Unconsciously spending is literally destroying your financial dreams. It may be a weird concept to grasp at first but it’s a reality many of us face without even realizing it. Those small, seemingly insignificant purchases add up, creating a silent drain on your resources. If you think about the differences between your conscious, and subconscious mind, you might realize that your conscious mind is like the captain of the ship, making deliberate choices based on what you actively think and plan.

On the other hand, your subconscious mind is more like the crew, quietly influencing your actions based on habits, emotions, and learned behaviors. Understanding this distinction helps us see how our daily spending can either align with our financial goals or steer us off course without our awareness. 

Better Money Habits: (10 Practical Money Hacks to Start Today) – The Nerd Bae

Unconsciously Spending

Now when you add the unconscious to that equation, it’s like a secret agent quietly working against your financial goals. Think of it as someone on your team who sometimes makes decisions without your say, like buying things on a whim or ignoring your plans to save money.

These decisions can slowly chip away at your savings and delay your financial progress, all without you realizing it. It could also be those monthly subscriptions that don’t miss a beat; many times, they’re for services that you aren’t even using. And quite frankly, the amounts are so “insignificant”, that you unconsciously continue to pay for them. 

Taking control of your finances means being the leader who guides every decision, ensuring they all contribute to your success.

concentrated woman in jeans chatting via smartphone unconsciously spending
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

While you read this post, think about your hidden habits that lead to financial sabotage. Below, I’m going to provide actionable strategies to regain control, ensuring your financial dreams are not just dreams but achievable goals. Because let’s be real, unless you hit the lottery, marry rich, or become an overnight internet sensation, you will need to dissect every aspect of your financial habits to enable you to build the future you envision.

How to stop unconsciously spending and take control of your finances.

Set Financial Goals

Setting financial goals is like mapping out your dreams on paper. It’s not just about saying you want to save money or buy something nice; it’s about creating a plan to get there. Think of it as setting checkpoints on a journey—you decide where you want to go and how you’ll get there. Maybe it’s saving for a dream vacation, buying a car, or even owning your own home someday.

Setting these goals helps you stay focused and motivated. So, take some time to think about what you really want and start planning. It’s your future, and every step you take towards your goals brings you closer to making them a reality.

Use Cash or Debit Cards Instead of Credit Cards

Using cash for your purchases can really make you think about what you’re spending. When you pay with cash, it’s like handing over your hard-earned money directly. You see it leaving your wallet, which makes you more aware of how much you’re spending. It’s a way of keeping track of every dollar you spend and helps you stay within your budget more easily.

But come on… It’s 2024 and who still uses cash right? I know sis, but look… if you’re broke, you need to make drastic changes to improve your financial health. So if that means pulling your paycheck every week and implementing the envelope method then that’s what you need to do. 

On the other hand, using a debit card can also be a smart way to manage your money. Unlike credit cards where you’re borrowing money to pay later, a debit card deducts money directly from your bank account. This means you’re using money you already have, which can prevent you from overspending and getting into debt.

But It’s important to be conscious of your account balance and make sure you know how much money you have available before making purchases. This way, you can make informed decisions about your spending and avoid overdraft fees.

serious black businesswoman using laptop while sitting in cafe finance and budgeting
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Implement a Waiting Period for Purchases

Implementing a waiting period for purchases is a great strategy to address unconsciously spending money. Instead of giving in to your impulses, give yourself a designated waiting period, such as 24 hours or a week, to think about whether you really need the item. This waiting period allows you to reflect on the purchase and consider its impact on your budget and financial goals. 

It’s basically like hitting pause before proceeding—you’re giving yourself time to make a more thoughtful decision. This approach aids you in taking proactive steps to ensure your spending aligns with your priorities and helps you achieve long-term financial success.

Practice Mindful Spending

Minding spending is kind of an extension of implementing a waiting period. Being mindful about how you spend your money means that you check in with yourself to ensure your actions are making sense. This is you activating your conscious mind and being super intentional and realistic about your needs.

And let me just pause for a moment to say that none of this means that you can’t enjoy your life; if you want to go frolic in the South of France for a week and you have the money to do so, do it but let it be in deep consideration of your overall financial health and goals. 

Track Your Expenses

Yea babe, you have to do it. And I know it’s annoying but it’s necessary when you’re on the come up. One day you’ll get to the point where you don’t have to be so anal. And at that point you can build a budget for your unconscious spending. But… if you’re reading this blog post, it’s highly likely that you aren’t there just yet. In the meantime, track your expenses as if your life depended on it.

A life saver for me has been Rocket Money. No lie sis, this app has put me so many miles ahead of where I was a few years ago. Trust me… Rocket Money catches those sneaky subscriptions and recurring charges for services you longer use. They’ll even cancel the subscriptions for you and clock any bills that seem suspiciously high. Just trust me and get it. Today.

Tracking spending is especially important for the girlies who don’t have the best spending habits and have had a significant salary jump. It’s still very important because you may be unconsciously spending more because you make more. But that’s not always the best thing to do. It will destroy your finances in the long run.


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