Fixing Bad Overspending Habits

Overspending is a problem for many people. Spending habits spiral out of control and suddenly the money that was supposed to pay the electric bill is suddenly gone and panic sets in. The cycle continues, however, and the next month it’s the same old story. Overspending is usually not the main problem. Rather, it is a symptom of a larger problem. Once the cause is known, it can be addressed and fixed.

1. Poor Budgeting

One of the largest causes of overspending is simply lack of planning or poor planning. When you do not have a spending plan, spending quickly gets out of control. The biggest problem happens when people try to put themselves on a strict budget The restriction of a super strict budget makes the person feel too confined and frustrated and the person rebels against himself and starts spending more than ever. To combat that, a realistic budget should account for “whatever” money for things that come up during the month such as going out to eat, buying a pair of shoes or hitting a great sale at the mall. Whatever money could be $10 or $500 depending on the person’s overall budget. Planning for the money you know you will spend will help you stay on track with the rest of your budget.

2. Discontentment

Overspending can happen when a person becomes discontent with what he has. He sees all the things he wants and decides he must have those things right now. Rather than spread those things out over several months within the “whatever” line on the budget or saving up, the person has to have them now. This leads to overspending and throwing the budget off course. The cure? The person who is overspending out of lack of contentment needs to take a deep inward look at himself and pinpoint what makes him discontent with what he has. Talking with a professional counselor can help. So can visiting a soup kitchen to work with people who really have nothing. If the need to have new things can not be removed, the best thing a person can do is start selling his old things to fund the new things he’d like to buy. This will curb the overspending to an extent.

3. Impulse Buys

Purchasing with credit and debit cards makes a person not think as hard about purchases. It’s easy to swipe a card and buy something you weren’t planning to buy. Besides that, impulse buys often mean not getting the best possible deal on the item. To curb impulse buys, carrying cash helps. Paying cash makes a person think a little harder about spending. Furthermore, when a person spots an item he wants to buy, the best thing to do is go home and think about it. Search the Internet to see if that item can be found cheaper elsewhere. Think on it for a few days. If the price is right and the desire is still there and it fits in the budget, go for it.