At one time or another all of us have spent more than we should have. If this is a rare occurrence then you can realize what is happening, stop the overspending, and move on. It is when it becomes something more, when it starts to drain your wallet and your quality of life, that you have to look at the root causes of overspending.
From an early age we are exposed to other peoples spending. We watch parents and other relatives buy things even if they are unaware that we are looking. If that spending was uncontrolled, we as children would have gotten the idea that spending all the time was ok. If we were never talked to about a budget, or worse yet if your parents had the opinion that budgets were unnecessary or for other people, weak people, then we would have never seen an example of responsible spending. We would be more likely to overspend as an adult.
From the first time we get an allowance and are charged with the responsibility of spending for ourselves we are setting our spending habit. When we get a job and a credit card for the first time we may have no necessities to be responsible for yet. If we start overspending at this point, even when we have to pay rent and bills, this overspending may continue. This is because the overspending has nothing to do with the need. You are just use to going to the store, picking up what you want, and paying with a credit card. Even though you now have other economic responsibilities, this habit of overspending can stay with you.
Peer pressure, society, TV commercials, keeping up with the Joneses, whatever you call it; these are powerful forces on our lives. These things cause us to buy what we think others think we need. It causes us to shop impulsively. We buy because we feel it is the right thing to do. We see others with the new style of shoe, the kids see a commercial for the new cereal, and many people can find themselves feeling pressure to buy these things like they perceive others are buying.
Some people spend to make themselves feel better. They call this “retail therapy.” Since they are suffering they don’t limit the time, money, or items on their shopping spree. They may arrive home to find their trunk is full of things they only vaguely remember buying. The problem is, they will continue to do this day after day.
Closely linked to the depression component of overspending, boredom can lead to overspending. It can also be part of a bad habit. Even if you don’t overspend normally, you may find yourself headed to the mall when you have nothing else to do. Because there are so many components of spending when you are bored, therefore many things to overcome, boredom may be the biggest problem for overspending.
Even if you manage to skip the mall and avoid shopping with friends, you still need to shop for food and necessities. Restricting your time shopping will not do much for you because you will still find yourself at the grocery story. Worse yet you can still buy from the TV and Internet from the comfort of your home or office. You need to attack the root causes of overspending. Once you overcome bad spending habits, or have gotten treatment for your depression, you will find that you will not only have more money in your wallet, but less junk in your house.