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Small Steps to Curb Urges to Splurge

April 2022

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®
Distinguished Professor and Extension Financial Management Specialist Emeritus
Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Many people today purchase items that were once thought of as luxuries. Websites and advertisements show the latest clothing, home furnishings, gadgets, electronics, and cars, and television shows depict lifestyles that most people cannot afford.

Social media posts often share "rehearsed lives" where everything is "perfect" (e.g., smiling babies, trendy clothing, expensive purchases). Not surprisingly, FOMO (fear of missing out) can occur, making it difficult to fight the urge to splurge.

Below are seven ideas to get grounded financially and live the good life within your economic means:

In summary, through small steps, such as expense tracking, automated savings, spending ground rules, and mindfulness, it is possible to spend less and make wise consumer decisions.