Money tip: Curb impulse spending

Is impulse buying taking a heavy toll on your budget? Here are six ways to get a handle on your spending:

¢ Identify your triggers. Try to determine what prompts you to spend unwisely and take steps to change your behavior.

¢ Avoid temptation. If you’re inclined to overspend, consider a self-imposed ban on window shopping and casual browsing.

¢ Be a cautious consumer. Ask yourself why you feel compelled to buy a “new and improved” item. Will that new golf club/razor/skin cream substantially improve your life or just deplete your bank account?

¢ Take a time-out. If you stumble on a “must have” item, give yourself anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to figure out if this is something that you can afford and really need.

¢ Remember long-term goals. Ask yourself if you’ll get more satisfaction out of owning this item, paying down your debt or putting money toward that dream vacation.

¢ Check your balance. Go to your local bank or log on to your bank account online. Once you’ve viewed your balance, the purchase may appear far less enticing.