Everyone overspends from time to time. What you don’t want to do is make busting your budget a habit. One way to avoid spreading your finances too thin is to understand why you might be doing it in the first place. Here are some things to know.
Why You Might Overspend
One of the main reasons you might be overspending is because it can feel good. The more you buy, the better you feel. That’s because, over time, your brain is being taught to associate purchases with positive feelings. However, that feeling is almost always fleeting. Once the temporary boost goes away, it’s tempting to go in search of another boost/purchase.
That ties into another reason why you overspend: Temptation overload. You are under a constant barrage of products and ads. There are ads on your TV, computer, and phone. Making matters worse, it is now easier than ever to buy things. You can buy things in seconds. All of these factors can contribute to an overspending mentality.
How to Stop Overspending
Now that you know why you might be overspending, here are some tips to help break that cycle:
Think Big. Focus on the big picture and really think about what truly matters to you. Try to identify goals and funnel your spending habits through that. Will buying a new phone every time one comes out to help you book that trip to Greece next summer? Focusing on your values will help reduce spending because instead of simply buying items with little forethought, you will now think of why you’re buying them and then decide if it’s needed.
Make a Plan. Make a concrete plan for how to stop overspending. You can make purchasing things as hard as possible by deleting your credit cards from your computer and phone. You can set up “no shopping” times for those moments when you know you are feeling a bit more susceptible to ads. A well-thought-through plan will reduce stress and help change your habits.
Do One Thing: Write down what you value and try to match your spending with those categories