Overspending does not start from huge expenses; it begins with unnoticeable habits. For example, buying one or two extra packs of chips does not look like a considerable expense. But let us take a step back and find out how many times did you buy little extra (To be on the safer side, what if that rat in your kitchen spoils all the food that you have, then you will at least have an extra packet of chips to eat)? This habit of buying more than needed can put you in financial trouble eventually. Our point is that overspending stems from poor spending habits. So, the good news is- you can work towards changing your habits!
Now, the question is- how can you stop overspending?
Well, it is not easy to control overspending overnight. Initially, you will find it difficult. You might end up making impulse purchases at times, but consciously maintaining your habit can help you take charge of the situation subconsciously too. So, let us go ahead and see how you can stop overspending or at least control it.
1. Know your weakness
All of us have our weaknesses, but what matters most is not to let them overpower us. The first step towards a secure financial future is to know what your weaknesses are. Next, you must analyse your current financial situation and understand where you are spending the money. Know where you spend the most and where you need to get a hold of yourself.
2. Make a realistic budget
We have our fair share of “I am going to change my life from tomorrow. I will make sure not to overspend and make a good budget.” Making a reasonable budget is not difficult, but making a realistic budget is. Anyone can make a reasonable budget, but only you can make a sustainable budget for yourself. So, talk to yourself and make a budget that is easy to follow.
3. Talk yourself out of impulse buying
Impulse buying is the source of overspending. One of the reasons people overspend is because they get overwhelmed when they see many things they want. Therefore, you must learn to control and talk yourself out of situations such as buying a shirt after seeing an ad on your Instagram feed or going to the supermarket to buy groceries and returning with extra snacks. Whenever you find yourself in such a situation, take a step back and ask yourself, “Do I need it, or do I just want it?”
4. List it all down
The first step towards better money management is realizing what you are doing wrong and accepting it. If you are here and still reading this, you must have already learned and acknowledged that you are a spendthrift. So, next time when you decide to go shopping, make sure that you write down everything you need on a list and then start shopping. If nothing, lists can help you stay on track and control overspending.
5. Minimize eating out or ordering in
Ordering in and multiple options to eat out has made us lazy and careless with money. For example, you spend INR 300 each day eating out or ordering four times a week. If you add it up, you will end up spending about INR 5000 extra every month on ordering food. So, instead of ordering in or eating out, make a minor change in your lifestyle and start preparing meals yourself or get a tiffin service to save unnecessary expenditures.
6. Share or cancel the subscriptions
Accept it or not, most of us have multiple OTT platform subscriptions which we do not even use. So, instead of spending extra every month, try to either share your subscription or cancel it. For example, if you spend INR 800 every month on your Netflix subscription, ask your friends who use it to contribute. And if you do not want to ask, then switch to a cheaper plan. We know, initially, you might feel uncomfortable, but soon you will realize that it eases the financial burden on you.
7. Take your time before making a big purchase
Want to buy a new phone because it is the one with the latest features? Well, wait a minute, is your current phone giving you a tough time? Are there any technical faults with your existing phone? If the answer to these questions is ‘No,’ then it is time to take this idea off the plate. You do not NEED a new phone; you WANT it because it is the latest gadget. One of the causes behind overspending is buying the things you WANT for the time being. In addition, such purchases put you off your financial plans and harm your financial health.
Let us be practical here; you cannot live without spending money. The idea is not to become a miser but to control unnecessary expenditure. Overspending has a long-term impact on your financial health. So, instead of finding excuses for your poor spending habits, you must learn to curb overspending gradually. While it might be challenging to take control of your impulse, you will slowly grow to save more and change your habits. It will not only help you to get by the month but also help you to have good financial health.
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