Control Your Spending With The 30-Day Rule

By Contributor | Monday 20th May, 2019

If you're looking at the title of this article and thinking...'What on Earth is the 30-day rule?', then it's defo time to find out.

You might just revolutionise your bank balance.

Building your bank balance doesn't mean you needn't purchase anything at all, it simply means you need to opt for considered spending.

The clue is in the name. It's not rocket science. The 30 day rule gives you the opportunity to control your spending.

The 30-day rule consists of:

  1. Resisting the urge to splurge
  2. Taking note of the item
  3. Waiting 30 days
  4. If you still want the item (and have enough money to buy it) at the end of the month, treat yourself.
  5. If you don't want it, don't buy it


The idea of the 30-day rule is to control impulse spending.

An example of the 30-day rule in practice

Matilda goes shopping and sees a pair of shoes that she thinks will look good with a number of outfits she already owns. She thinks the shows will be a good value purchase because they'll go with a lot of her clothes and it will mean she won't need to own as many pairs of shoes.

Matilda tries the shoes on and they fit.

Glass Slipper

Matilda really wants to buy the shoes as she is going to a party this evening and thinks they'll be perfect.

She remembers the 30-day rule and finds the willpower to put back the shoes. She writes down the name of the shop and the shoes in a note on her phone and says to herself she'll check back at the end of the month. If she still wants them, she'll go back to the store and purchase them.

It sounds so simple but can sometimes be so difficult when you want an item right now.

With a bit of willpower though, the 30-day rule is great way to prevent those purchases that you don't really need to make.

And, even better, it's extremely motivating when you tot up how much you save on products you have changed your mind about.

An example of monthly savings might look like this:

Galaxy chocolate bar x 4 £4 + T-shirt £25 + Scarf £12 + Pimms £13.99 + Popcorn at the cinema £30 (jokes, but it is expensive) = over £50 savings.

That £50 can go towards something you really have been saving for - like a holiday, car, motorbike, a new dress and more. Heck, you might even save it.

I bet there's loads of us that refuse to add up the amount we spend on buying snacks and takeaway coffees in a year. The likelihood is that we could go on two holidays for the same price.

Who said they were convenient?

What if the item is in the sale?

If the item that you consider buying is in the sale, the 30-day rule still applies. However, if the bargain is too good to miss, you may need to leave it 1 day instead of 30.

It depends on how likely it is for the item to be snapped up.

If you see a 75% off jacket in Topshop, it's not still going to be there in 30 days time. So go away for an hour or two, make sure you really want it and go back to purchase it if you do.

We're clear on this though. This approach is applicable for items that are at a remarkably discounted rate ONLY.

And no - 10% student discount doesn't count.


What is the 50/30/20 rule?

The 50/30/20 budgeting rule goes a step further than the 30-day rule. It relates to your wider earnings.

It was outlines by Senator Elizabeth Warren in her book 'All your worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan'.

She suggested that after-tax income should be divided up as follows:

  • 50% on needs
  • 30% on wants
  • 20% on savings

This is a helpful guideline that can help people be savvy with spending.

Get savvy with spending

If you would like to save more of your money, the following saving tips can be helpful.