This article explains what the 30 day rule is and exactly how to use it to save money, regardless of what your present situation might be.
How many times have you heard the expression that you have to play by the rules?
Think about it!
There are rules for a child to follow in family life such as not being late for supper or going to bed at a certain hour.
There are rules for school such as getting your work in on time or not talking in class.
There are rules of the road when driving a vehicle and there are rules to be followed when on the job.
Some of those rules include getting to work on time, not raiding the company’s office supplies, and giving your employer a full day’s work for a full day’s pay.
Even in our recreational lives, there are rules to follow. There are rules for board games, video games, rules associated with the game of football or baseball, etc., etc.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon your perspective, rules serve a purpose.
Rules sometimes give us guidance on how we should act, rules help us to get along with others, and rules are expressions of expectations from other people on how they think we should act.
Rules are important because they level the playing field.
Supposedly, a set of rules govern the actions of all involved and don’t provide a set of rules for this group while another set of rules for another group.
Imagine, the game of American football allowing a different set of rules for the home team and a different set of rules for the visiting team.
If the home team was given 5 sets of downs and the visiting team only 3 sets of downs, the game would be unfair and would favor the home team over the visiting team.
What is the 30 Day Rule?
There is a rule for that.
When you find yourself being tempted to impulsively buy something online or check out that hot new purchase in your hand, the rule says simply stop.
Rather than whipping out your debit or credit card at the store or clicking on that shopping cart icon, it is best to wait.
Consequently, the 30-day rule says not only to wait one or 2 days before the purchase is made or if at all but to wait 30 days.
This rule is not intended to be followed to deprive you of that item but to simply delay the decision to purchase that item.
Therefore, if at the end of the 30 day waiting period you still want to buy that item, then by all means go ahead.
However, if the impulsive moment has passed or you have talked yourself out of buying the item after 30 days then do not proceed.
Have you ever had this happen to you?
You’ve been asked by a family member to stop by the grocery store on your way home from work.
The request of the 2 items needed is easy to remember. Those 2 items are a gallon of milk and a dozen of eggs.
Being the great person that you are, you say no problem, and you pull into the grocery store parking lot grab a cart and enter into the dairy section of the local grocery store.
However, located within this strip mall shopping area is your favorite electronic store.
You think to yourself that it wouldn’t hurt to quickly go into your favorite store and do a little browsing.
Besides you’ve had a rough day and you need a little pick me up by concentrating on something else.
Before you know it you are traveling home upon completing your assigned task. The gallon of milk and dozen eggs are firmly secure in the trunk of the vehicle.
However, nestled beside them is that new game that you’ve been dying to play or that new computer peripheral that is just the added touch needed to complete your technology setup.
This is a classic example of impulse buying!
Impulse buying can also be those times where you are feeling down or things are not happening quite right in your life.
To cheer yourself up you start looking online or going to the local electronic store to boost your morale through a purchase of an item that will hopefully lift your spirits.
Power of the 30 Day Rule
This all may sound too good to be true however, it is all about the world in which we live and the need for instant gratification.
Remember the story of the study that was done in the Midwest when a marshmallow was placed in front of several children.
They were instructed that if they didn’t eat the marshmallow, that in addition to that marshmallow there would be another marshmallow given to them.
The researcher then left the room.
This fascinating study is a revelation on instant gratification and human behavior as some of the children were able to wait and enjoy 2 marshmallows rather than one while some of the children could not wait and ate the marshmallow and missed out on the other.
The 30-day rule is an opportunity to rewrite or rewire a person’s thinking or attitude towards spending and purchasing.
The bottom line is that with the 30-day rule, the individual will differentiate between what is needed and what is wanted.
By delaying or eliminating their impulse to purchase that item, they are disciplining themselves and their mind from indulging in immediate self-gratification.
The 30-day rule, if followed, can counter impulsive buying. The goal is to save that money.
Saving Money Benefits of the 30 Day Rule
There are many effective ways that you can keep track of how you did not give in to impulsive spending.
Say, for example, you are in the checkout line and you reach impulsively for that chocolate bar.
Rather than give in to this example of impulsive buying, you decide to stick with your 30-day rule and discipline yourself not to purchase the item.
Therefore, when you go home you can put that $1.50 into a large jar.
This can work for your desire for a donut, a cup of gourmet coffee, or even larger impulsive spending urges.
Then at the end of the month, bring out that jar and count all of the money that you saved in deferring your impulsive urges.
Most likely, you will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of money that has been collected in that jar.
Then it is time to celebrate.
No not by buying that candy bar after all, but by cashing in that money and depositing it into a savings account.
By utilizing this simple process and allowing your discipline to rule in your spending life, you are well on your way to building up a sweet savings account by giving up sweets.
Effectiveness of the 30 Day Rule
The beauty, power, and effectiveness of this 30-day rule are that you are not only giving yourself good reasons for saving money, but you are building a lifestyle.
Many individuals say a habit, good or bad, can be developed anywhere from 30 days to 60 days.
Therefore, if an individual is on a diet and eats over this period they are becoming more healthy and most likely losing weight. They are developing good habits.
However, on the other hand, if an individual continually gives into impulsive buying they are continually feeding that habit of spending and in most cases, needlessly.
Consequently, by deferring purchases of wants rather than needs over 30 days you are not only building a good habit on the way you purchase items, but you are taking back financial control in your life and developing a savings nest egg in the process.
How to Use the 30 Day Rule to Save Money
Tips or tricks that you might find effective when shopping online and trying to abide by the 30-day rule is to go ahead and place that item either in the shopping cart or on your wish list.
However, rather than checking out and proceeding to buy the item, simply close out the browser.
For most shopping apps and websites, that item will remain in your shopping cart or be reflected on your wish list.
Then after the completion of 30 days, you can revisit that website and see if the urge or the need to buy that item is still there.
If the compulsion to buy the item has evaporated, then simply delete the item or items in your shopping cart.
Then congratulate yourself on forming a habit of saving and being a non-compulsive buyer.
Another possibility of staying engaged for this 30-day challenge in deferring compulsive purchasing is to compete with another individual.
This individual could be another person in the household or a separate friend or family member.
The idea behind this particular personal challenge would be to make a competition out of it with the person.
At the end of the 30 days, whoever has the most money saved in their savings jar would be declared the winner.
The benefit or reward to the person with the most money would be maybe having the losing individual wash another person’s car, prepare a meal, give a back rub, etc.
The idea is that our competitiveness can be a driving force that can help us and each other in our 30-day challenge.
Both individuals would be winners because they are creating a new positive habit towards building their future through savings.
30 Day Savings Challenge
Have no savings account to speak of? It is important to remember that you are not alone.
Also, if you would classify yourself as sometimes being compulsive in buying, again you are not alone.
It is estimated that one out of every 20 adults at the national level suffers from some form of compulsive buying.
It is important to remember that these potential and real challenges in life can be overcome.
If the compulsive buying is leading to a lack of a savings account, then the 30-day rule may be just what the financial doctor ordered.
Like any other endeavor that an individual wishes to accomplish it takes discipline and education.
Also, it is important to remember that even when we began walking as toddlers, that it began little faltering baby steps.
Remember you are greater than and equal to the task.
When it comes to a discussion about rules, given my background and upbringing, the 1st rule that I think about is the Golden rule.
You know, do unto others as you would want have done unto you.
I remember having the privilege of working for an individual who was very articulate and poignant in his thinking.
This golden rule came up one time during a discussion we were having and I’ve course I responded with doing unto others as unto yourself.
He said no not that rule, the Golden rule. He continued, with a twinkle in his eye, you know, he who has the gold rules.
At the time I thought that was a very clever play on words that may have had an element of truth to it.
Therefore, let us look at another rule which may help an individual towards achieving the golden rule of savings.
That golden rule is called the 30-day rule and has been proven to be effective in helping one’s accumulation of savings or “gold” in their personal financial life.
There are rules set up for just about everything that we do in our lives.
Perhaps this 30-day rule resonates with you and maybe the financial answer to your starting or continuing on your goal of saving money.
Remember the golden rule. He who has the gold rules and whoever rules has the gold. If you want power over the gold in your life perhaps the 30-day rule is for you.