You always start your promise of saving money with the best intentions. Then life just sort of happens. Weezer and Pixies’ tour comes to town, and you can’t miss out on tickets. You lose your phone at the concert, so you have to spring for a new handset. And of course, you can’t resist the end-of-season sale at Frank and Oak. Before you know it, you’ve spent way more money than you intended.
Though it’s easy to blame your favorite band or clothing store for your lackluster savings, the real culprit is you and your lack of self-control. If you can’t afford to keep spending the way you have in the past, it’s time you take control of your budget. Here are some tricks and tips to help you stop spending more than you like.
Understand why you spend your money.
One of the first lines of defense against overspending is understanding why you do it, so you can avoid the environments that push you to spend. There’s often a whole host of emotional, psychological, and physical reasons why you throw away your money. Once you can identify the triggers, you can organize your day to avoid them. These triggers are different for everyone, but they often include:
- The time of day: Sometimes it’s simply the time of day when you go grocery shopping that pushes you over budget. When you hit the aisles when you’re tired and hungry, you’re more likely to pick up anything that looks delicious. Try scheduling your trip to the supermarket around a time you’re well-rested and full, so you can avoid overpacking your cart.
- Your mood: Negative emotional states can have a loosening effect on the bills in your wallet. Plenty of people prescribe retail therapy to help them feel better about a situation, but that emotional high rarely lasts long when you can’t afford to shop.In fact, psychologists agree that unnecessary impulse buying can actually lead to feelings of anxiety and unhappiness. If a bad mood is often the reason why you overspend, try distracting yourself with other activities that can improve your attitude. A walk through the park and a bike ride on the path can help you de-stress. And best of all, they’re free!
Leave the credit cards at home.
Credit cards are the enablers of your overspending habit. It’s all too easy to buy things you don’t need when you have $10,000 of credit at your disposal. Even if you aren’t liable to use them on big ticket items, like a new Pixel XL or home entertainment system, credit cards cause you to spend more. Most people don’t recognize digital forms of payments as “real money” like they would when spending bills and coins, so they’re looser with their digital dollars. McDonald’s reports the average customer using a credit card spend $7, while the average customer using cash spends only $4.50.
Don’t discount the value of emergency plans.
Emergencies happen, forcing you to spend money even when you don’t have any to spare. Unexpected vet bills, home repairs, or medical emergencies can jeopardize your finances, regardless of your best intentions. When you can’t delay these bills, the traditional resources aren’t always an adequate emergency backup plan. If you expect to escape these emergencies unscathed, you can’t allow these bills to blindside you. Assume something will happen and figure out how you can get quick online payday loans to cover them. Short term loans can bridge these gaps in your budget, and when you contact an online lender like MoneyKey, you can bridge them faster than ever. Direct lenders’ online platform can expedite your borrowing experience, and in some cases, you can receive the cash you need one business day after you’re approved.
Become goal oriented.
It’s easy to get sidetracked by exciting purchases when you’re used to indulging every impulse. Motivation to stick to your new frugal ways becomes very important. Goals are a great way to keep you on track because they remind you why you need to stop spending. Avoid vague goals like “save more” or “eat out less”. Your goals should answer the 5 Ws: who, what, when, where, and why. And just to be safe, make sure it can answer the question of how, too. This process forces you to quantify your goals, assigning actionable steps and timelines to keep you on course.
If you find every excuse to spend money, you’ll have your work cut out for you. Though these tricks can help you cut out unnecessary spending, your task will take a lot of effort. Luckily, the longer you stick to your plan, the easier it gets to keep your money where it belongs: in your wallet!So don’t be discouraged and give it your best try.
Author: Angela Smith