14 Reasons We Overspend and How To Stop

By | February 23, 2019

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(Last Updated On: July 20, 2019)

Have you thought about why it’s so hard to stick to your shopping list? I mean you’ve made the noble decision to stick to it, so how did you end up with 3 extra pairs of stilettos, 5 beautiful summer dresses and 2 swanky jackets when you got home from the mall?

mall

Would you believe I used to buy clothes that didn’t even fit me?  Read more about it here #10.

According to this article, “76% of purchase decisions are made in-store”. And POPAI sees the rate increasing to 82%.

What? We’ve actually increased our spending in stores . . . ?

But there’s no need to beat yourself up about it.

When you find out the whys, when you know why the urge to splurge threatens to overtake you, knowing the whys will hopefully stop you in your tracks. And help you control your spending.

It’s taken me more than 6 hours researching, planning, writing and publishing this post to help you. It would be good of you to share this so that others can benefit too.

So why do you overspend and what can you do?

All the reasons below about why you overspend are from: Sandra and Harry Choron’s book Money: Everything You Never Knew About Your Favorite Thing to Find, Save, Spend & Covet. 

The practical solutions that work are by More Money Tips.

#1. Spending money makes us feel good

Spending money on luxury items gives us a feeling of wealth. Even if we know we can’t afford it, buying it in that moment in time gives us the illusion that we can afford it. It’s so easy especially with easy credit and easy pay options.

What can you do?

Are you feeling upset, happy, frustrated?

When you experience extreme emotions, you place yourself in a vulnerable state when you visit your favorite stores. Like lambs to the slaughter house. You may want to postpone your shopping trip and go for a walk in the park instead.

#2. “It’s my right” 

“I deserve it. I’ve worked hard and I’ve put in the overtime. So why can’t I spend it the way I want?” I hear you say. After all, what’s life if you can’t enjoy it, right?

What can you do?

Bear in mind that short term spending adds up and impacts your finances negatively in the long term. Your future self won’t thank you for your repeated short term spending that’s harming your finances.

So face the facts and realize what you’re doing to your wallet. Rewarding yourself for your work need not involve spending money you don’t need.

You can reward yourself with these thrifty ideas in 100 Frugal Ways to Enjoy Life to the Fullest.

#3. Keeping up with the Joneses

John, your next door pal, has just renovated his house for Christmas.

And what about his gigantic outdoor peacock that’s towering over your tiny garden gnome?

If he can afford those, why can’t you?

But just maybe, he has a side hustle that you’re blissfully unaware of. Did you see him doing extra gardening jobs for others? He’s probably trying to keep up with you!

What can you do?

Keeping up this way is unnecessary.

Why do it? Is there any meaning in doing this?

You should do things that give you satisfaction, not just because others have done things that you feel you need to match or exceed.

Make the wise decision not to be easily influenced by others and compete in a meaningless way.

Use your time to make money this year. These 30 side hustle ideas will get you started without special skills required for most of them.

#4. You may be feeling guilty

You haven’t talked to mom for months, your best friend for years and your kids, when did you last see or talk to them? So you splash on a lavish dinner for your friend, send flowers to mom and treat your kids to supersize toys!

What can you do?

Actually a catch up with your friend, a call to mom and putting aside this weekend to spend quality time with your kids would be the correct decisions to make rather than spending on material stuff. Besides, these actions will be more appreciated.

#5. You lost track of how much money you have

We often forget to factor in unexpected expenses that crop up in our budgets.

For us, an emergency fund came to our rescue when we found both our cars needing new tires and other repairs after our compulsory annual vehicle inspections.

What can you do?

You need a budget.

Only then will you know how much is coming in or going out of your bank account. If you want to know how to create a sustainable budget, follow these tips.

Everything you need to know about setting up an emergency fund is covered in a nutshell here.

#6. You want to prove that you have the money

If you don’t charge to your credit card when you buy stuff, how do you know you have the money to afford it?

You need to have some proof!

Besides, you just need to make the minimum payment on your card. Well, that’s true. But it’s a trap. You’re doing just what credit card companies want you to do. Do you want to chalk up thousands of credit card debt at a high interest rate?

What can you do?

You don’t need to spend your money to prove to yourself that the money’s there.

Why make the minimum payment when you can easily pay off the balance in full by not overspending? When the money’s there, it’s there.

#7. You’re living in self denial

Are you trying to keep up appearances? To pretend you can still afford a previous lifestyle? Maybe there’s been a financial setback or a break up that had caused a change in your financial situation.

You need to face reality and take steps to save more. Find out how you can save more every day with these 20 Clever Frugal Tips.

What can you do?

Seek help. Ask for advice from a non-profit government agency. In the meantime, stick to just paying for essentials like food and electric bills. Do not spend on frills like eating out.

#8. Are you honest with yourself?

You tell yourself, I’m just browsing. There’s no harm in that. I’m not going to buy anything in that store.

But then you chanced upon a product. Now that you’re aware of its existence, you can’t live without it. You convince yourself you simply need that item. For example, your outfit can’t survive without that accessory.

What can you do?
Don’t visit malls or stores if you don’t need to buy anything. Remove the temptation.

#9. Payday is Spend Day

It’s finally arrived. You’ve been waiting for this moment. Best of all, it’s today and you feel great. You feel rich. You can’t help yourself. Your fingers are itching to touch that shiny card!

What can you do?

Delay. Yes, delay your urge to spend that paycheck. Go home and make a simple meal. Let that feeling pass. Watch netflix instead of going out.

Don’t live from paycheck to paycheck, get these tips to stop it forever.

#10. Do I have that yet?

You focus on what you don’t have and keep thinking about how nice it’ll be to own that product, how it’ll add ‘value’ to your life. Your ’buy’ list never seems to end. But the moment you buy what’s on your list, you add 3 more.

What can you do?

Discard this list right away. It’ll never end.

#11. Wants Vs Needs

You don’t know the difference between a ‘want’ and a ‘need’. When you go into a store, your heart says, “That’s mine” instead of asking “Can I do without it?”

What can you do?

Decide if it’s a ‘want’ or ‘need’. See how I used the 30 Day Rule to control my spending and keep within my budget.

#12. Ignorance is bliss

You have no idea what’s going on financially.

Do you know how much money you have in the bank? Or whether you have enough money for that vacation?

What can you do?

Don’t stay in the fuzzy zone. You need a budget to let you know what’s happening.

#13. You find shopping a chore

Being impatient, you go with the flow, picking up items in stores you think you need to cut short your time spent in stores.

But in the end, you realize you don’t need them as much as you thought at first.

What can you do?

Stick to your shopping list.

#14. Consumerism

Tempting sales and discounts mislead you into thinking you’re saving money when you buy at sales. So you think you’re getting great deals and making all the right moves.

What can you do?

To fully understand how you can counter this, get your tips here.

Wrap Up

Now you have these facts at your fingertips, you’re in a much better position to curb your overspending.

You don’t have to use all these tips at once. Choose one or two to start with and get into the habit of using them. Once you’ve mastered these, add more to your arsenal.

With regular practice, you’ll be able to master your overspending habits.

If you’ve found this useful, help others by sharing this post so that they can benefit too.
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