How I Battle the Temptation to Overspend

Do you find yourself spending more than you should? Fight back!

95% percent of the time, I’m good at sticking to my budget. And then 5% percent of the time, things go a little crazy and suddenly the overspending begins. This is how it happens: I see something at the mall. My fingers grasp to hold it. It’s the perfect color. It’s the perfect size. And it’s on sale! It’s not part of the budget, but how could you resist?! Yes, I does happen to me too. However, with a bit of work, we can avoid the temptation to overspend.

On today’s post, I will share with you some of my simple and practical tips to keep you from overspending.

tip #1 Pay in Cash Only

By switching to a cash-only spending system, you are forcing yourself to stick to your budget – when money runs out, you’re done spending. Studies show that people spend less when they have to hand over money rather than use a credit card. This is especially true for me when I go to restaurants. I love to eat out, but when I realize that I have a limited cash on hand, I have to figure out where to eat that fits my budget or just go eat at home.

tip #2 The 24 Hour Rule

Time always brings clarity. Want to snag that last pair of gorgeous Yosi Samra flats? Think you “need” that new iPhone? My answer to both this was YES. For both these situations, I waited a full 24 hours to make the decision. (I later on realized I already own a pair of ballet flats and a cellphone). By simply removing yourself from the store, you think and decide much better whether or not you truly can afford (or need) the purchase.

We often overspend because we are trying to fill an emotional gap in our lives.

No object will ever satisfy your soul.

-Dave Ramsey

tip# 3 Just Say ‘No, Thank You’

With several personal selling companies here in the Philippines, you are always going to have a friend who sells something – makeup, food, jewelry, clothes, shoes and more. I know you love your friends and I know that the products really are high quality and value, but sometimes the best way to save money is to just say no thank you when it comes to these situation.

tip #4 How Much of Your Life Did that Cost You

If you can’t stop yourself from spending, you need to try this mental trick – think in Terms of Time, not Money. Let’s say you find a fabulous bag for Php500. If you’re daily wage rate is Php250 a day, you’d have to work two days to earn that bag. Is 16 hours of your time, effort, and energy worth another bag when you already have a closet full of them? Doesn’t looking at your purchases this way make you rethink any of your spending choices?

tip # 5 Give Yourself a Reward/Shopping/Fun Fund

It’s awesome to have a rewards fund, this way you don’t feel deprived of your wants and you are able to stay on track of your budget. It also allows you to be mindful of your money and assist you as shift your money towards the purchases that you truly want. For example, if you love clothes, put a little cash aside for a reasonable shopping trip. Love to eat out? Plan one night each month at your favorite restaurant. If you tend to splurge on trips, reward yourself by checking last-minute deals and plan how to save/budget for it.

What do you do to control overspending? What would you add to this list? How do you battle the temptations of spending more than you make or buying items you really don’t need?

photo credit: Window shopping via photopin (license)

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