Derailing your budget? Disappointed about unaccomplished financial goals? Overspending can be a problem, and in many cases you might find yourself in the red. Get this behavioral issue under control with these steps.

Step One:

Start a new goal and have a reason why you want to change your old ways – have a WHY. You can help keep yourself motivated by giving your goals purpose. Your reason could be your children, a dream vacation, buying a house, moving away, getting a new vehicle or etc. Take a picture of your goal(s) and remind yourself every day of your WHY. Stay focused.

Step Two:

Identify what causes you to overspend. Do you find yourself overspending with certain people, when you’re bored, browsing facebook/Instagram, drive by the mall or etc? Once you’ve figured out your triggers you can start to fix the problem. Identifying and addressing your triggers in the early stages of overspending will help you stay on the right path.

Step Three:

Create a budget or go cash. A budget is how you can track your income and expenses (learn how here). You’ll know how much money you have left over to spend/save once you are able to track your income and expenses. A good idea would be to track current spending for 30 days to see where your money goes and target the areas of unnecessary spending (e.g. daily coffee, apparel shopping, unused memberships/subscriptions, eating out daily, etc) that you can cut back or cut out completely.

Tips

Distract yourself. Thinking about buying something? Occupy yourself. Call a friend, go for a walk or do a chore.

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Wait for 30 minutes. Most urges usually last for 15 to 30 minutes. Urges can feel like an eternity, but if you stay busy and do other things – it’ll be gone in no time.

One day at a time. Don’t think about whether you can stop overspending tomorrow/forever. It’s overwhelming even for people who don’t overspend.

Written by Chief Health

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