In America today, it is easier than ever to spend money. The average American, when all is said and done, spends thirty-three percent more than what they make. This is a scary statistic: regularly spending more than they earn, citizens of the United States pull their country into even more debt.
Of course, some debts are unavoidable. College and medical expenses, which make up the bulk of American dues, are just a few examples. However overspending, the simple act of buying what you cannot afford, comprises a percentage that is nearly as large as its predecessors. While expensive items might make you feel good for a while, they are no substitute for genuine happiness.
Live Skinny, Smile Fat
Studies have shown that people who live frugally are happier, have lower blood pressure, and tend to “want” less than the average spender. Some solutions to putting a stop to your overspending and living a happier life are:
Finding frugal fun
It is no secret that people who wish to save cash tend to go out less, at least in the traditional sense. However, their social lives can still blossom: with all of the entertainment options that can be accessed from a home, private gatherings with family and friends become an ideal choice. There is also a wide selection of outdoor activities that can be passed for little to no funds, such as biking or walking on a local nature trail, swimming in a lake, and having a picnic in the park. While the above might still require some dough, it is far less than you would pay for dinner at a restaurant and a movie.
Knowing what you need
It is common for individuals who overspend to have a blurred conception of what they want and what they truly need. If you are trying to stop overspending, it would be best to write out the desires that are currently on your mind, and deciding what you can and cannot live without. In decreasing spending through the eradication of useless impulse buys, you can de-clutter your house, your bills, and your mind.
Plucking the plastic from your purse
Most historic overspenders are customers who, at all times, have a credit card or some other form of “instant cash” on hand. The slide of the plastic, reassuring for some, can create surprises at the end of the month. It has been proven that if you, before making a purchase, decide to delay your decision by a few days, you will be less likely to spend unnecessary cash. If you are apt to overspending at the grocery or at local retailers, try stopping by the bank or an ATM so you can pay with real, old-fashioned, paper dollars.
A Credit Conundrum
As we saw above, most overspending comes from credit and debit card use. The fact that you cannot see what you’re spending is a large contributor to the dilemma, as you have no physical basis for your debts. While using cash-only is a guaranteed method of spending less, it can make some feel insecure that their money is “out there in the open.” If you are dead-set on using your credit card or checking account, some wise pointers for ending your overspending are:
Limiting your budget
If you’re using a debit card, make sure that you only have enough money for your trip to the grocery or night on the town. Knowing that your funds are not endless is a great way to keep your spending in check, even if you do intend to use them. Being aware of your money can, when your bills show up in your postbox or email, give you the satisfaction of lower balances and reduced debt.
Sharing your goals
Since social media is now a prime mode of communication for anyone over the age of ten, it would not be a bad idea to post a status update or Tweet that you are trying to reduce your overspending. It is surprising how much support you can receive, even for something as personal as patching that hole in your credit. Also, please be assured that admitting your errors is not shameful: it is a step in the right direction.
Steering clear of the store
Another easy way to prevent overspending is to get away from the shops and begin spending time in places where you are not tempted to engage in bank-breaking habits. Take yourself off of retailer mailing lists, as well as websites that send you that “monthly deal.” New clothes can be essential for change every one in a while, however meaningful friendships have the potential to lift your mood more than that pair of jeans everyone is dying to buy.
Now, you hopefully have a guide that can help you stop your overspending habits and give you the worry-free life you are seeking.