Are you one of those people who have a difficult time keeping the cash in their wallet – you go to the store intending to buy one or two things and walk out with twenty? If you’re a chronic over-spender, here are a few tips and tricks on how to discourage yourself from the habit. It won’t always be easy, but with a good dose of intentionality you will succeed.
A few years ago I was the typical over-spender. Fast food restaurants knew what I was going to order before I began to speak – now that’s sad. I always had to have the latest and greatest gizmos, and wouldn’t give much thought to laying down multiple $100 bills on the counter.
Something had to change. I was losing money left and right. Marriage thankfully woke me up to the realm of responsibility, and I realized I had a problem that needed correcting fast!
Recognize the Problem and the Consequences.
It’s been said that the first step to solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. If you’re not sure if you’re overspending in a certain area, it helps to compare your spending with those who hold to a firm budget. Chances are you know a few people who are watching their money and can give you a good rule of thumb for spending on a certain category. Get the conversation started and you’ll find plenty of room for improvement!
People can go decades without raising their net worth due to overspending. Buying things you don’t really need can kill your chances of success, and ultimately keep you broke and desperate. Who wants to merely get by in life? It’s much better to thrive!
Imagine a Better Future.
Second, it is extremely helpful to envision what your future might be like if you curbed your spending habit. Imagine how much more you’d save for retirement, your children’s college education, and how much more you’d be able to give!
Trust me, you’re not going to stop yourself from overspending if you can’t imagine a better future. You’re not stuck, you can develop restraint and hold yourself to a higher standard!
Begin a Strict Envelope Budgeting System.
In this electronic age, the thought of carrying around flimsy envelopes and loose change is far from appealing. However, I can tell you from experience that the old school envelope budgeting system truly works. Why? Having a tangible, visible reminder of how much you have left to spend compels you to save your cash. Not only that, but sometimes you might forget your fun money envelope at home. Frustrating? Yes. A money saver? No doubt!
If you’re new to the envelope budgeting system, Bob has a great read about getting started.
Create Your Shopping List!
Remember, it is important to be intentional about your spending. One way to do this is to make a shopping list at home before you enter the marketplace!
Retail stores are purposefully designed to promote sales. By making a list before you step foot in the door you can have more willpower to hold to your commitments. Don’t let the flashy advertisements steal your attention! Stick to the list and you’ll save loads of cash.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!
It’s all about persistence and consistency. Sticking to the plan will allow you to build more wealth than you might imagine. After a few years of saving money, paying off your debt, and building wealth, you’ll find good reason to hold onto this methodology.
Today, I believe I have effectively curbed my overspending. We’ve come a long way, and I believe you can too! Whatever you do, don’t lose hope. I believe that by recognizing trouble spots, imagining a brighter future, holding to timeless money-saving principles, and proceeding with great intensity will vastly improve your finances. Are you ready for something new?
What are some ways you cut down on overspending? At what times do you feel the weakest and how do you stay strong in the midst of that weakness? We’ll meet you in the comments!
Photo by Pieter Musterd (busy)