You probably have the best intentions when it comes to saving money. You likely start off strong every month but then inevitably, your friends ask you to go out for a drink. A drink turns into two, and before you know it, you’re sitting down at a full blown three course dinner complete with dessert and a bottle of wine. There goes your budget.
With all the temptations out there, it can be hard to keep your finances in line. Of course, splurging here and there every once in awhile is okay. After all, money isn’t just for hoarding. But the habit of overspending can become a much bigger problem if you don’t keep things in check. Take these five steps to stop overspending today before everything gets out of hand:
Understand Your Triggers
Overspending is often caused by impulse shopping. When you’re out shopping, those small little knick knacks in the checkout aisle can really get you. For whatever reason, some of us always pick something up while we are waiting at the checkout line, even though we don’t actually need any of those goodies. But why? Ask yourself that question. It’s important to understand what your triggers are. Do you spend because it gives you a thrill? Then maybe you should figure out some other way to be content. Or do you overspend simply because you’re bored and have nothing else to do? Perhaps you may want to start looking at your smartphone to keep you occupied. Understanding exactly why you overspend will help you get to the root of the problem and find lasting and realistic solutions.
Track Your Budget
The most important thing you can do to stop overspending is to actually have a budget and track your expenses. It’s not enough to just have a rough idea of how much you’re spending. You need to know exactly where your money is going and how much you’re spending on everything. Start logging the expense in the budget as soon as you can whenever you buy something or pay a bill. At the end of the month, sit down and analyze your spending habits. You might be surprised at what you find out, and even more surprised when you realize you can cut so much fat out of the budget without feeling much of a sacrifice.
Learn to Say No
Overspending has a lot to do with societal pressures. Sometimes it’s just really hard to say no. You might be trying to keep up with the Jones, or maybe your friends are just constantly nagging you to go out. Whatever the reason, the pressure to conform can weigh heavy on all of us and…