Let’s be real, spending money is fun. Being able to buy things that you see in a store right that minute can give you a crazy rush of momentary happiness that feels so good. However, that feeling fades fast. That’s why I’ve started using the 30 Day Rule to control my impulse spending.

It’s really easy to just grab a ton of stuff that you don’t actually need every time you go shopping. Trust me, I’ve done it. Unfortunately, chances are most of the things you’re trying to buy are going to end up in the garbage or donated in a matter of months.

The basics of the 30 day rule is that it’s a super uncomplicated way to control your impulse purchases and make yourself really think about your wants vs needs.

That’s why the 30 Day Rule is so insanely valuable and can be used in so many situations. Let’s dig into how it works and go over an example from my life when it saved me a TON of money!

How to Use The 30 Day Rule

So, how does the 30 day rule work?

Well, when you’re at a store buying things you actually need and you see something that sparks interest that you really want. Don’t buy it. I know, I know. That doesn’t sound fun. But you may be able to buy it later!

Take out your phone, and take a photo of the image or write a message to yourself in your notes app. Write down what the item is, the brand, the store, and how much it costs. Be sure to include the date that you saw the item and it sparked your interest.

When you go home, write down this information on a piece of paper and put it somewhere you’ll see it each and every day. For example, put it on your fridge or on your mirror.

Every day for the next month, look at this piece of paper. Think about the item, how much it costs, and whether or not it will actually improve your life.

If after 30 days you still have a really intense desire to purchase the item, you’ve earned it. Go ahead and make it happen for yourself.

Why Does The 30 Day Rule Work?

The 30 day rule is an awesome exercise in delayed gratification which seems to be a problem with so many people these days. It makes you take the time to really figure out if you want the item instead of just being like “OH PRETTY” and purchasing it immediately.

It’s not an entirely constricting rule, since you do still have the chance to buy it at the end of the month, but it helps you to make better decisions with your money.

It saves you from a lot of unnecessary clutter in your house and a lot of effort of having to sell things some day when you realize that you didn’t actually need them.

an image of a jar filled with money on a light teal background on a post from Not Quite an Adult about the 30 Day Rule

How I’ve used the 30 day rule

I’ve used this kind of impulse spending rule a ton of times in my life. Most of the times it was more of a 48-hour rule, because that’s all I thought was necessary.

But the second I heard about the 30 day rule, I knew I needed to give it a try. I use it for any purchase over $50 and a lot of smaller purchases as well.

The most recent use of the 30 day rule in my life is when I wanted to buy a new pair of boots from JustFab. I have weirdly shaped feet that are a little wide so I love just fab because most of their stuff fits.

Now, I have too many pairs of shoes. This is a fact. I didn’t need a new pair of boots but then I saw them on the website. They were black with an embroidered rose on the side and possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

I wrote down all of their information on a white board in my bedroom and thought about them every single day, and eventually I… didn’t buy them.

I realized that I didn’t need another pair of boots. I realized that I didn’t have anywhere to put them. And I realized that I could put that $40 towards my student loan debt which is suffocating me.

I don’t have any regrets, I actually feel great that I didn’t get the shoes even though they were beautiful. My urges for the shoes really went away after about 2.5 weeks and I completely forgot about them by the end of the month.

The 30 Day Rule WORKS!

Final Thoughts

The 30 Day Rule is one of the simplest and most effective way to save money and get rid of the clutter that seems to build up in your house. I really hope you can use the 30 day rule to save yourself some money, if you’ve used this, or plan to use this, let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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