Do you always find yourself starting off each year, or even each month, with the best of intentions to build your savings, only to fail each time? While it’s good to have the desire to develop better saving habits, putting that desire into practice can be easier said than done. We can all agree that strictly buying what we need and ignoring temptation is downright difficult. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, these temptations can get the best of you. And before you know it, you’ve failed to stick to your budget and have already spent more than you should have. Before you beat yourself up for excessive spending, take comfort that this happens to all of us at some time or another.
There are several factors that cause us to overspend. Sometimes we spend beyond our budget because we’re not tuned in to our own spending habits. Another reason may be that we’re not keeping track of our expenses versus our income. Or we may simply refuse to confront our financial status candidly. The good news is there are ways to curb excessive spending and manage your money better. Read on for some tips you might find useful.
Identify what kinds of things trigger your excessive spending
In many cases, curbing one’s addiction to overspending has a lot to do with increased awareness when it comes to our own triggers. Once these triggers are eliminated from the equation, you will reduce your likelihood to overspend. So what are some examples of spending triggers?
One classic example is mood. If you often find yourself more prone to buying things impulsively when you’re feeling sad or depressed, then your emotional state may be considered your triggers. If you’re more likely to spend when you’re in a mall or shopping center because you’re surrounded by tempting items, then you have the choice to steer clear of these environments.
Keep track of your expenses
No matter how tiny, the littlest of expenses can add up without us noticing. The next thing you know, these small amounts have accrued and begin eating up a huge chunk of your budget by the end of the month. Don’t fall prey to this habit by starting to keep track of your expenses, if you haven’t done so already. Knowing where your money is doing is the first step when it comes to regaining control of your money. This will give you perspective about which areas need cutting back. More importantly, do not just focus on the bigger expenses alone. Pay close attention to the tiny daily purchases, as they can impact your budget in bigger ways over time.
Use cash for your purchases
Have you noticed how you may tend to spend a lot more when you use plastic for your purchases? When using a credit or debit card, it’s easy to lose sight of how much we’re actually spending because we don’t see the actual money coming out of our wallets. Because it can be more painful to spend cash than to use a credit card, stop relying on cards and stick to cash for your purchases.
Set a goal when shopping
We’ve all been there. We head to the grocery store to buy a few items needed for tonight’s dinner, only to end up paying for a cart full of groceries we never planned on buying. This may seem harmless, because after all, you’ll be using all of these items at home eventually. But what you may not realize is that this habit can create a large dent in your budget.
So, whether you’re buying food, clothing or other items needed for your car or home, be intentional. Keep a specific goal in mind and determine what you exactly need. It’s easy to get sidetracked with non-essentials, but it helps to avoid the aisles and stores that tempt you into spending unnecessarily.
Another reason behind excessive spending is seeing something on sale. Who doesn’t love great discounts and amazing deals? The next thing you know, you’re spending more than a hundred bucks for stuff you never really needed, but bought because they were on sale. You may think you’re actually saving money by doing this, but the reality is you didn’t. Buying stuff you don’t need, even if it’s discounted, is only costing you more. It takes a lot of self-discipline, but practice makes perfect.
Excessive spending can take a toll, not only on your budget, but on your financial health as a whole. Curb this habit now before it’s too late.
And if you’re planning to start building your savings, please visit Calcite Credit Union.