How to Overcome a Spending Problem
Overspending can be a real problem for some. I understand though, there are attractive looking deals everywhere these days. But these lovely deals can get in the way of your financial goals and if overindulged, will lead to financial hardship. Therefore, I am going to give you a few approaches to overcoming your spending problem.
Make a Budget That Works for You
Making a budget that actually works for your situation is important. It might be our first instinct to create a strict budget with maximum savings in mind. While this can work for some you have to consider how much it costs to live. If you cut corners to extremely then you will struggle to maintain it and end up not sticking to it. Understanding where that super tight line is important though, which is why I would suggest you make a mock budget that looks like that to begin with. Do not follow it to the letter though.
When you have added up all your essential expenses like food, utilities, shelter, and transport you can use any money over that to calculate what excess money could be available in your budget. When you have that number give yourself some breathing room. This will help you adjust to the budgeting lifestyle because it can be a dramatic lifestyle change when you are used to spending money without thinking. So making incremental smaller changes can improve the likelihood of sticking to the change.
Shop with a Goal in Mind
We have all been there. You are out of soap and toilet paper. So, with those two items in your head, you make a dash for Walmart. But as soon as you walk through the entrance, you feel the gravitational pull toward the dollar spot and fill your basket with a bunch of those expensive picture frames you like. You often do not have pictures to go into them, but you swear you will one day.
After a few impulse buys, popping out for a couple essentials turns into an expensive shopping trip. Thanks to a few ‘bargains’.
No one plans on getting side-tracked when shopping for essentials. It happens because of how the stores and packaging are designed. But that does not mean you cannot over come it. Just make a conscious effect to avoid the areas that trigger your overspending in the store. That will go a long way to helping you control your spending habits when you are out for essentials.
Stop Spending Money at Restaurants
Changing your approach to spending money is, in my opinion, the easiest way to save money. Most of us know that getting at a restaurant is expensive. If you are spending $12 on lunch five times a week that is $60 a week. Adding up to a crazy $240 a month! Imagine how much debt you could pay off with that kind of extra cash in your pocket a month.
A useful approach I have found is making a meal plan for the week. Then writing up a list of the food you need for that meal plan and sticking to it when you go to the store. Make sure you stick to it. This way you will save so much money. If you must, leave your children with a reasonable adult if they are often a distraction when you go shopping. Do whatever you need to do to laser focus on your meal plan and food list.
With all those meals you plan out, you can even cook yourself some lunch at the start of the week and heat it up at work. It will save you so much money and you will develop a useful skill like cooking. It can be as simple as you like and tailor it to your tastes, you do not have to be a master chief to do this.
Ultimately, to get your spending habits under control you need to be introspective and analytical about how you spend your money. Reducing your spending on food can be a great way to start saving a bunch of money and so will exercising some thought through self-control when you enter stores. Do your best to avoid areas that you think will pull you into their offers.