Overspending is a habit that people easily fall into, but find it much harder to break 🛑
If we’re all being honest, it’s nice to buy new things, have the latest gadgets, wear nice clothes and go out with friends for dinners and drinks.
But if you have long term goals that you want to achieve, like saving for a house, a wedding, travelling the world, early retirement or just saving so you can live a more financially stable life – then you’re going to need to learn how to fight the urge to spend.
When you know you should be saving, but see something you want, it can be easy to persuade yourself that ‘treating yourself’ is okay, but before you know it, you’ve been so overly indulgent that another month has gone by and you haven’t saved a penny towards your long term goals.
This was a huge pattern for me for years, and it’s only in the last year or so that I have taken time to reflect on what occasions trigger me to overspend.
I think I have become pretty good at recognising when I am just spending for the sake of it, and I’ve managed to save a lot of money and pay off a lot of debt in the last year now that I know what sets me off.
So today I wanted to share those triggers with my readers, so you can be aware of things that could provoke you to splurge rather than save your money.
Next time you’re in a situation, you’ll be more mentally equipped to double question yourself before you pull out your credit card.
Hey! You should also check out 5 Small Changes That Will Save You £30,000+
7 Times You’re Likely To Overspend
When your paycheck hits your account, it feels great.
Particularly if you’ve been living paycheck to paycheck, you might have spent the last few weeks struggling to make ends meet, but now you have several thousand in your bank account, you might be tempted to go out and buy yourself some new things.
This mentality is what keeps people living on that rich/poor yoyo for the rest of their lives.
You spend the first week or two of the month enjoying yourself, going out with friends, and doing whatever you want, to then suffer later in the month and possibly struggle to buy food and gas.
Get out of this habit now! Not only to help you save money long term, but to improve your own mental health and emotional connection with money.
WHEN YOU’RE HORMONAL
This one is for the ladies. If you’re like me and many other women, when it’s that time of the month, you become a completely different person, and certainly not for the better 😭
When I’m hormonal, I am not only in excruciating physical pain for a whole week, my mood is really low, I feel sad for no reason at all, I want to indulge in fast food and snacks every day, and the only thing that makes me feel better other than buying lots of food is buying lots of clothes.
It’s really hard to break this cycle because we can’t control our hormones, but it does help to recognise this pattern in the first place and find other things to do to lift you when you’re suffering from period pains and hormonal changes.
I like to practice yoga, enjoy long baths and have an at-home pamper session where I paint my nails, blow dry my hair etc to make myself feel a little better.
WHEN YOU’RE SAD
When we’re sad for any reason, buying new things can be a temporary fix to improve our mood if we’re going through a tough time.
Emphasis on the word temporary – at the end of the day, spending money won’t solve your problems, and will, in fact, cause you more problems long term if you’re spending more than you can afford.
Don’t use shopping as a way to escape from your issues, face them head-on and your future self with thank you so much that you didn’t land yourself in debt over something that had you feeling sad two years ago.
WHEN YOU’RE WITH FRIENDS
When you’re out with friends, you can feel pressured to spend the same as them and try and keep up with what they’re doing.
But at the end of the day, everybody’s financial situation, earnings and goals are different. Don’t compare your spending behaviours with anybody else and don’t try to keep up.
You don’t know if they are getting themselves into debt by spending too much, so don’t bother with comparison and just be honest with them. True friends will understand if you need to pass up invitations now and then to stay on track with your budget, and even better friends will support you and suggest that you do things that are wallet friendly.
We all know that Christmas is the most expensive time of year – but there are a couple of things to keep in mind that will help curb the feeling that you need to go all out.
If you’re wanting to save money, then make gifts by hand for your family and friends, reuse decorations from previous years, and even be honest with your loved ones that you aren’t going to be spending very much this year, and don’t want them to splash out on you in return.
It’s so easy to get caught up in Christmas and feel like you need to spoil every single person in your family tree, have a perfectly decorated house and host the best Christmas dinner parties that anyone has ever been to. But the thing is, you will never regret not spending enough money over Christmas in years to come, but the same can’t be said in reverse.
Christmas is about spending time with loved ones, being kind and helpful to those around you and making happy memories and traditions that you can pass down the generations. So don’t become obsessed with spending a fortune on gifts and decorations and keep the true spirit of Christmas in mind.
Vacations are a prime time to overspend – restaurants, day trips, gifts and souvenirs soon add up to more than you paid for the holiday itself if you’re not careful.
If you’re trying to save money long term, but still want to enjoy a summer holiday, then set yourself a few rules:
- Look for an all-inclusive package where your meals are included in the cost of the holiday, then stick to eating outside the resort only a couple of times
- Find special offers on day trips and excursions and only book one or two – you don’t need to do every activity the city has to offer
- Be sparing with the gifts and souvenirs that you purchase – your friends and family will forgive you for not bring them back keyrings and notebooks, and if you really want something to remember the destination by for yourself, then make sure to take a tonne of pictures and videos to look back on.
To Finish Off…
I hope this post will help you recognise your triggers when it comes to spending more than you can afford.
Cutting back on a couple of expenses at a time can really make a difference over the span of a year, so be more conscious of your spending habits and you’ll be buying that house in no time! 🏡
Make sure to let me know your spending triggers and money saving tips in the comments below, and check back here soon as I post new lifestyle and personal finance content on The Angelina Archives every single week!