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Smash Your Inner Overspender

THERE’S A GENE variant associated with good financial decisions – but only about a quarter of us have it, according to a report from the Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business. If you’re not among the lucky ones, here are ways to trick your brain into spending smarter.

FIND A MONEY MANTRA Repeating a phrase such as “Use tax refunds for savings” can be powerful enough to neutralize poor spending behavior, partly because when we break a rule – even one we’ve made up – we tend to feel bad about ourselves.

MAKE A DEBT PLAN Simply committing to a strategy may prevent you from giving in to temptation. Sites such as and help users pay down debt by sending reminders and encouragement at regular intervals.

BE SPECIFIC ABOUT YOUR MONEY GOAL Saying “I’ll save more” is too vague. Single out what’s most important to you now – such as purchasing a home- and assign a specific dollar amount to that goal. When you know how much you need to save, you’re more likely to make good financial decisions.


Credit: This article first appeared in the February 2014 edition of More Magazine

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