You will never get out of debt if overspending is your only style. Most people know that learning how to avoid overspending takes self-discipline. But it can, literally, pay off when you reach certain financial goals and aspirations. One of these five spending styles can teach you how to avoid overspending in 2014. Find the one that is right for you and stick to it.
The needs-only spender
A great way to learn how to avoid overspending in 2014 is to focus solely on your needs. Create on honest list of your needs and wants. Then only spend money on your ‘needs’ list items. This list should include rent or mortgage, electricity, groceries and credit card debt. Do not spend one cent on ‘wants’. People already in debt will best learn how to avoid overspending with this style. You will erase debt faster and stop, or at least slow down, discretionary spending. This cash diet will also help you save for retirement and a child’s education.
Personal avoid overspending victory
Florida teacher Nysa Williams is a needs-only spender. She only buys when the money is in hand. No matter how tempting it is to buy something online. For Nysa, no money means no purchases. This is the style we are most likely to see on ‘The Suze Orman Show’ or ‘Til’ Debt Do Us Part.’
Using technology to avoid overspending
The ‘in the envelope’ spender
Here you learn how to avoid overspending by withdrawing money from an ATM machine once or twice a month. Label a few envelopes with words like rent, groceries and gifts to store that budgeted money. If you have a gift budget of $200, keep that exact amount in an envelope labeled ‘gifts.’ Yes this is an outdated system. But almost 40% of American citizens still follow this method. So it still has serious value.
The no-sweat spender
This style dictates shopping with credit cards only after you take care of financial obligations. You learn how to avoid overspending by checking your account once and deciding ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ You should probably build a financial cushion first before adopting this spending style. Start with an automatic savings account and by paying your bills regularly. Focus on your real financial responsibilities, like rent and groceries. Then you will have more room in the credit card to buy other things. Like a new television, clothes or even a vacation.
Online has become so popular because many people are too busy for shopping in physical stores. This is a good spending for people who do not have a lot of time for money management and busy parents. One of whom is Mary, a single mother and an event organizer.
Mary is always on the lookout for discounts and free shipping offers. Another way Mary gets discounts, buy her groceries in bulk. My parents and sister have also done this for years. It helps decrease the number of trips to the grocery store you need to take. Ask anyone, it is a great way to learn how to avoid overspending. When online shopping at Amazon, I only pay attention to free shipping qualified items. If buying a gift, my budget is typically between $25-40. Of course, I am going to spend more money on my niece than my cousin Addison. But after taxes, I do not care if the final price is, for example, $42.50. Fortunately, I can handle that kind of price.
The rewards-happy spender
This spending style refers to those of us who enjoy using reward cards for extra points. I am guilty of this style. This is particularly the case at beauty stores and coffee shops. I have done the ‘buy ten drinks, get the eleventh drink free’ routine for years. But this style is only for those with no debts and a good credit store. A good way to learn how to avoid overspending in this case is keep tabs on expenses so you do not go overboard.
A very common tip is to always pay more than the minimum on credit card debt. It is okay if the payment is only two or three dollars more than the minimum due. I always do this. I also pay early sometimes.
It is hard to learn how to avoid overspending. Especially if you have spent a long time doing just that. Many over-spenders have to re-learn the lesson numerous times before they are ready to get it right. You have to want it desperately enough to make it right. May sound harsh, but the only person who can really help you is you. The problem started with you. So the solution needs to start with you. Of course, the people around you can cheer you on, offer support and hold you accountable for sip-ups. But the real work is yours.