Sense & Centsibility Blog

What's Your Financial Downfall?

If you see something on sale in a store do you feel compelled to buy it even though you don't need it? If so, that might be your financial downfall. This means that you're spending too much money on an item or service that it's affecting your ability to save money, build wealth, keep up on expenses, and possibly even causing you to accrue debt. There are endless potential triggers, but here are four common ones:

Promotional Emails

When you make a purchase in a store and give them your email address, you're signing up for potential trouble. Do you get an email from a department store offering 20% off and then feel like you have to buy it? If so, you need to unsubscribe stat. Better yet, don't provide your email address in the first place. It might seem awkward at first when the clerk asks you for it, but just say "No, thank you." I've been doing that for year and it gets easier every time.


 have been guilty of this in the past that when I get a coupon that seems like an amazing deal, I need to use it. The problem is I was buying something I didn't need. downfall. So I've stopped using coupons just for the sake of "saving money." Because in the end I was spending more had I not gotten that coupon. The same thing goes for being in a store and seeing something on sale. As I mentioned, a sale is not a good deal if you're just buying it because it's on sale.

Music Apps

Are you shelling out a dollar here, two dollars there or more to download music or play music at the bar? I play music at the bar, too, and I have to limit myself because I am a music freak. However, the world is not going to end if I don't get to hear Foo Fighters while I'm sitting there. (Even though it would make me happier :) . ) Regarding downloads, determine if you really need those songs. There are so many music streaming apps now that you can listen for free or pay much less for premium memberships than downloading song after song each month.

Social Media

I'm having deja vu as I write this because I know I've talked about this before in a previous blog. It sounds strange, but social media - Facebook, Instagram, etc. - could potentially be your financial downfall. For example, Facebook is smart and knows what you like. So you're going to see ad after ad from stores or items that you like. Also, seeing what your friends like can do the same thing. When you're inundated day in and day out with these ads, promotions, or even just pretty pictures, you may find yourself wanting those items, too. So be strong and avoid, hide, unfollow, etc.; do what you have to do to make sure that going on social media doesn't hurt your finances.

It doesn't take life-changing moves to save money; just be aware of where your money goes and make small changes whenever you can. For more ways to save money in your daily life, read "Six Budget-Friendly Hobbies."

Author Elaina Johannessen is a Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling. LSS is here to empower people to achieve financial stability and conquer their debt.