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There are two types of shoppers, those who find it a dreadful ordeal and those who can’t seem to get enough of it.
If you find you sluggishly drag yourself to the stores, you probably don’t have too much of an issue with overspending.
However, if you are a person who loves the excitement of making a purchase, you probably find that it’s not uncommon for your pockets to be empty.
At the end of the week you might be wondering where all your money went. You may need some tips to avoid overspending!
A love of shopping isn’t a bad thing until it gets to the point where you are truly living beyond your means and need to find ways to cut back on spending.
Here are some ways to prevent yourself from overspending your budget!
Use lists to prevent overspending
If you want to know how to stop spending money on unnecessary things, simply making a list can help! Before heading to the grocery, department store or the mall, make a list of what you need to buy.
The problem with shopping is sometimes we gravitate to what we want to buy, rather than just what we need. When you get there, restrain yourself from eyeing those sales.
If it isn’t on your list, don’t go there. Sticking to a list will help you stop overspending.
It can be hard to shop with total blinders on though. If a sexy pair of boots makes eyes at you from across the store it can be hard to resist.
So, in the case that you do see something you really want, think about it overnight rather than buying it. If you still want it in the morning, it will be worth the trip back, if not, you’ll find you just made your first decision to shop within your means.
Plus, maybe overnight you can think of a way to come up with the extra funds for the boots! Got something in your closet you never wear? Sell it!
Learn about some hobbies you can turn into side-hustles so you can increase your shopping budget.
Avoid impulse shopping
This goes along with the step #1, a sale may look great, but it causes you to spend more money and blow your budget. And you might be spending on something you don’t really need.
Next week there will be new sales, and the next week after that.
Stores provide great offers in order to suck you in to buy them. Stick to your guns and buy only what you need so you can prevent yourself from overspending.
Not even going into the store, or visiting the website is one of the best ways to prevent yourself from spending too much money.
Shop with cash
It’s really easy to overspend when you rely on credit cards. There is something about using a card instead of cash, that makes it feel almost like you aren’t really spending.
And your mind can play tricks on you, justifying a big purchase by saying you will pay it off later.
Swiping that card without thinking or looking at your receipts may mean you have a heart-stopping shock at the end of the month when you get your new statement.
Credit leads to large bills and it’s harder to keep track of how much you spend.
Plus, if you have an interest rate on your card, then you will end up paying more for the item than the store is charging!
Instead, set aside envelopes filled with cash before you go shopping to stay within your budget. Every time you have a few extra dollars left over, you can put them in a new envelope and build a “treat” fund (for sexy boots!)
Want to increase your available cash for spending so you don’t have to worry about overspending? Try these 14 tactics and make $2,500 in one month!
Pass up those special offers
Companies love to send us online coupons, flyers in the mail, and those cute little reminder postcards to come on down to shop and open our wallets. If you really want to stop overspending your money, ignore them!
Throw these out without even looking at them unless there is a purchase you absolutely need (in that case you might find you saved yourself a few bucks!)
Special offers are retailers ways of getting you in the door and inspiring you to spend more.
Be selective with your coupons
Only use coupons for items you use, don’t buy something out of the ordinary in order to save a few cents or dollars because this isn’t really saving you anything.
Coupons for the wrong items can just end up wasting money.
Don’t fall for the old “bait and switch”
If you do head off to a sale, stick to the product that was advertised.
Unfortunately, some merchants will put two items on sale that they know will sell quickly. Their hope is that once that sells, they can sell you a different, more expensive product.
If the product you came for isn’t available, turn around and walk out the door. Look for it online or at another store for a similar deal.
Understand “why” you overspend
We’ve all done it. Gone to the mall and bought ourselves a treat because we had a bad day. Or a bad week, or a bad month lol.
Sometimes we overspend and waste money to fill an emotional void. Recognizing when you are spending due to being upset can help you stop overspending.
Try to find alternate activities to boost your mood that won’t cost you extra money.
Track your spending down to the cent
Ultimately, a budget is really key to learning how to shop within your means and prevent yourself from overspending. It can be difficult to know if you are overspending, if you don’t understand all the numbers ahead of time.
If you find yourself really falling into debt, set up a budget worksheet or even just a paper list to keep track of your incoming and outgoing money.
Write down all your income and expenses to see if you are spending more than you are taking in.
You can then better set a budget for yourself. If you realize you are spending too much, you can find ways to reduce your spending. Knowing how much you should save each month is also important.
And if you realize you have extra, you can splurge on something you want. Or even better, you can find a way to invest that and turn it into more!
Learning to shop within your means sounds hard, but you just need to make a plan for yourself to make it easy.