This is a sponsored post by CreditRepair.com. All opinions are 100% our own.
Are you wondering how to stop spending money on things you don’t need? Or maybe you’re worried that your overspending is making it hard for you to save money?
We all have things we don’t want to admit- and for a lot of people, spending problems are one of them!
You’re not alone. Many people struggle with spending too much money, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
It can be hard going into Target without coming out with bags of stuff, but it’s no good spending money like that!
We have some simple tips that can help you get your financial life back in order. All you need is an open mind and the willingness to try something new.
These are our tried and true tactics for you to regain control of your financial situation and take easy steps toward a better financial future.
Signs Of Spending Problems
There are a few signs that indicate that you might have a spending problem.
One is the fact that you’re wondering how to stop spending money!
See if you relate to other overspending warning signs below:
1. You find it difficult to stick to a budget
If you find yourself always spending more than you planned to, it’s possible that you have an overspending problem. It’s normal to overspend in one or two places each month, but if you’ve always found it very hard to stay within your budget due to impulse purchases, you might have a spending problem.
2. You feel anxious or stressed when you don’t have money to spend
Financial stress is common among people who are living paycheck to paycheck. It is a vicious cycle, because your anxiety about not having money to spend may actually lead to more spending to alleviate these feelings.
3. You’re making late payments, or your credit card balance is too high
A significant sign of financial problems is when you have difficulties paying your bills on time, or you are carrying a large balance on your credit cards that you can’t pay in full each month. If you find that this happens basically every month, it’s a sure sign that spending is a big issue for you.
4. You’re borrowing money from friends or family members, or you’ve taken out a payday loan
If you’ve borrowed money from people you know to be able to pay your bills, taken an advance on your paycheck, or signed for a high-interest personal loan, these could be signs of an overspending habit. We all need to borrow money now and then, especially getting loans for homes or cars, but getting loans from people to pay back a lot of purchases is a warning sign!
5. You’re trying to hide your money problems from others
Have you been avoiding talking with your partner about finances? Do you lie to your friends when they ask about money? You might be doing this to cover up your spending problems, and this could be a sign you need to track your spending and budget money from here on out.
Things That Make You Overspend
It all comes down to a few things- WHY are you spending money? You’ve got to understand why you’re doing it before you can change your habits.
If you are worried about your spending, it’s important to identify what’s going on. It can be boredom, how you feel, or something even more.
There are a few common factors that can influence your overspending habits and make you spend more than you should on things you don’t want or need.
Social media is the start of so much- it all starts with keeping up with the Joneses!
Social media is a big proponent of compulsive spending, particularly if you frequently browse sites like Facebook or Instagram. It’s so easy to scroll through people’s photos of glamorous vacations and fancy homes, which can make you feel inadequate and dissatisfied with your own life and possessions.
Remember that social media is designed to make people look their best, meaning that even if your friends are posting pictures of what seems like the perfect lives, they still have their issues and financial struggles just like everyone else.
Stress & Bad Feelings
Stress and negative feelings like boredom or sadness are other big causes of overspending. When you feel stressed or unhappy, it can be too easy to use shopping as a form of instant gratification.
Remember that spending won’t actually solve your problems! In fact, spending more money won’t make the problem go away, it will make you feel more stressed in the long run.
There are plenty of other healthy outlets for stress relief, including exercising or talking to someone you trust.
If you find yourself impulse shopping when you’re bored or sad, try replacing shopping with a free activity like reading or going for a walk.
Credit cards make spending so easy that you hardly have to think before you make a purchase because you’re just swiping a piece of plastic. The convenience factor of a credit card means that it’s very easy to rack up credit card debt without realizing it until the next bill is due.
Credit cards are also enablers of overspending when shopping online. Having your credit card information saved in your browser can make it even easier to click “buy” without thinking!
Additionally, stores offer incentivized store credit cards and banks offer rewards cards with cash back bonuses when you sign up for them. This can lead to you getting unnecessary credit cards and spending more money on things you wouldn’t normally buy in order to get rewards.
We highly recommend reaching out to CreditRepair.com for help in getting your credit score repaired today and getting a fresh start from credit card debt.
Peer Pressure & Friend Groups
Friends are a big part of who you are, and it’s only natural that they will have an effect on your spending habits. If you’re hanging out with people who love to shop and go on expensive vacations, these behaviors can influence how you spend your own money.
Take some time to look at the people you surround yourself with, and make sure that their spending habits are not influencing you negatively. Do you feel pressured to buy designer clothes, have the newest gadgets, or take trips you can’t afford with your friend group?
If you have friends who constantly spend money beyond their means or pressure you to do the same, it might be time to distance yourself so you can avoid lifestyle inflation due to peer pressure.
Everyone has certain things that can activate their spending triggers, such as seeing something on TV, walking by a sale sign, or getting an email newsletter from a brand you like. If you can figure out what triggers you to empty out your wallet, you will be better able to control your spending.
Pay attention to what happens before you spend money. If you tend to overspend at specific stores or on specific types of items, try avoiding places or products for a while until your spending habits improve.
How To Stop Spending Money
Here’s a step-by-step plan to stop spending money and take control of your finances.
1. Be Real
It’s time to confront your spending problem instead of just ignoring it. Acknowledge that you have been overspending and give yourself some time to think about your emotions around this.
It’s time to be real with your spouse about this problem as well. They can help talk you through it and figure out what your spending triggers are and how to stop spending so much.
Being honest and real with yourself and your partner about your bad money habits will allow you to move forward and make a change.
2. Review Past Finances
Next, review your spending history for the past few months and find out your current bank balance. To get a log of your credit and debit card transactions, sign up for a Mint account for free and get an easy analysis of your spending habits.
This will help you figure out how much you spend in a month and look for patterns that stand out. Reviewing these transactions will give you an idea of your necessary expenses as well as your discretionary purchases.
You’ll see recurring expenses like car payments, your cell phone bill, and your gym membership, as well as one-time purchases at stores and online. By looking backward, you can start to move towards financial freedom by improving your spending habits.
3. Don’t Buy- Pay Off Debt!
We often buy things to make ourselves feel better, but the feeling never lasts. However, one way to spend your money that will make you feel great for a long time is by paying off debt! Being debt-free is an important financial goal for many people.
Making extra debt payments is a rewarding alternative to buying things you don’t need. To help you put the most money towards your debt, set up an automatic transfer from your bank account every time you get paid.
4. What Do You Buy?
It’s time to embrace some ways to live more frugally.
If you find a lot of your spending is at restaurants, stop eating out and eat at home. You will save money, gain more time, and eat healthier.
Quit spending on new clothing by shopping at thrift stores. You can find high-quality stuff for less money. And consider if you even need more clothes in your closet! Take stock of your wardrobe and see how much you don’t even wear, and note if there are new items with tags still on them.
Instead of getting the newest gadget that you can’t afford, try buying used. Or, trade-in your old used gadgets for new ones, which should decrease the cost and save you some cash.
5. Set Your New Goals
A good financial plan needs to include goals that reflect your core values. If you can reflect on exactly what matters to you, you can figure out how to stop spending money on stuff that isn’t important to you.
Setting financial goals in your budget, like saving for a house, will motivate you to stop spending money impulsively. Instead of shopping, you’ll want to put extra money towards your goal.
You can open a high yield savings account with CIT Bank and earn more interest back on your savings!
6. Change Your Habits
You have the power to change your habits if you spend time improving them. In order to break a bad habit, you must replace it with something better or remove the trigger altogether.
So try replacing shopping with a free activity like calling a friend or going to the park. Or, instead of going out to eat with friends, have a dinner party or potluck at home.
Also, unsubscribe from mailing lists that tempt you to shop when there is a sale. And stop going to the mall just to browse, because this leads to unnecessary spending.
7. Create A Smart Budget
A smart budget helps you decide where your money should go. Figure out where you want to cut spending in categories that don’t really matter to you and then add in categories for savings goals.
Make sure to create a realistic budget that accounts for your necessary expenditures like household expenses and groceries. If there’s no room for discretionary purchases in your new budget, you’ll learn to stop spending and save instead.
8. Get Support
If you’re married, involve your spouse. Being on the same page with your partner when it comes to financial goals makes all the difference to establishing healthy spending habits and reducing financial stress. Include your kids too, since spending money responsibly is a valuable lesson!
If you’re single, don’t be afraid to reach out for help from family members or friends. For financial support, joining a community of people who are also working towards controlling their spending can give you the support you need.
9. Always Keep Track Of Transactions
It’s amazing how easy it will be to control your spending once you can see it all right in front of you. The simplest way to keep track of what you’re spending is by linking your checking account and credit card with a free online service like Mint.
Always get a receipt if you pay in cash, and be sure to enter each transaction into your budget right away. Having a record of your spending will make sure you are spending consciously and within your budget.
10. Delay The Sale
If you see something you want, take a picture and think about it overnight. Do you still want it the next day or a few days later?
By delaying your purchase, you may miss out on sales and you are delaying instant gratification, but you save yourself from buyer’s remorse and a dwindling bank account!
For a big purchase, it’s a good idea to take a while to think about whether you really want and need the item before buying it. Withdraw the money you’d need for the purchase from your checking account and see if you’d be comfortable handing over that pile of cash.
11. Don’t Shop Without Goals
If you don’t have a goal when shopping, you’ll spend money on things that you don’t need! It’s easy to fall prey to the false urgency of sales unless you have a plan when you head to the store.
It’s also quite common to throw some extra food in the cart at the grocery store on impulse. That’s why it’s important to have a meal plan and never go to the store without a shopping list.
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12. Shop More With Cash
Using a credit card makes impulse spending too easy. When people spend money through credit cards, they typically overspend compared to shopping with cash.
It’s time to stop using credit cards and tell yourself that you’ll “pay it off at payday”. We are a big fan of Dave Ramsey and his tips on savings.
Try to use cash as much as possible to stop overspending and racking up credit card balances.
Shopping with cash will help you spend less since you will only have a certain number of bills available. This may also help you realize how much money you are actually spending since you have to physically count it out and hand it over.
13. No More Store Cards!
If you have a store credit card, cancel it!
You might think that you’re saving money by using the discounts at checkout, but store cards are another form of credit. Stores want to encourage you to spend more than you normally would so they offer deals through their cards.
Store cards can also negatively affect your credit score if you’re carrying a balance and missing payments. Use Credit Karma to check your credit score for free and look at how many store cards you have open.
14. Always Think First
Before you buy anything, ask yourself if it is something that you really need. Avoid buying just for the sake of buying!
Ask yourself if it’s something you’ll use again later, or if it will just be another item cluttering up your home. Think about whether this item will give you more happiness from actually owning it than you get from buying it.
If you want to reach financial independence, you will need to learn how to stop spending money. Self-discipline isn’t necessarily the problem, it’s more about understanding your spending triggers and habits about working around them.
By developing financial goals and always shopping with those in mind, you can keep your eye on the prize and stop spending money.
Always think hard before making a purchase, and even give yourself a waiting period to see if you still want the item in a few days or weeks.
Find ways to avoid sales circulars, store cards, social media, and email newsletters if they tempt you into overspending on unnecessary things. Understand that impulse purchases just provide instant gratification even though those purchases may not benefit your life long term.