I believe life is too short to not to indulge in things that make you happy and I love myself some retail therapy. However, I found myself in a financial disarray a couple of years ago. Sometimes I was overspending and falling short on my bills, but mostly it was just poor planning.
I went through my old credit card statements to check how much I was spending on non-essentials every month. After checking the spending pattern over the last four months, I decided to slash the ballpark estimate by 35% and put it towards a Provident Fund for my retirement. I set up an auto debit instruction with my bank at the beginning of the month so that the savings can get deployed before I’m tempted to spend.
For my shopping escapades, I decided to play it smarter. I have earmarked a fixed amount monthly for impulse shopping and I penalise myself by cutting out on socialising if I overspend. There are discounts being offered almost every couple of months – monsoon discount, Independence Day, Diwali discount, etc. I try to restrict my shopping only to sales. I implemented this strategy about six months ago and not only have I started saving towards my retirement but am shopping almost the same as I was previously but at less than half the cost.