Tips to help you spend less, save more and feel better – The Money Pages

Posted: January 14, 2021 at 4:56 pm

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The savings provider has been digging into the psychology behind spending and discovered 75% of Brits thought saving 1,000 would make them happier than spending the same amount of money.

Meanwhile 69% of self confessed spenders had experienced postspending guilt.

And in a physical experiment the app-based bank found post-shopping happiness was largely a psychological concept, with self-reported happiness levels increasing by 29% through shopping.

Indeed, the experiment showed going for a brisk walk provided the same psychological high as a shopping spree.

With this in mind money experts, Atom bank and behavioural psychologist at Durham University, Mario Weick, share their top tips to spending wisely this lockdown, getting your finances in order and above all, increasing happiness.

If you struggle to avoid temptation, one of the best ways to control your urges is to focus on a future goal that saving your money could lead to, whether thats saving up for driving lessons or taking a step onto the property ladder.

Weick said: The benefits of saving money materialise over time, so focusing on a future goal can make it easier to save money, whereas focusing on the here and now may encourage spending.

Weick warned: Impulsive behaviour can be triggered by things such as tiredness, alcohol, or information overload.

Browsing your favourite online sites when youre super tired at the end of a stressful week of work, or after a couple of glasses of wine, can lead you to make purchases without fully thinking them through.

Be mindful of only shopping when you feel fully alert and rested and for added benefit, get into the habit of taking the time to mull a purchase over for at least a few hours before heading to the virtual checkout.

Weick explained: It may sound simplistic, but one way to alleviate the pressure is to reduce ones exposure and avoid the situation, if possible. Something like going for a walk could be a good idea.

This is further backed up by Atoms experiment, which found that shoppers got the same physical high from taking a brisk walk, as they did from hitting the checkout button.

If youre tempted to make a large purchase, just a 5 minute walk in the fresh air or a ten minute workout video could curb your spending. If youre still keen on making the purchase when your heart rate returns to neutral, then its unlikely that your body is just craving the endorphins that shopping can bring.

When youre trying to limit your spending, you can feel like going cold-turkey is the only answer, especially in January after spending at Christmas. However, evidence suggests that this all or nothing attitude is actually harder to maintain than a split-budget approach.

Weick added: Saving some income, while giving oneself a spending allowance really does appear to be the golden formula.

A healthy balance between restraint and allowing oneself some pleasure and spontaneity is an optimal strategy to boost happiness.

Weick added: The purchasing experience is designed to give us a quick kick, with products to match that often emphasise fleeting pleasures.

Spending money is more likely to promote happiness when the purchase is intrinsically rewarding, e.g. life experiences, personal development or on gifts that nurture meaningful relationships, rather than those driven by superficial motives.

Take January as a time to work out what you want to gain from your purchases. Although treating yourself can give you a little boost of joy, make sure youre not only shopping for the sake of it, or to experience the excitement of grabbing a bargain.

This chance to reflect on whether your purchase will bring you long-term happiness will give the brain time to digest properly and lower the risk of spending on things that only have a short-term impact.

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Tips to help you spend less, save more and feel better - The Money Pages

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January 14th, 2021 at 4:56 pm