Some days I feel like my spending habits are right on point. I am sticking to my budget, spending wisely, and stashing lots of money away into savings…….
But then, I have other days when I STRUGGLE! I shop impulsively, I buy things without even checking the budget and I develop a “I need it so I get to have it” mindset.
Does ANYONE else have this happen????
Obviously I know I shouldn’t spend this way. Yet, I tend to ignore the voice of reason and spend.
I have learned that these overspending urges are usually the result of a trigger. SOMETHING going on in my life (usually emotionally for me 😉 ) that causes me to want to overspend.
The other day I got that urge to SPEND. Like, really really spend. I wanted to buy decorations for my home and I wanted to buy myself a few new shirts and I wanted to go out to eat and I wanted to take my daughters on a back to school shopping spree.
Fortunately, I was able to stop myself from spending this time, and I began wondering “What caused this spending trigger?”
In this particular moment I was feeling frustrated; frustrated by my budget, and frustrated with the amount of money I am “allowed” to spend each month. I just wanted to throw the budget in the garbage and show that budget who’s boss. I wanted to prove that I can spend what I want and when I want!
This is not healthy! I need to be friends with my budget! I knew then that something needed to change.
As a parent, I tend to always budget money for my kids instead of budgeting money for me. Which I am HAPPY to do for them, but I was limiting myself to much. I realized that when I am to limited, I get tempted to spend.
So, I decided to change my budget. Next month I will be budgeting more money for my personal spending money. I am hoping that by doing this it will eliminate that trigger and will help decrease the spending urges.
We all have different spending triggers! The trick is to begin recognizing them when they come, and having the strength to overcome them.
Triggers and Solutions
1. Trigger: Boredom
You are overspending because you are bored and shopping is a form of entertainment.
Develop a new (cheap) hobby. Ask a friend to join you in the hobby to help keep you accountable and active with it.
2. Trigger: Lack of Confidence
You lack confidence and are trying to boost your self esteem with new purchases.
Read some self help books (from the library) about confidence. Learn to develop inner confidence without needing to spend money.
3. Trigger: Shopping as Therapy
You are upset or emotional and use shopping as therapy.
Find a new way to release your emotions. Go for a run or walk. Call up a friend or watch a favorite movie. Find a non-spend alternative to help you calm down.
4. Trigger: Jealous
Feeling jealous when you hear how friends have been spending their money.
If your friends are a temptation to spend money you need to distance yourself from them. I have unfollowed friends on social media before because their posts trigger my urge to spend money. If you need to make some new frugal friends, do it! Just do whatever it takes to delete that temptation.
5. Trigger: Sales
A huge sale is happening at your very favorite store and you don’t want to miss out on the good deal.
Delete all e-mails from that store so you won’t even know when they are having a sale! Also, remember that there will ALWAYS.BE.ANOTHER.SALE. This is the truth! You can find the good deal again, once you have budgeted and planned for the expense.
6. Trigger: Friends
A friend invites you to do something that will encourage you to overspend, maybe a day of shopping or a weekend trip.
Be up front with your friends. Tell them your spending limits and the activities that you will be able to or won’t be able to participate in. Kindly ask them to stop inviting you to the activities out of your budget.
What are your personal spending triggers? What are the solutions YOU have come up with to help overcome those triggers? Share with me in the comments so we can help each other out.