Spending is often psychological for most of us. We may feel that we have to keep up with what others have and if we don’t have the best and newest then people will think less of us. We have to face that fact that there will always be someone else who has more than we do. Another fact I had to face was that I am not what I buy. Whether or not I have a new house or new car does not make me the person I am. Who I am comes from within. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone would stop comparing themselves to others? We might be happier if we could just grasp this concept.
One of the ways to avoid overspending is, of course, to create a budget and stick to it. Once you become disciplined in the proper way to budget and allocate your money, you will find that overspending is less of an obstacle than it was prior to using a budget.
The word “no” will have to become part of your vocabulary, especially if you have children. We want to give our children the best of everything, but sometimes the best thing to do is to just say no to their requests. Not only will it help us stay out of debt, it will teach them that every want is not a necessity. That would apply for us as well. I know how difficult this can be, but I have found it really benefits both of us.
If you used spending as a reward in the past, find other ways to reward yourself and others that don’t involve money. I struggled with this at first, but found more satisfying rewards are those that don’t cause me to get in debt. Take time out to enjoy spending time with others. This is a reward within itself. People will often prefer your gifts of time as opposed to your gifts of money.
Another area in which people tend to overspend is on vacations. Again, I have been guilty of this, too. Travel is one of those things that I really enjoy doing and it has been one area I have had to take control of before it wrecked our budget. Typically when we plan a vacation, we only really consider the costs of the hotel and transportation. But there are so many little costs that add up quickly and take a toll on finances. First, eating out can be quite expensive so opt for less dining out if possible. Many times hotels will offer continental breakfast so definitely take advantage of them whenever possible. Then you have to consider the extra costs of choosing activities to fill the time. Do your homework and plan activities that aren’t expensive ahead of time. If you are going to the beach, take a few board games or decks of cards for evening activities.
Don’t let your emotions control your spending. Enjoy life, but within your means, not with credit card debt because you overspend!
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