Tricks to Stop Overspending in its Tracks

Tricks to Stop Overspending in its Tracks

          “Retail therapy” –it’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?  That is until you get your Visa bill or bank statement and realize that regular therapy might be a whole lot cheaper!  Does this mean you have to give up your fun shopping trips for clothes, shoes, electronics, etc. to have financial peace?  No!  You just need the proper tools to set reasonable limits on your fun, so your “fun” doesn’t ruin your finances.

            First, you must do a budget before the month begins and decide on purpose how much you have to spend in each category.  This one step is half the battle!  Before you go shopping, be sure you check the budget to see what your monthly limit is and how much you have left to spend.  I use my bank’s budgeting software found on their website.  It pulls in all of my posted transactions in real time, so I can quickly see how much I’ve paid out in each budget category and what’s left to spend.  I can also check this on my iPhone, so there are no excuses!

            What if you KNOW how much you have to spend on non-essentials, but are constantly overspending anyways?  Cash is king when it comes to keeping yourself in check!  That’s because spending cash actually registers as pain in your brain.  This means that you’ll think twice about laying down your cold, hard cash for a purchase.  If you put a certain amount of cash in your wallet for discretionary spending, it’s very easy to see how much you have left for the month.  Consider investing in Dave Ramsey’s cash envelope system, which makes budgeting and tracking your cash purchases both easy and stylish!


Budgeting Tools

          What if you’re nervous about carrying around a lot of cash?  Is there no hope for you?  If carrying cash makes you uncomfortable, then consider getting a pre-paid Visa card.  Each month or payday, you can set up a transfer of a certain amount for your discretionary spending to be added to your card.  These pre-paid cards don’t let you spend money you don’t have, so it’s a great way to set self-imposed limits on your fun.  Yes, you will pay a small fee which varies based on the card you select.  However, if the pre-paid Visa keeps you from blowing your budget – or bouncing checks – you’re still coming out way ahead.

            If you’re considering a larger purchase of $200-$300 or more, think about instituting a 24 to 48 hour waiting period.  In most cases, the item will still be available for purchase in a day or two.  This will give you time to come down off that “buyer’s high” and rationally decide if you really need or want the item.  I think you’ll be surprised by how many times you decide to pass on it once the excitement wears off.

            Do you feel like you have control over your spending?


            If chronic overspending is a serious issue for you, it may be time to seek some therapy or counseling.  Sometimes there are underlying emotional and mental issues that manifest as money problems.  If you feel like you are out of control in this area, please do not be embarrassed to seek the professional help that you need.

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Christine Luken

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 20 comments
Robin (Masshole Mommy) - June 5, 2014

My hubby and I actually paid off our credit cards last year & I closed mine, so now all my shopping is done with my debit card, so if I don’t have the money – I don’t get it.

Lois Alter Mark - June 5, 2014

These are such good tips. It’s so easy to spend money you don’t have.

Liz Mays - June 5, 2014

I didn’t use to, but I definitely do know since I don’t charge anything anymore. It’s pay for it now or I can’t have it.

Ruth Zankich - June 5, 2014

I tend not go to the mall cause I know myself and will overspend. Online shopping has helped a lot!

Jessica @EatSleepBe - June 5, 2014

A monthly budget before the month starts is such a great way to stay on track. I also never go to a store or order online without checking for a coupon first.

Maggie @ The Love Nerds - June 5, 2014

This is definitely something my husband and I have been working on. Setting a monthly budget is really important with all the awesome summer things to do in Chicago.

Jen V - June 5, 2014

We don’t use credit cards but having a debit card makes it so easy to buy things we really don’t need. I really should go back to paying cash for everything. It’s much easier to stay within budget that way.

Jennifer B - June 5, 2014

Thankfully we don’t own any credit cards and if we can’t afford something, we just don’t get to have it. This works for us!

Giveaways 4 Mom - June 5, 2014

I definitely overspend. I am a shopaholic. I have no clue how I have managed to keep myself out of debt. But, if I could spend less I would definitely not have to work so hard.

Rosie - June 5, 2014

Great tips thank you! I’m going to set up calendar reminders to start budgeting at the beginning of the month!

Danielle - June 5, 2014

We don’t have any credit cards at all. I’m really quite pleased about that, actually 🙂

Tracie - June 5, 2014

Budgeting is so very important. We pay cash for everything, so if we don’t have the money – we don’t buy it.

maria @ close tohome - June 5, 2014

My husband always says my credit card is too high, it is mostly things for the daily living of our family.

Malia - June 5, 2014

Fortunately I don’t have a problem with over spending. I’ve always been good with only spending what I have. I also like to put some money in savings every month. When I do shop, I search for sales as I don’t like paying full price for anything.

Pam W - June 5, 2014

These are such great tips! I always try to never spend money I don’t have.

Maria Oller - June 5, 2014

Great tips, I’m sorta we dont own credit cards and we barely use the debit card all we buy is with cash.

Mama to 5 BLessings - June 6, 2014

great tips, thankfully my husband and I are good with money. I am sure we could do better.

Amy Desrosiers - June 6, 2014

We have a biweekly budget that I allocate funds to. Now that the kids are getting older, I’m finding my expenses going through the roof!

Lexie Lane - June 6, 2014

We don’t have any credit cards and I think I would be uncomfortable with a prepaid card 🙂 Just me.

Debbie Denny - June 8, 2014

We used the envelope system. Now it is just habit. No credit cards.


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