Yesterday I shared a post and promised I’d follow up with How to Stop Overspending. In the other post, I wrote about 6 Signs You Have a Compulsive Spending Problem. I know these topics aren’t all sunshine and rainbows and “positivity and light”, but in the financial services business, it’s best to stop sweeping stuff under the rug and start addressing our money issues so that we can change the behaviors that are currently sabotaging our goals.
This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
How to Stop Overspending:
1. You Plan Your Schedule Around Red Light Specials
When you plan your entire day or week around sales and deals, you might have a compulsive spending problem. My suggestion is to find something to fill your time with other than researching deals and chasing the high that is saving money. If you refocus your efforts on trying to make more money, for instance, you’d get a much better return!
2 Hobbies That’ll Keep You Busy and Away From The Mall
- Start a blog. Everyone has a passion. For some, it’s money and business. For others, it’s crafting. Some bloggers love writing about Mom life or even co-parenting in a blended family. Whatever your hobbies and passions, you might as well write about it!
Ruth Soukup, of Living Well Spending Less, started her blog because she had a major spending problem and needed to find something to fill her time. Little did she know that blog would catapult her career from stay at home mom to blogger to author to course creator and now podcaster. She figured out how to stop overspending and now earns a very healthy living teaching bloggers how to do the same. I’m currently taking her course, Elite Blog Academy, as I refine my message, build an engaged audience, and continue monetizing my efforts.
- Another way to fill your time is to become an affiliate marketer. Did you know that you can actually make money by promoting other people’s products on Pinterest without even having to start a blog?! It’s called Affiliate Marketing, and my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner consistently makes over $150,000 per month as an affiliate marketer.
Michelle created an in-depth course that I’m also currently going through to start making more money from home. It’s called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and she even offers a payment plan on the course. If you’re going to spend money on something for yourself, it might as well be something you can use to grow your income! The course is priced at $197 or two payments of $105. If you just don’t have $200 to invest right now, I highly recommend this $25 ebook Make your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours. As I said, you can start implementing the tips right away and be on your way to making money really quick!
Related: Affiliate Marketing Success Stories
2. You Lose Track of How Much You’ve Charged on Credit Cards
When you use a credit card on shopping trips, it’s easy to get carried away with how much you’ve spent. Here’s what to do instead:
- Make a list. Write out everything you need and items you want to research before you buy. Here’s where doing research online can help out, but don’t get sucked into all of the tempting offers online. The goal is to research prices, plan your route, and write down how much each item will cost you.
- Take cash or a debit card with a ledger. Overspending is a behavior issue. They say by swiping a credit card, you’re desensitized to the reality that you don’t own the item you’re buying on credit. When you have to hand over hard, cold cash it makes it very real. Some people use cash envelopes, separated by category (groceries, eating out, splurges, nails, etc). Whatever works for you that will keep you on track is what you need to do.
3. Your email is full of SPAM from companies with sales and promotions (which you check daily).
Go through your email regularly and unsubscribe from merchants you don’t truly need anymore. It’s probably safe to say you’ve got a fair amount of offers from Kohl’s, Target, Walmart, Pier 1, Kirkland’s, Bath & Body Works, Bed Bath & Beyond, Victoria’s Secret, etc. You know they got you with that 10% off coupon offer, but that has long expired. It’s time to sever the relationship. If you need to save a percentage later, you can always sign up again.
Bonus: Your inbox will feel so decluttered and light! You’ll love it!
4. You Can’t Afford to Eat
You wouldn’t believe how many people overspend their entire paycheck and are eating beans and rice (or ramen) until payday. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’ve got to get on a written budget. Follow these steps:
- Grab a planner or even just a piece of paper and pencil.
- At the top of the paper, write your take-home pay per month.
- Then list each and every payment, debt, and required expenses every single month.
- Now list any extra expenses, such as eating out, brunch, and other expenses that are not required but are part of your monthly lifestyle.
- When you subtract the expenses from your take-home pay, you (hopefully) will have some money left. If not, it’s time to get to work!
Make the necessary adjustments to allow you some extra cash to stash away for emergencies, pay off debt, and take a vacation once in awhile. If you’d like a free copy of my Debt Snowball Spreadsheet, enter your email below and I’ll send it right over! In just a few minutes, you’ll be able to see how long it’ll take you to become debt free!
By finding a hobby or passion to pursue, using cash when shopping, cleaning out your email and text offers, and creating a written budget, you will have figured out how to stop overspending once and for all and can be on the path to a less stressed, more fulfilled life!