When I ask people about their biggest challenges with their finances, one of the main things that comes up is their spending habits. Like, the struggle is too real. Clothes. Shoes. Bags. Food. Travel. Everything. You can legit become addicted to spending. As you shop and spend money, your brain is firing off those feel good chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins. And what happens when something makes us feel good? We want more and more of that feeling! In this case, in order to get more of those tingling good feelings, more shopping happens. And then overspending becomes a bad habit.
I know you want better though! You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t care. I want to help you get your spending under control sis. I know how it is, trust me I’ve been in your shoes! So how do you start changing your frivolous spending habits you ask? Well, just like with a drug addiction, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. You have to get real with yourself and stop being in denial and making excuse after excuse. The second step is figuring out what you need to do in order to change those behaviors.
I’ve identified 8 things that you can take action on and start implementing immediately. Of course change isn’t going to happen overnight, but if you work hard and stay committed to the process, then you can start seeing changes within the next 30 days (or even less). How awesome is that? It’s time that you start saving more and spending less, so here’s what you have to do…
Identify your spending triggers.
In order for your to start changing your spending habits, you have to be aware of what you’re actually overspending on in the first place. Review your accounts and go back at least 30 days. What did you spend a lot of money on? For a lot of people, food and eating out is a major one. Make sure you write down areas where you can cut your spending down some.
Use cash for your purchases.
Using cash for all of your purchases will help you with your spending tremendously. This is because when you swipe your debit card or credit card you are not really thinking about how much you’re actually spending. When you use cash, you can see that cash leave from your hand and you’re more likely to be able to control. Yes pulling out a card and swiping is much easier than taking out cash and having to count (God forbid!), but the likelihood of your overspending is that much higher as a result.
Track your spending.
in order for you to change your spending habits you have to be aware of how much you’re actually spending in certain areas. You can do this by reviewing your checking account often you should be reviewing your account by 30 day periods. take a look at your account for the past month to determine how much you have actually been spending. This right here is usually a total eye-opener for people.
Create a freakin’ budget.
Here’s the thing, you keep trying to spend outside of your means which is wreaking havoc on your finances! The answer here is to put yourself on a budget ASAP girl. Creating a budget allows you to manage your spending because you are telling your dollars where to go instead of wondering where they all went. Budgeting will have you saving more and spending less (only if you stick to it though). Self discipline is imperative here!
There’s so much out here to do for free or relatively inexpensive. All you need is a little creativity. Think outside the box girl! You don’t have to be spending any money in order to get those feel good endorphins. Try laughing more. Exercise with your squad. Cuddle up with bae. Eat some chocolate. Listen to your fave tunes. Dance around the house naked. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it doesn’t involve any unnecessary spending.
Focus on your goals.
You have to get laser focused on your financial goals. The more focused you are, the more in control of your spending you’ll be. A financial plan may sound scary and intimidating, but it’s far from that! You just have to simply start by sitting down and figuring out what you want and getting it all down on paper. Once you’re clear about what you want, you’ll know what you need to do in order to make it a reality. This is where curbing your spending will come into play.
Deal with your feelings.
Often times, people use money and spending to fill emotional voids. Ever heard of retail therapy? Retail therapy can get you in some trouble if you allow it to. Studies show that you are more likely to overspend when you are feeling down, depressed, or anxious. While it may make you feel better in the moment, overspending may cause you to feel even worse once it hits you (feelings of guilt). Try to deal with your emotions in healthier ways such as counseling, talking with loved ones, exercising, or whatever makes you feel better rather than a trip to the mall.
Just say no!
I get it, you have a problem saying no to your close family and friends, the girl scout knocking on your door, the lady at the MAC counter, basically any and everybody. You can’t keep using that as an excuse because you’re never going to be able to turn your finances around if you don’t learn how to say N O. Set healthy boundaries within your relationships, have those tough money conversations, and stick to your guns!
Now that wasn’t so bad was it? You can definitely get started on the road to recovery right now if you’re serious about making changes in your life. Just think about what you’ll gain from taking back the power and control over your finances! What would your life look like?
Now let’s talk about it. Are you an overspender? Have you tried anything in the past to decrease your spending? What did you try? Sound off in the comments, I wanna hear from you!
P.S. If you thought that this was insanely awesome or made you think about someone that you know, please share this with them!
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