Managing Debt

3 Ways to Stop Overspending

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It’s easy to find ways to spend money. Dinners out, new shoes, charities, trips, activities for the kids, etc. It’s not so easy to keep spending in check. If you’re looking to regain control over your finances, we’ve got three strategies to help you stop overspending.

1. Set Limits

Before you can assess if you are overspending, you need to know how much you should be spending. It’s important to create a budget. Figure out your total income and then track your spending for a few months. Think about your financial priorities (to save for retirement or buy a house, for example). Then see if your spending habits are reflecting those goals.

Once you’ve created a budget, set specific limits especially in the areas where you seem to have trouble. If buying shoes is your biggest weakness and source of overspending, have a shoe budget within a shopping category. This can help you avoid impulse buying.

2. Share Your Goals

Tell someone. Confide in a friend or family member about your desire to spend less money. Or share with the world using social media. Tweet and post Facebook messages outlining your plan. Then update your followers and friends on your progress. This can be the added motivation to stop you from going out to dinner once you’ve already reached your monthly allowance of meals out. You don’t want to have to admit to your social network you slipped so you may stay home instead. Having to share your failures and successes will keep you accountable and hopefully make your goals a reality.

3. Stay Away

Avoid temptation. If you want to take every trip you see, don’t browse the last-minute vacation deals online. To avoid shopping, unsubscribe from the email lists of all your favorite stores. You can always sign back up or go look at the website but you won’t be inundated with temptation while you are trying to spend less. If your friends want to meet up for dinner, it can be hard to stick to water and a side salad. Restaurants are designed to get you to spend more. Suggest having a potluck at your place instead. That way you are in control of how much you spend and won’t be persuaded to overspend.

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Image: Valueline

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