Celebrating 20 Years of Diversity and Inclusivity in the Law!

Over 5,000 In-House Women Attorneys of Color in the United States, as well as Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America

Corporate Counsel Women of Color In Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council Since 2023


Managing the Thrill of the Chase: 5 Psychological Hacks to Help You Spend Your Money More Wisely


Inflation has risen to its highest rate in nearly 40 years while wages continue to remain stagnant. That’s why it’s important to keep track of our finances and spend money intentionally.

Our spending habits can be the trickiest terrain to navigate. It can be tempting to dine out every day, buy the new car we’ve been dreaming about or splurge on a new designer outfit. The psychology behind why we spend—and, more importantly, overspend—is both complex and fascinating.

It’s not just about the items or services we purchase but the underlying emotions and psychological triggers driving those decisions. This article explores five psychological hacks to help you spend more wisely and manage your finances better.



  1. Define your financial goals.

One of the most effective strategies for curbing impulsive spending is to set clear, concrete financial goals. This tactic works because it shifts your focus from short-term gratification to long-term satisfaction and achievement.

  • Specificity is Key: Vague ambitions like “save more money” are less effective than specific objectives like “save $5,000 for a vacation.” A clear target is easier to visualize and work towards.
  • Measure Progress: Keeping track of your progress adds a layer of motivation and satisfaction as you inch closer to your goal.
  • Achievability Matters: Goals should stretch your capabilities but remain realistic. Unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and financial setbacks.
  • Relevance: Your goals should align with your personal values and long-term vision for your life.
  • Time-Bound: Setting a deadline creates a sense of urgency that can propel you forward.
  1. Understand your spending triggers.

Spending is often an emotional act, influenced by factors ranging from stress to the allure of sales. Identifying what triggers your spending sprees is crucial.

  • Emotional Triggers: Stress, sadness and even joy can lead us to spend impulsively as a form of emotional regulation.
  • Environmental Triggers: Advertisements, social media and even peer pressure can push us towards unnecessary purchases.
  • Strategies for Management: Once identified, you can develop strategies to manage these triggers, such as finding alternative stress-relief methods or limiting exposure to certain triggers.
  1. Use cash over credit cards.

The method of payment can significantly affect how we perceive spending. Using cash over credit cards or digital payments can have a profound impact on your spending habits. Here’s why.

  • Tangible Loss: Handing over physical cash provides a tangible sense of loss that is often absent when swiping a card or clicking a button.
  • Visibility: With cash, you can physically see your wallet thinning, which can serve as a powerful deterrent against overspending.
  • Practical Tip: Try allocating a specific amount of cash for discretionary spending each week. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
  1. Implement a cooling-off period.

Impulse purchases can often lead to regret. Implementing a cooling-off period before making any non-essential purchase can save you from buyer’s remorse and protect your finances.

  • The 24 to 48-Hour Rule: Wait at least 24 to 48 hours before making a purchase. This time allows you to evaluate the necessity of the item beyond the initial impulse.
  • Reflect on Past Purchases: Think back to past impulse buys that you later regretted. This reflection can strengthen your resolve to wait.
  1. Reward yourself for smart spending.

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in modifying behavior. Rewarding yourself for smart spending decisions can reinforce good habits and make the process more enjoyable.

  • Set Reward Milestones: For example, if you’ve successfully stuck to your budget for a month, treat yourself to a movie night or a small outing.
  • Non-Monetary Rewards: Rewards don’t always have to cost money. A day of relaxation or an outdoor adventure can be just as satisfying.
  • Balance is Key: Ensure that your rewards don’t undermine your financial goals. The reward should be a celebration of your discipline, not a setback.

Remember, managing your finances wisely isn’t just about cutting back—it’s about making informed, mindful decisions that align with your long-term goals and values. So, the next time you feel the urge to splurge, pause and consider these strategies. Your bank account—and future self—will thank you.



Contact Us

Corporate Counsel Women of Color
Radio City Station
P.O. Box 2095
New York, NY 10101-2095