5 Practical Ways to Stop and Avoid Overspending

A man cutting his credit card to avoid overspending.

Let's be honest. Nearly everyone makes some not-so-smart financial choices from time to time. It could be out of convenience, absent-mindedness, or necessity. But when such unwise decisions become consistent, they become habits. Further, one of the most pressing bad financial habits right now is overspending. It's more common than you can imagine.

According to a study published in CNBC, over 79% of American consumers admit to having poor spending habits. So, if you think you're the only one going through the challenge, think again. The good news is that you can take the right steps to stop the habit from messing up your financial life. Wondering how? Read on.

Know Your Overspending Triggers

Ever spent money on something only to ask yourself why a few hours later? It can be very easy to spend money without a second thought or in the heat of the moment. Any buying decision is usually influenced by several factors. So if you want to stop overspending, it may be wise to know what triggers you to carelessly spend money.

Studies show that many people get triggered by:

  • Mood — spending to let off some steam
  • Fear of missing out (FOMO) — to keep up with friends
  • Weather patterns or time of the day
  • Environmental conditions such as checkout lines

Once you know your trigger, it can be easier to take appropriate actions to stop.

Eliminate Marketing Emails

Businesses have mastered the art of marketing. They even know when you're likely to have some extra cash or when you get paid. That's why you're likely to get emails promoting some of your preferred products or services. It tempts you to spend money on items you don't need simply because there's an offer.

To avoid falling into this trap, clear your inboxes. Unsubscribe from promotional messages from your retailers or online stores. If that won't help, you can also opt-out of receiving any emails from them.

Delete Any Saved Payment Details Online

Purchasing things online offers lots of conveniences. One can also earn valuable rewards on any item purchased. But while it might seem like you're saving money, you can easily find yourself overspending if you don't keep track. This is an easy trap to fall for if you store your payment details online through digital wallets.

Therefore, delete your payment details online. It will slow down buying process since you have to type in your card details. That will most likely give you time to reflect on what you're purchasing and why.

Stick to Cash to Avoid Overspending

Just like storing payment details online, card payments tend to offer attractive perks and convenience. If you're not careful, you can rack up thousands of dollars in debt. If you've been making payments using credit cards, for instance, consider taking a temporary break for like a month. During that time, use cash, checks, or debit cards when purchasing. After the break, take stock of how much you've spent and the items you bought. Chances are you will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Studies show that paying using cash helps people save.

Involve Family and Friends

Family and friends can be your biggest spending triggers, especially if they encourage you to spend money pointlessly. For instance, if they invite you social while spending money on drinks, dinners, and entertainment without prior notice and planning.

The surest way to avoid this is by involving your friends and family in your journey to stop overspending. Let them know you're making an effort to stop that habit to save money or get out of debt. Suggest alternative ways to socialize that don't involve spending a lot of money. Consider taking walks, watching movies at home, or taking advantage of free events.


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