Home / Money / Personal Finance /  Want to control your spending? Try the 30-Day Rule

You receive a notification on your phone. An online shopping website is offering discounts on clothes and footwear. You check the deals and end up buying a few things as the offers were irresistible. But this was not the first time you have made such purchases.

The shopping may not put a massive dent in your pocket. If you are earning well, say, 60,000-70,000 a month, occasionally spending 1,000-1,500 doesn't seem much. However, there was no urgency to buy those items – you shopped impulsively because you either like something or the deal was too tempting.

Such small impulsive purchases start messing with your finances over time without you realising it. It's not necessarily about the amount involved – it's about the habit.

A solution to curb such impulsive purchases is the 30-Day Rule. It can not only help you come over the habit of spending without thinking, but it will also help with budgeting and inculcating discipline and better decision-making ability regarding your finances.


The Rule is simple: If you see something you want, wait 30 days before buying it. After 30 days, if you still wish to buy the item, move ahead with the purchase. If you forget about it or realise that you don't need it, you will end up saving that expense. Money not spent is money saved.

If you buy things on impulse, the 30-Day Rule can help you learn delayed gratification and help make savvy decisions with your expenses.

If you want to take it one step further, keep aside the money worth the item's price in an envelope or a 30-day fixed deposit. You are earmarking funds that you may or may not need later. In a way, you will end up budgeting for the purchase. If you don't purchase the item, invest that amount towards your goals.

Initially, it may not work. But if there are few instances where you decide against the purchase, you will start feeling good about it. Over time, you may curb impulsive buying.

(Do you have personal finance queries? Send them to mintmoney@livemint.com and get them answered by industry experts)

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