Curb Spending Impulses

Physician's Money Digest, May 31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 10

As any spendaholic can tell you,impulse buying can wreck the most carefullydesigned budget, while controllingthe urge to buy can help keep your financialboat afloat. One trick is a self-imposedcooling-off period. Resolve towait for a certain period of time beforebuying an impulse item. The moreexpensive the toy, the longer the wait—an item that costs $100 or more may callfor a 24-hour delay or longer. On big-ticketitems like a new car, calculatinghow much you'll pay in finance chargesover the life of the auto loan may dampenyour enthusiasm. For example, theinterest on a $40,000 car will add almost$6000 to the cost over a 4-year, 7% loan,and that figure doesn't include insuranceand maintenance costs.