Some savings become evident when labels are removed, and consumers identify the real costs associated with their regular purchases. (Courtesy photo)
Some savings become evident when labels are removed, and consumers identify the real costs associated with their regular purchases. (Courtesy photo)

Breaking the cycle of impulse spending can prove daunting, but with concerted efforts and a plan for success, many African Americans are reaping the financial benefits. Here are a few The Informer believes will be helpful:

Determine with each purchase if it is a want or a need. If it is a want, put the item back and wait at least 24 hours before purchasing it. Increase the time period for larger dollar purchases. If it is something you determine you need, challenge yourself further – Why do I need this?  Is it something that I can borrow from someone else?  Does it have to be purchased ‘new’?  A good example: When my children were in college, two or three purchased books they needed for classes taken at different times, so that a $200 book with 5 users, costs only $40. They also borrowed neckties and blazers from each other when required to give speeches or take professional development class.

Pay Yourself First. Saving has to become a priority by setting aside five to 10 of each paycheck before any other bills or sundries are purchased. This may sound a bit tricky, but the logic is in making adjustment to what you consider a need. This may mean going to the deli of a supermarket and asking for $2.50 worth each of Swiss cheese, sliced turkey and luncheon loaf, rather than paying $4.75 for packaged product of each. By the way, there is nothing wrong with store brands and using coupons.

Invest Your MoneyLook for investment and savings options that grow your money over time without you having to do anything. High-yield savings accounts that pay interest, investment accounts that compound over time and even certificates of deposit, which pay out interest after months or years, are good options.

Shop with a List. One of the easiest ways to wreck your budget is to walk into a store without a list of what you need. Stores are designed to entice you into purchasing knickknacks you simply do not need. You need only look at the items displayed around the checkout stations to see how easily it is to buy on impulse. How many times have you walked into a Target or Walmart for one thing and walked out with several bags? Rule: If you do not need it, it is NOT on sale.  

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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