Saving money isn’t easy; in fact, we’re wired not to do it. Fortunately, little mental tricks, such as forcing yourself to document when you spend money, could help you from overspending.
This advice comes from psychologist Dr Ryan T. Howell, who studies the psychology behind spending, and tipped the Muse on how to spend money more wisely and happily:
There are things you can do to limit the pleasure of buying in the moment. For example, people report that shopping is often an emotion-fuelled experience. But what we found is that there’s something about tracking your spending that takes the emotional, addictive quality of shopping away — and makes it rational.
So one way to train your brain is to instill a rule that, any time you spend, you have to write it down. We found that just the knowledge that you have to track a buy makes it more difficult to make those spur-of-the-moment purchases. You’re much more likely to spend your money in wise ways.
Check out the full interview for more tips on making better spending decisions.