How to Practice Self-Discipline

The idea of Treating yourself (in which you let yourself indulge in material things that bring you enjoyment) is a fairly popular one in current society. While the concept  itself of making sure to set aside a portion of your income to spend on things that will make you happy is a fair one, there are a few guidelines you should stick to before blowing through your hard earned money – especially when it comes to more expensive purchases (like a TV, a new stereo or computer etc).  Here are some of our suggestions for practicing self-discipline when indulging.

Ask Yourself Two Most Important Self-Discipline Questions – Do you need it? And Do You Need it Right Now?

Obviously, chances are you don’t need a new TV like you need food, water, and a place to sleep each night, but there’s a difference between spending a lot on a new flatscreen because your old TV broke (or because your old TV is still an analog 4×3 square cube from the early 2000s) or buying a new flatscreen in addition to the one you already have.

If you have the expendable income where simply going out and buying a new TV isn’t really that big of deal, you definitely have more wiggle room. But if you only have a certain amount of money put aside to spend on fun things, make sure you’re not spending it on purchases you’ll regret later (or won’t use enough to justify the price tag).

If you already have a similar item and want to buy a new one just because it’s new, is that really reason enough to drop a couple hundred (or even a couple thousand, depending on what you’re buying) dollars?

Another question to ask yourself is: if you wait until your next paycheque, would you still want it as badly as you do now? If the item is on the more expensive end of the spectrum, putting aside half of the money for it now and then paying off the other half the next month won’t just be easier on your bank account, but it’ll give you time to really think about your purchase.

Practice the 24 Hour Rule

Basically, make sure you sleep on any large or expensive impulsive purchases before committing. Depending on the size of the purchase, you might even want to consider the 48 hour rule. If you still want it just as badly after 24 hours (and if your budget can support it), then go for it. If not, you’ve saved yourself some serious buyer’s remorse.

Have You Comparison Shopped?

While it can be tempting to just buy whatever catches your eye in the moment, the chances are high that you’ll be kicking yourself later when you see the same item for an even better price elsewhere. Before buying any big ticket items, do some browsing online to see if you can find it for significantly cheaper at another store (or even on online retailers like Amazon). Use apps like Honey and websites like Groupon to look for even more deals and discounts you might not have known about otherwise!

Remember: self-discipline is a skill that can be learned, you just have to patient with yourself.