We all know that feeling. When we’re stressed, it’s easy to get another cup of coffee. It’s convenient to get a you-earned-this something. Sometimes it’s small, sometimes it’s big. Overspending is like a disease, and sometimes we succumb to the chaos and problems in our lives.
You don’t have to spiral. Whether you’re spending is triggered by an event, or by chronic stress, we are here for you. This article is about how to stop spending your money in excess, especially when you’re unaware of it.
An important first step is to identify what you’re feeling before pulling out that credit card. Are you only buying it because it’ll make you feel better? Can you see how that may not be the best action to take? Calling a friend, or even meditating, would be a better option.
Another method is to think about what you’re grateful for. This study shows that focusing on the good things in your life can actually increase your deliberate willpower, and decrease your impulsive decisions.
Do the math. How much are you spending for a better mood? You’re thinking about spending $100? How much time at work was that? If you work for $20 an hour, that’s half a day’s work. Is it really that important to you? If you knew you were working to get that item, would you have worked harder?
Create a budget, if you don’t already have one. We cannot stress this enough. Monthly budgets are necessary. They are the best. It’s important to create a spreadsheet. Add up receipts. Allot money towards bills. Make categories for the common things you do, like gym memberships and movie money. Put some money towards savings, and test your budget.
Then, after a month, discourage yourself from spending. For each dollar beyond your budget, 50 cents goes to an organization you don’t like, like the Republican National Committee if you’re democrat. Tell a friend of this commitment so they keep you held to your promise.
The most important thing is being honest with yourself. Only you can control your own actions, and change bad habits. Still, understand it’s a slow process. You can do it. Give yourself patience, and spend time-not money-on developing these skills.