What to Do When You Can’t Stop Spending
By Space Coast Daily // July 26, 2022
We all crave a financially healthy life where you spend less than or equal to your monthly income. As straightforward as financial health may sound, achieving a balance between what you earn and what you spend can be daunting.
If you are overspending, know that you are not alone. You’ll often find yourself working with a tight budget while expenses keep going up. You might easily find yourself living beyond your means when credit is readily available.
Living beyond your means can harm your financial health, resulting in debts and an impossible environment to save. However, suppose you struggle with spending more money than you should. In that case, you can overcome the habit by practicing self-control and finding natural ways to avoid impulse buying through money management tactics, as we shall discuss in our next section.
Compulsive shopping is pre-planned. It is the opposite of impulsive buying, and what differentiates the two is the internal motivation or reasons for making purchases. While compulsive spending might sound better than impulsive spending, it can also lead to serious financial problems that may require the help of a therapist to manage specific behaviors that could be causing your spending.
Dealing with compulsive spending requires you to employ a multi-disciplinary approach involving peer support, professional therapy, medication, and talking to a financial advisor could be beneficial. This approach can help you regain control and improve your finances and relationships. Since shopping is part of life, you may need to maintain progress and develop coping skills to manage your urge to shop excessively.
Hacks to Avoid Impulses
We’ve all found ourselves making regrettable purchases before, but, you may ask yourself why spending gets out of control even when you know better. Your mind may get the best of you; hence, spending is more of a psychological issue.
To stop overspending, you must adopt a habit of paying in cash. Determine how you will likely spend each week and stick to a specific budget using the physical amount at hand. Avoid withdrawing any funds beyond the amount you had set aside for spending within that week. Paying in cash helps you save money and make fewer impulse purchases.
Create a list of all items you need to purchase or recurring monthly expenses. Having a list of expenses saves you from picking random items from shelves. Note that unplanned shopping might end up stuffing your cupboards and refrigerators with neither needed nor healthy foods. But if you spend on unplanned items, ensure that you keep track of such expenses.
To avoid overspending, plan your spending on particular purchases. The first step to preparing for more significant purchases is to determine how much it’ll cost and why you need it anyway. Planning on a particular purchase does more than save you money, as it gives you a chance to shop wisely. Know which months are likely to feature sales on items and plan to purchase during these times. You also need to understand how payments for these items will work on looping them into your budget.
You must be aware of what triggers your purchasing behaviors to avoid them. You can also counter overspending with the help of an accountability partner. Find someone who can discourage you from impulse buying. It would be best if you also avoided circumstances or environments that trigger overspending, including going out with friends, the fear of missing out, or mindset.
Set a Little Aside
Saving a percentage of anything you earn and not touching it can be an excellent way to protect yourself from overspending. Saving can help you attain financial security in a financial emergency. Make sure you also use your credit card wisely, leverage special sales for large household items, and utilize buy now pay later apps rather than overspending when making a purchase.
The good thing about buying now and paying last apps is that they are convenient and provide a disciplined way to make purchases over time. These apps often have low interest or credit cards, and you don’t need good credit to qualify. With buy now and pay later services, you can better control your finances.
Why You Need to Control Your Spending
Dealing with the overspending problem should start in small steps and be managed over time. You may not rely on willpower alone, as setting specific goals and having a solid foundation, a budget, and an emergency fund can be more effective.
Tracking your expenses and following a plan can also help you pay your bills on time, save for major projects such as a home or a car, and put you on a firmer financial footing.