How to Avoid Overspending
Aug 16, 2019
What is Overspending?
A common financial issue that people talk about is "Overspending".
What meaning are people giving to the word "overspend" though?
And how do you know that you're "overspending" in the first place?🧐
I've done a lot of research on money, and I haven't found any set of instructions that say, "You must only spend $XYZ on ABC Product."
You are the person deciding what to spend every month, on every purchase.
So, if you are consciously making the decision to spend the money - can you really ever "overspend"?
We can place judgement and blame on ourselves if we think we're doing something wrong, but most of the time we just haven't set a realistic budget or adjusted for how life is right now.
If it's the 20th day of the month and you've already spent your entire Eating Out Budget, you have a decision to make. Either move funds from another category to Eating Out, or commit to making dinner every night.
On the other hand, if it's the 3rd day of the month and you've already spent your entire Eating Out Budget, maybe the number you put into your budget wasn't realistic.
Can you move funds from another category to your Eating Out category?
Or can you find more cost effective restaurants?
Or skip the dessert or appetizer?
Maybe you can decide to eat at home more often, or bring your lunch to work instead of always going out.
Your lifestyle and budget have to co-exist. It might take a couple of months to get there, and that's okay! Have grace with yourself and be flexible. You will get the hang of this!
If you're in shock over how much you've spent on a certain category at the end of the month, it's probably because you weren't tracking the money going out as you were spending it.
An easy to way to overcome this, is to get a budgeting app, or create a Note in your phone where you track your spending. Then use it 😉
When you're at the cash register and the cashier tells you how much money you owe, open your phone really quick and put in the amount, along with what you spent it on.
(Target - $34.87 - Clothing)
When you get home, put this amount (along with any other purchases you've made that day) into your budgeting spreadsheet.
The more attention you give to your budget, the more aware you will be of where your money is going. It's hard to be shocked by something you see everyday.
For instance, I used to scream every time my daughter jumped out at me from behind a door. Now I just expect it whenever I enter a room 🤣
More consistency = Less shock value
So, is overspending something that we'll always have to deal with?
I don't think so.
I think we choose what we spend money on, and then we get to evaluate our choices - and can choose to make a different decision in the future if we want to.
If you know what you want to do - do it!
You're in control of your life. Make the decisions that will make you happy!