Overspending

12 Effective Tips to Curb Your Overspending Habit

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When you leave the house you know very well there is something you see on your way that pulls you into buying it and with time leads to overspending. Spending money on things we love and appreciate is one of the most pleasurable experiences but is also addictive. Sadly, it’s not all the time that you have money to splurge on things so you have to find ways to stop yourself from spending more than you earn.

Overspending Triggers
Overspending Triggers
Image: Tim Douglas

With any habit, you have to identify the psychological and emotional triggers that affect your behavior in order to change it. This makes you aware of things, stops or signs you need to watch out for and avoid by either taking a different route home or find something to hold your attention as you walk.

Businesses have created environments meant to attract consumers such as sale offers that make you walk in to see what is on sale only to end up buying what you did not intend to. Another way is through scents; there are certain scents that lure you to their products, such as placing the bakery in a supermarket close to the entrance.

Your mood is also a factor when it comes to triggers. There are certain emotions that can make you want to buy things you do not even need to fill a void. Many people when sad find themselves going all out in the sugary treats isle of the supermarket as comfort food.

The people you spend your time with influence your decisions through peer pressure. Your friends might be going shopping and you decide to tag along so that you do not miss out. The influence they have on you also comes with them owning certain things such as the latest phone which tempts you into buying not to be left out.

Your financial circumstances are not similar even if you earn the same salary; they could be getting monetary support from family. This leads to spending a lot more money than you had planned on so limit the times you spend with friends and pick activities in venues that won’t tempt you.

Identify and set goals

Having a plan is important as it is a way to make your future simpler especially financially. The money you have in abundance today could be needed tomorrow so you have to set clear financial goals. You are able to save money and avoid debt while having something to look forward to. These goals help you in adjusting your lifestyle to one you can manage without stressing yourself out.

Respect your budget
Image: Karolina Grabowska

A budget is a necessity. It is a money management tool that helps you attain the goals you have set by following a method you have chosen. The budget ensures you allocate money to your needs and wants such as paying rent and other bills; to prevent digging into those funds.

You are able to track your expenses to see how much progress you have made and how much extra money you have. The first step to financial success is having a budget and to learn more on the topic please read our article 26 Best Lessons to Learn in Creating Personal Budget to get a detailed guide.

Empty your wallet

A credit card is one of the most amazing things; having all your money in a piece of plastic that you easily swipe to make a purchase. Carrying cash on hand is a thing of the past but it is a thing you want to keep doing. Credit cards make it easy to overspend without realizing so one of the tips to help you save money is to empty your wallet of all credit cards and carry cash you have set for the day.

With cash you can actually see how the money is leaving your hands which drive you to improve your financial habits even more. Using cash lowers your dependency to your credit cards and avoid credit card debt.

Three day rule

The three day rule is where you wait three days to make a huge purchase. This reduces the impulsive decisions associated with making the choice to purchase the product. You have enough time to think about whether you really need the purchase as well as find better deals for the same product or a better one at the same price range. Giving yourself time to cool down and look at the situation from all angles helps in making the right decision.

Gather the pots and pans
Image: Rodnae Productions

Cooking your meals is low budget option as compared to ordering in or going to restaurants. It puts your health in your hands so you can make healthy nutritious meals that can last a day or two. As an adult cooking is a life skill you need to have and can learn for free by following YouTube videos and blogs that provide detailed instructions you can follow. It occupies your time by providing engaging challenges in the kitchen which save you from scrolling through your phone and seeing ads or going outside where you face temptations.

Pack your lunch

Once you have learned how to cook you can pack left overs or make full lunches as you go to work. This saves your time and money as you work while providing nutritious meals and snacks. You are safe from temptation that comes with the walk to a sandwich shop and all the tasty offers on display.

The health benefits of a nutritious homemade meal cannot be overlooked. Meals sold in establishments often contain a lot of ingredients that should be consumed in limited amounts such as butter so by preparing your own lunch you control the amount that goes into your food to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Write a list

Before leaving the house to go shopping for necessities, make a list of what you need. This gives you a target to complete instead of wandering through the isles which ends with you buying things you had not planned on. Impulse buying is a normal occurrence so avoid areas that hold the most temptation for you as you go through your list.

Unsubscribe

There are certain subscriptions you make and forget, it could be a gym membership or a donation to a safe haven program for animals. These subscriptions should be listed down so that the ones not being used but charged to your card can be unsubscribed from.

Second, retailers often send catalogs and emails once they have your details. These emails often have deals that attract you to their site to buy so make sure you unsubscribe and remove yourself from their mailing lists.

Make more money
Image: Burst

If you have little money to spend why not add some more. You can do this by creating a new source of income out of a skill you are great at and enjoy doing. It could be selling your art or opening an Etsy shop for crotched clothes. Another way you can make money if you don’t have a monetary skill is to learn new skills. There are so many free courses online that you can do which you can then use to make money.

It does not have to be an active income stream; you could have a passive income source such as affiliate marketing if you have followers on social media. Diversifying your income sources is also a good way to keep yourself afloat when you are unable to work; maybe you have been terminated.

Borrow

Before you buy something, have you tried borrowing it? There are certain things we want to use for limited time so the best way to get the benefit of using it without buying the product is to ask from someone or rent it. An example is a car to transport products you want to sell once or twice a month. Instead of buying one with maintenance and gas costs, you can simply rent for the day. If it’s a lawn mower you need you can try asking your neighbor or a family member who owns one.

Sell to buy

There are certain things that you own but you never use that can be sold. Going through your home to collect them and selling them on a site like EBay can increase your spending money. It also helps declutter your home.

Bottom line

Spending more than you have is dangerous as you may end up in debt. Following the steps listed give you a better to save money so that you can have enough to spend when you want to. It is not easy at first but keep at it; it will soon be a regular activity that you perform unconsciously.

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