5 Ways To Stop Overspending
Like many, I once believed the best way to stop overspending was to make more money. But more was never enough! Over the years, as my income increased, so did my spending. I was experiencing lifestyle creep. Now I realize it’s not about how much money we make, but what we do with it. This is good news, because it means that, regardless of our current income, we have the power to stop overspending!
How do you do it?
One – Practice self-discipline.
It’s not always easy, but it doesn’t cost anything and we all have the capacity to do it! Here are some ideas for practicing self-discipline:
- Use cash for certain expenses and don’t carry debit or credit cards.
Start with your eating out money. This is an area where most of us tend to overspend. So, decide how much you have to spend and carry the cash. Once it’s gone, there’s nothing left to spend. And if you don’t have debit or credit cards in your wallet, you can’t use them to go beyond your limit.
- Make a shopping list and commit to only buying what’s on your list.
A lot of people do this when shopping for groceries, but what about clothes, makeup or tools? Make your list ahead of time and stick to it! It’s all about planning ahead and taking the time to do it before you get to the store can save you a lot of money, once you get there.
- Stop using credit cards.
Credit cards make us feel like we have a limitless amount of money. But that money has to be paid back! And credit cards are the single easiest way to overspend. So, stop using them, at least until your spending is under control. And don’t be tempted by credit card rewards! They are never worth the interest you pay or the problems that come with overspending.
Two – Define your roadblocks, then remove them.
Think about what triggers you to spend. Is it retail therapy? Find someone you love to talk to instead. The stores don’t love you back! If it’s sales, you’re not really getting a bargain, if you’re overspending, because it leads to costly financial problems down the road – especially debt.
- Unsubscribe from promotional emails.
Self-discipline is hard enough, without facing constant temptation.
- Unlink debit/credit cards from online stores.
This will make it harder for you to purchase, and you might think twice before you buy!
Three – Get an accountability partner.
When you know buying something will cause you to overspend, but you’re tempted to do it anyway, you need someone you trust who will be honest with you about how it will affect you later on – someone who is not emotional about the purchase. Your budget is a great accountability partner! If you set up your budget to stop you from overspending, let it be honest with you! Look before you spend. Your budget will always give you the facts, with no emotion.
Four – Pay attention!
Maybe you’re not an emotional spender, maybe it’s just about being careless and not realizing you’ve spent more than you have. Or maybe you don’t want to know. You want to spend the way you want to spend. We all have that kid inside. But that’s just as emotional as retail therapy and it causes a lot of problems in the long run. Whatever the reason, you are never too broke to pay attention!
Five – Know your why!
Why do you want to stop overspending? Do you want to pay off debt, so there’s more money for other things? Do you want to save for that ultimate vacation you can never find money for? How about working less and spending more time with your family? Focusing on why makes you much more likely to practice self-discipline, remove your roadblocks, find an accountability partner and pay attention, because there’s a payoff! What is it your really want? And what are you willing to give up, in the short term, to reach your long-term goal? Focus brings change – not only change in your life, but change in your pocket!
These ideas don’t cost anything!
They’re simple, but not always easy to execute, because we’re human! But if you can create a plan when you’re not in an emotional state, it will be much easier to follow that plan when you’re feeling weak and want to overspend! If you want help creating that plan, email me – email@example.com – and let’s work together!