think about what I’d like to buy that pay cycle. Most of the time, I’ve already lost interest in the products on my list before payday!

Prioritise your favourites

Prioritising what you really want to buy can help, too. In my list, I put the things I really want at the top. Often, the products or items at the bottom of the list drop off - I wonder why I ever wanted these in the first place (usually sucked in by marketing!). If I’m still keen on the product a while later, I shop around online for the best value for money. Often there are many different versions of the same product, and you might find a better deal.

Think about the impact (long term and short term)

If I spend all my money on impulse buys at the start of the pay cycle, I’ll have less at the end, which I find stressful. When I’m thinking about buying something, I think about the impact it could have – especially if it’s a couple of hundred dollars or more. That’s a couple of hundred dollars I can’t spend on a weekend away, for example. When I’m buying something I think, do I really want to spend my money on this?

Published 20 January 2020

Pie Funds Management Limited is the issuer of the JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme. You can read our Product Disclosure Statement. All content is correct at time of publication date. This article is general in nature only and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives or circumstances. Before relying on it, we recommend you speak with an independent financial adviser.