Sometimes, "saving money" is an excuse for spontaneous shopping. "Impulse buys" don't just mean splurges like a cute new pair of shoes or a dinner out. They also include things that seem to be frugal, but actually are not.
Examples of such purchases include buying a new laptop just because it's on sale, or getting an extra shirt just because it's "buy one, get one half-price."
If you don't need something right now, and don't see yourself having an immediate use for it, the item is an impulse buy, plain and simple. Just because something is "on sale" doesn't mean that you should buy it.
How can you get around the siren song of great deals and finds? Here's something that helps a lot: Observe the 30-day rule.
Think before you spend
Whenever you spot something that seems too good to pass up, write it down on a layaway list. (If you're in the store, you can actually put it on layaway so you don't feel compelled to grab it before it's gone.)
Write down the item, where you found it and how much it costs. Then leave it on the list until 30 days have passed.
Chances are good that by the time you come back to it, you'll realize you're doing just fine without it. You may even have forgotten about why it seemed so amazing in the first place. If after 30 days it still seems like an amazing buy, feel free to act on it.
Nine times out of 10, you won't want the item after a month. That saves you even more money in the long run.
Paula Pant helps people ditch the cubicle and live on their own terms. She's traveled to 30 countries, owns six rental property units and hasn't had an employer since 2008. Her blog, "Afford Anything," is the gathering point for a tribe that refuses to say "I can't afford it." Follow Paula on Twitter: @AffordAnything.