With everything in life, proper planning cannot only save you time, but money. Keep in mind, just because you are planning ahead, it does not mean that you must eliminate spontaneity from your life.
Placing logic within each purchase will result in you saving far more money than you would realize.
It is very easy to apply the principle of planning ahead for any big purchases. For many of us, saving and planning for large expenses such as houses, cars, or even vacations is normal. We do not want to overspend on a vacation that can potentially cost half of what it actually is.
For purchases over $50, spending as little as 5 minutes to make sure you are getting the best deal possible, and that you can afford the item can be the difference with saving money and not saving any money.
The issue that can come up is that after you make your purchases, you later realize that the money could have been put towards something better, such as saving or even paying more off on your credit card bill.
One way you can take into account for any spontaneous spending is to keep a certain amount of cash on hand. Have the amount placed in your wallet at the beginning of the month, and once you spend it, its done. You do not put more money back until next month. This will allow you to be spontaneous, yet not at the same time. You are controlling how chaotic you can be with your finances.
Well, you still need to have a certain level of discipline to follow this, however if you already follow a budget, then this is not hard.
Planning ahead can make a big difference with your expenses, give it a try and see the results.