If you’re an individual who loves shopping and has just started earning, you might find it difficult to start saving. As financial experts would tell you, overspending is a problem that’s not new with this generation, but a comfortable life also demands individuals to save for exigencies, emergencies, and comfortable retired life.
Overspending is not only important so as to help you save, but also to aid you in staying within your budget. Exceeding your budget, more often than not, leads to debts and financial disasters that must be avoided. This article guides you through the 7 most effective tips to stop overspending so that you can spend within the limits of your budget:
1. Whenever you want to purchase something, wait three days
Well, you must have heard that the brain responds to a situation in two ways: flight or fight. The response is usually made within the first nine seconds. Experts ask individuals to wait out the first few seconds, so that, they are in a better position to make a proper decision. Likewise, if you want to make a big purchase, that might lead you to commit overspending, it is best you wait out three days.
Make this a rule you practice every single day, because, in the end, within those three days, you would have enough time to think over your decision, and think out what you really need and what you can skip. This decision will help you stop overspending, or unnecessary buying.
2. Switch to cash
Believe us or not, this step can go a long way in helping you stop overspending. The first reason this works is because, as soon as your cash runs out, you cannot spend. So, whenever you go out, take only what you need with the list and that would stop you from overspending. The second reason is you’re more mindful about expenditures you’re making, when you’re using cash. While you’re using cards to pay your bills, the realization often does not sink in as soon as you’d like it to, and later manifests as regret, which is not helpful to your daily well-being or overspending habits. Use cash to be more mindful of the expenses you’re making, and your overspending habits are sure to come to an end.
3. List your valuable spending
Make a budget at the start of a month, and follow it. The one definite way to stop overspending is listing out all your valuable spending, all the basic spending you cannot do without, in a month like grocery, power bills, phone bills, rent, etc. This is essential, as sometimes, we end up buying things we don’t really need. To stop unnecessary spending, make a list that only includes the essentials. When you get your paycheck every month, before you can even remotely think of overspending, make a budget and leave out the remaining money and forget about it.
4. Remove the money
When your paycheck comes in every month, stick to your valuable spending budget and forget that the rest of the money exists. This is a sure way to stop overspending. Have savings accounts where you remove the money to. Save at least 15 percent of the money you earn, in a separate account. Make another emergency fund. And make all these contributions and account depositions, as soon as your salary comes in. That is, before you get the chance to do overspending.
5. Understand your triggers
The easiest way to stop overspending is to track the triggers you have which makes you buy. Do you tend to buy after a bad day? Do you go out and party until daylight after a rough day at work? Identify these spending triggers you might have, as identifying these would allow you to step in, and decide not to practice overspending when the moment comes. You can identify the triggers, and find substitute cheaper alternatives to make yourself feel better, other than doing activities that need you to do a lot of overspending like shopping, partying, eating out.
6. Don’t eat out
Eating out costs a lot more than you can imagine. Once you start cooking your meals, you would begin to notice the difference. When we say difference, we mean the difference in spending, and you would realize the overspending you’ve been doing inadvertently and unnecessarily. Eating out costs a lot more than food. You also pay for the ambience, the staff recruitment costs, and the maintenance of the location. You can skip all these expenses, and not practice overspending, if you just eat a meal prepared at home.
It might be a little difficult to fall into a pattern, but once you start doing it, it would get a whole lot easier. Also, it would also be healthier just not to your overspending habits, but also to your general well-being.
7. Treat yourself
Yes, you heard us right! When you’re trying to stay in budget, and maintaining a strict budget, it does not mean cutting out on all entertainment and leisurely expenses, and living a dull life. What we mean by maintaining a strict budget for yourself is cutting down on unnecessary spending that eventually ends up in practicing overspending and related habits. When you’re making your budget every month, include leisurely activities and other fun things you do. While you treat yourself, of course, it would not be wise to end up spending everything you’ve saved. Do it sensibly, do it wisely. Follow the 50-30-20 rule.
Experts have this rule devised for decades, and well, it works to ward off overspending! Keep 50 percent of your salary for basic necessities like rents, electricity, and food. Keep 30 percent for lifestyle and entertainment purposes. This is where you treating yourself and your family should come in. Those weekly dinners, movie nights and game evenings all feature within this 30 percent and hence don’t need any additional overspending on your end.
The rest 20 percent should be focused towards saving, and creating a viable saving fund for yourself and your loved ones. Instead of overspending, always choose to save for a better future, because none of us know what the future has in store for us! You can also include any debts you need to pay off, in this 20 percent. Follow this, and you’re sure to stop overspending!