How to stop overspending for good.
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 just STRUGGLE and completely forget how to stop overspending!
I find myself shopping impulsively, buying things without even checking the budget and using 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, but I found myself wondering “What caused this spending trigger? Why am I feeling the sudden urge to spend, when I know better?”
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!
- Related: How to Make a Zero Based Budget
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 and recognizing these triggers is the first step in learning how to stop overspending.
Today I am going to share with you a few overspending triggers and and the solution to go with it! I encourage you to pick out a few of your personal spending triggers and come up with a solution to help you overcome it.
Overspending Triggers and Solutions
1. Trigger: Boredom
Maybe your spending trigger is boredom. You might find yourself stopping by stores or browsing online just because you need something to fill your time. You are using shopping as a form of entertainment, rather than as a means of buying what you need.
The best way to stop shopping for entertainment is to find a new (cheap) hobby. Find something that will fill up your spare time and give you a sense of purpose. If you need some accountability, ask a friend to join you in this hobby.
A few cheap hobbies include: running, biking, walking, painting, sewing, crafting, reading, baking, etc.
You could even turn your hobby into a side hustle and have it make you money! Here are a few side hustle ideas to get you started.
2. Trigger: Lack of Confidence
Many people shop because they are struggling with a lack of confidence. You know the phrase, “keeping up with the Joneses” is a real true sentiment. It’s so easy to look at your neighbors, friends, and others around you and feel like you want to dress like them, look like them, and have what they have.
Unfortunately, this feeling of trying to keep up causes us to overspend and buy items impulsively. If you find your confidence growing with each new purchase, this might be one of your triggers.
Many years ago I went shopping with my sister in laws on Christmas Eve. They had a few items they still needed to buy for Christmas, so I joined them at the store. I had all of my Christmas shopping done, but was going along for moral support.
Well, as they shopped and I watched what they bought for their kids, I started feeling insecure about what my kids were getting that year for Christmas.
So, I started impulsively grabbing this and that, trying to keep up. I began lacking confidence in my previous gift choices, and so spent more than I should have.
It’s so important for all of us to develop true self confidence. We need confidence that doesn’t stem from the size of house we live in, the clothes we wear, or the amount of things we own.
Try reading a few self help books from the library to help you learn more about growing your own confidence.
The next time you want to buy something ask yourself, “Am I buying this because it will make me feel better about myself or because I need it?” This self reflection can really be helpful in making smart money decisions.
3. Trigger: Shopping as Therapy
Do you find yourself at the store on days you are feeling upset or emotional about something in your life? This is one of the most common shopping triggers.
Shopping can give us a short sense of euphoria, making the hard emotions temporarily disappear.
Find a new way to deal with your emotions. You might want to go for a run or walk. Or maybe call a friend and vent to them for a few minutes. Turn on the TV and watch your favorite movie. Find something, that doesn’t involve spending.
I have found when I am feeling emotional a nice long hot bath really helps me relax and forget about the stressful day.
4. Trigger: Jealousy
Do you get jealous when you see things that your friends or family members are buying? Or maybe all of the social media influencers you follow seem to live a “better” life than yours, so you buy what they have to try to keep up?
I think most people feel like this from time to time, and it is a very similar trigger to lacking self confidence.
Honestly, I think the first step to combating jealousy is to develop self confidence in yourself. While you are working towards this it’s totally OK to distant yourself from the friends you are jealous of.
I have totally unfollowed friends and influencers on social media before because their posts were making me jealous and tempting me to spend.
Try to find a few frugal friends to lean on when you are feeling weak. Use these frugal friends as your examples of a beautiful life.
5. Trigger: Sales
One of my personal biggest spending triggers is sales. I LOVE a good sale. But, if you are buying something just because it’s on sale, you are using sales incorrectly!
One of my personal frugal rules is: There Will Always Be Another Sale. Always. This is important to remind yourself of often. If/when you are tempted to buy something, because “it’s such a good deal” remember that there will be another good deal. There is no reason to buy something and overspend in your budget just for the deal.
Another great tip is to delete your e-mail from all store databases. This means they won’t be sending you the flashy emails announcing each and every sale. If you don’t know about the sale, you won’t shop at the sale!\
6. Trigger: Friends
How many times has a friend invited you to do something that would cause you to overspend on your budget?? I think this happens to everybody at one point or another.
It’s hard to say No to friends. We don’t want to hurt their feelings or have them take it the wrong way….so often we end agreeing to things we shouldn’t.
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. But then, in return make sure you invite them to frugal friendly activities so they understand their friendship is important to you.
I truly believe if they are a TRUE friend they will respect you and your budget.
Every single person on this planet has multiple spending triggers. We all experience these temptations. However, it is up to us to figure out how to not give into our personal triggers.
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I hope this helps you to know how to stop overspending.