What Is the 30-Day Rule in Saving Money, And How Does It Control Impulse Buying?

Category: Money Tips

If you are looking for a different way to save more money, you can try the 30 day money saving rule. But what is the 30 day rule and how does it actually work? Read more to find out about this money saving tip here.



Ever bought something that was on sale, only to regret it a day after? It takes a lot of effort to earn your paycheck, and realising that you’ve just wasted a fraction of it for something you don’t really like is truly the worst feeling on earth.

It’s pretty common for anyone to waste their money on something they didn’t really need or like in the first place. Oftentimes a bad impulse purchase, this can easily be avoided by practicing one of the most popular money saving tips of all time: the 30-day money saving rule.

So… what is the 30 day rule?

In essence, this spending rule basically talks about withholding yourself from making an impulsive purchase for 30 days. By the end of it, you’ll know whether you really, really, really want the item… or it was just a mistake about to happen.

This 30 day money saving challenge is incredibly simple, but extremely effective. Here’s how it works.

1. Put the item back.

When you find something that you want to buy – regardless how expensive or cheap it is – force yourself to stop. If you’re in the store, put the item back. If you’re shopping online, just bookmark the product.

2. Make a physical note (… or not)

At home, take a piece of paper and write down the details of the item that you want. The name, the store, the price, and the date you saw it. Post this somewhere obvious, like your fridge or a whiteboard.

However, others have suggested NOT making a note at all. “If you can’t remember it after 30 days then it wasn’t a true want or need, was it?” suggests Emma from Tuppennys Fireplace. (She has a point!)

3. Gather the money you need to buy the item.

Save it either as cash in your own little piggy bank or in your savings account. (Is it an item so expensive you can’t afford to pay it off in full? That itself should get you thinking whether or not making this purchase is wise for your finances. Weigh this thought carefully.)

4. Take 30 days to consider.

In this period, go on with your daily life as you normally would. Take the time to really mull over the item, and whether or not you really want or need it. This is the perfect time to do more research as well. Is the model that you want right for you? Is there something better? Is it cheaper anywhere else?

5. Make your decision at the end.

Once the 30 days are over, see if the urge to purchase the item is still there. If you do, then you can make the purchase confidently knowing well that you’re making a fully informed and responsible decision.

Some people say that you should only make your purchase in cash. However, if you’re able to get extra value for your purchase, why not? Besides, it would be nice to get a reward for enduring those painful 30 days.


Get rewarded when you purchase with a credit card – just make sure you pay it off immediately. 

Consider making the purchase with your credit card so you can reap some added benefits. (Just remember to pay it off immediately!) If you’re using a cashback card, you’ll get back a small percentage of your purchase as money in your account. If it’s a reward-based card, you’ll be able to collect points and redeem it for a variety of products and vouchers. If you’re already going to spend, might as well get rewarded for it.

Read also: Ultimate Guide On Using Credit Cards Responsibly

Here’s why the 30-day rule works so well to help you save money

Ever heard of instant gratification? It’s basically the desire to experience pleasure or fulfilment without any delay of deferment. It’s kinda like getting what you want, when you want it. This is something that leads to impulsive buying, since the happiness that the buyer gets comes immediately when the purchase is made.

“We want to be pleased by our purchases; and so we buy things that make us happy, as against practical, sensible options (which would explain why impulse bought shoes will likely be pretty; but not necessarily sensible).” – Gauri Sarda-Joshi, Social Psychologist and author at BrainFodder.org on the science of impulse purchases


This especially happens during a sale, where you see an item being marked down and want to secure it before your chance of getting it ends.

This is also the reason why so many impulsive purchases end up becoming wrong purchases. Too big. Too small. Too bulky. Too unnecessary! Oftentimes, an impulse purchase ends up becoming something that we hardly use, or something that doesn’t quite fit us right.

What the 30-day rule, you’ll essentially be practicing the opposite of all that – delayed gratification. This purposeful delay gives you time to distract yourself with more important things in life instead of focusing solely on the item that you want at hand.

It’s not an easy skill to master as it makes you feel dissatisfied and frustrated at that very moment, but the habit of delaying gratification has been said to result in a much bigger reward: improving one’s self-control and ultimately helping them reach their long-term goals faster.

Although it may seem extremely difficult to let go of something that you want right when you see it, the benefit far outweighs having money spent foolishly. If you ask us – it’s totally worth it.

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