When the perfect purchase presents itself to you in the moment, what are you supposed to do — ignore it? We love impulse buys, whether it's a candy bar at the checkout counter or an utterly smashing new sweater. We also don't tend to keep very good track of them, though, and they can certainly add up.
A survey released this fall by American Express found that on average, millennials spend $411 each month on unplanned purchases. If that's within your budget, rad; if not, it could present you with some trouble. AmEx also found that nearly 7 in 10 millennials make some kind of financial or budgeting tradeoff each week, like packing a lunch because you ate out yesterday. Ultimately, those purchases often become our biggest and most common financial regrets.
That said, one of the most surefire ways to build wealth is also one of the most helpful for feeling out your budget's limitations. Start keeping track of your spending on a granular level, every day, whether it's through an app, an Excel spreadsheet, or just on a piece of paper. It's a good way to find money you'd really rather allocate elsewhere, and it helps you be more thoughtful about what's really worthwhile to you.
Almost 90 percent of millennials spend more during the winter months than any other time of year. There's no time limit on starting new habits, but it does make the holiday season a great time to make a change for the more in-control.