You’re checking your emails and social media when you see “50% off storewide starts now!” You click on that link, start scrolling, then after almost half an hour, your shopping cart has two tops, two bags, a pair of shoes, and a bottle of perfume. The most exciting part? You continue to checkout.
When it comes to finances, one of the most common problems people struggle with is probably saving money. One of the major reasons behind that is overspending, which can lead to serious issues in no time. If you find yourself spending too much money—especially on things that aren’t really necessary—here are some practical tips that can help you stop spending money excessively.
But before that, let’s have a quick look at some of the reasons why people overspend.
Why do people overspend?
According to some studies, overspending provides people with a sense of escape, comfort, relief from stress and anxiety, and a cure to boredom—especially during idle or hard times. Imagine the times you’re waiting for the stuff you ordered online to arrive—isn’t it full of thrill and excitement?
It’s often driven by factors including peer pressure, boredom, lack of budgeting and money management skills, the ripple effect of buying new things, fear of missing out (FOMO), and more.
Things people often splurge on
Here’s a fact: we don’t always buy stuff because they’re on sale. Sometimes, we spend money on things simply because we want them. Here’s a quick list of the things people often splurge on when their next paycheck hits:
- Home furniture
- Gadgets and electronics
- Clothing and accessories
- Expensive food and drinks
- House repairs or renovations
Practical tips on how to stop overspending
The factors we mentioned earlier and emotional outbursts are among the key drivers of why people can’t stop spending money. This might not be an easy battle to win, but the good news is this: it’s not impossible to overcome. To help you with that, here are some easy ways on how to stop spending so much money.
1. Plan your expenses and stick to it
The simplest yet most important thing every individual should have is a budget. This will serve as your light in the dark alleyways of tempting offers during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or other massive sales you can find online and in your favorite stores.
To start, you can divide your income into three categories: your needs, wants, and savings. List down the things that will fall under each category, compute how much money you should spend on each of them, then stick to it—by this, we mean you should be extra careful to not spend beyond the budget you set.
There are actually many ways to manage your money. You just have to explore and identify which one best suits your financial needs. Creating a budget will not only save you from overspending habits but will also bring you a step closer to financial freedom.
2. Practice delayed gratification
Clothes, shoes, bags and accessories, jewelry, home appliances, concert or plane tickets, and more—these are just some of the things you can buy with a few clicks on your laptop or smartphone. In the world we live in today, we can buy almost everything online.
That’s also the very reason we’re so tempted to add even the most unnecessary stuff on our online shopping carts. If you find yourself doing this, you’re most likely falling for impulse buying.
To avoid that from happening, try letting that fancy top or wristwatch sit on your shopping cart for 24 hours or more. Don’t check out just yet! Use that time instead to mull over and assess whether you really need those stuff.
Being extra careful and smart with your spending habits can save you from unhealthy financial decisions that can slowly or instantly blow your savings.
3. Limit your screen time
We spend a significant percentage of our time browsing through our phones or laptops daily. The exposure we get from this activity somehow impacts how we decide to spend our money.
After quite a while, you might find yourself thinking about buying stuff that you don’t really need because of the enticing offer you saw on a website. Instead of visiting e-commerce sites to get a dopamine rush, why don’t you try exploring other activities that can give you the same feeling and satisfaction?
You can read books on your shelf, do different workout routines, or try something new that won’t require you to spend too much money. This won’t only help your bank account to recover, but will also give your eyes a much-needed break from hours of exposure to the bright screen from your digital devices.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others
Many—if not all—people tend to compare themselves with other people. This unhealthy habit not only wears you out emotionally but also exhausts you financially.
Comparing yourself to others—your family, friends, peers—will lead you to notice the things and achievements you don’t have. This dangerous habit is where your desire to have more and achieve more begins. You don’t need to renovate your garage, buy the latest iPhone, move to the city, or book a flight to some fancy place just because your friends did.
One of the misconceptions about success that spread like wildfire is that you always need to prove yourself to others. Well, here’s a myth-buster: you don’t have anything to prove, just a lot of things to improve. Shift your focus to develop and make the most of what you currently have instead.
Remember, comparison can steal your happiness. We’re pretty sure you don’t want that to happen, so don’t waste your time, energy, and money living someone else’s life!
Here’s a tip: Take a social media detox if you have to. Use that time to focus on yourself. You’ll be surprised to realize that you have countless things to be grateful for!
5. Unsubscribe to marketing emails
“50% off on everything!” or “Hurry, our 80% sale is waiting for you!”—who wouldn’t be tempted by these sweet deals? These phrases often lure us to fall into the trap of impulsive buying or spending money at the spur of the moment.
One simple way on how to stop overspending is to unsubscribe from the list of tempting marketing emails. People often have a fear of missing out, especially on extremely marked down items. But believe it or not, there will always be another sale. Don’t let yourself be listed in the “Overspenders Hall of Fame.” We know for sure that you don’t want to be remembered as the king or queen of panic buying or comfort spending!
Manage your money wisely
“Too much is always better than not enough.” This phrase applies to some key drivers that influence our lives but is never suitable for the way we spend our money. Overspending is an unhealthy financial habit that can yield serious consequences that none of us will want to face in the future.
Learning how to earn money is one thing, but unlearning how to spend it excessively is another story. Pull yourself away from the places you know will trigger your overspending habits. Take it as a permanent lifestyle change, unlearn the poor spending habits, and develop a healthy financial life, one step at a time.
*The content of this article is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.