If you’re looking for a way to help better or improve your life without making resolutions, I have a financial experiment that might interest you.  For one month (on a 30-day period of your choice), stop spending on impulse buys and  save the money instead.

The Experiment

Want a new shirt?  No.  Want to try the new coffee flavor?  No.  Find a really cool gadget on sale at Amazon?  No.  Get another toy for your dog?  No.  Replace the houseplant that died?  No.  Put the money you would have spend on the item in your savings account instead.

After the month (or 30-day period you selected) is over, look at your savings account balance.  Next, ask yourself if you still want the item. If you do, then go for it.  If you no longer want it, leave the money in your savings account, or move it to your emergency fund.  This simple experiment may help you overcome impulse spending and increase your savings at the same time.

Control Impulse Spending

Taking part in this experiment puts your impulse spending on pause.  First, it can show you how many unnecessary things you purchase in a month.  Second, it might teach you something about your priorities.  Finally, it allows you to exchange instant gratification for delayed gratification.  You might discover you get more joy from getting what you want at the end of 30 days than from acquiring several unnecessary things along the way.

Changing Your Ways

Have you ever tried to lose weight, eat healthier, cut out caffeine, stop smoking, give up sweets, or something similar?  If you have, it probably it took several attempts before finding success.  The same is true for saving money.  It’s almost guaranteed you will stumble and buy something completely unnecessary on impulse.  The trick is to learn from each time you stumble.  That allows you to improve at your next attempt.

Once you try this financial experiment for a month (or 30 days), take time to see where you are.  You may be surprised at the amount of money you saved or often you purchase things you don’t need.  Hopefully, it gives you the motivation to try it again for another month (or another 30 days).  If you don’t give up and keep experimenting, before you know it, the year has flown by.  You probably have a better grip on your impulse spending and your savings account is probably larger.

Either way, it’s a good way to learn about your spending habits and may help you save more money during 2021.