I say no to a lot of purchases. Why? Because if you gave into every single whim that passes through your mind about buying items your bank account would be in the red. Life is full of choices, and no one else is choosing except you. Sure, not everything is a choice, but how you react to your tax refund is, for example. That money could be used on items that you think you want, but once you have them, they really held no value. Or, you could save that money and keep its potential to purchase anything in tact.
How do you say "no" when you're grocery shopping, or out on errands explicitly to purchase things?
Make a list, and bring it with you The first trick I use is to make a list throughout the week of what I'm low on food-wise and what needs to be replenished. I only deviate away from the list if there is a standard item (like avocados) on ridiculous sale and I stock up on the non-ripe ones to use in future weeks.
The 10-second rule If there is an impulse-item that you pick up make sure to hold it in your hand for 10 seconds. During those 10 seconds ask yourself "Do I need this?" and if the answer is honest, most of the time you do not need that impulse purchase.
Out of sight, out of mind My final tip deals with grocery stores specifically; only walk around the perimeter of the store. The inside aisles have all the boxed, not-so-healthy items compared to produce, meats, and other fresh items. Try it once with a dinner or two meal's ingredients listed out and you'll find not only will the items be more nutritious, but not as high of a ticket price as pre-packaged items.
Willpower is vital to saying "no" to purchases, but with enough practice you'll find the tactics above really help narrow the splurges down to what really will make a difference in your life instead of the one-and-done throwaway purchases.
Any tips to share? Let me know in the comments below.