I’m about to go on a 30-No-Shopping Challenge to not only curb my spending but to save up for a potential move. I’ve been doing a lot of shopping lately and while I have to say I have excellent taste and can spot a bargain, I am not quite happy with the fact that I’m not saving more. I’m bleeding out the funds that should be socked away for an expensive post-graduation life.
Here’s what I’ve come to discover…beyond the surefire signs of an out of control credit bill/spending more than you earn, there are some subtle signs and trip-ups that are leading to an out of control budget.
How To Tell If Your Spending Is Out Of Control:
- You subscribe to 5+ retail emails and find yourself clicking several a day when you check your inbox.
- When you feel bored or have nothing better to do you spend your time perusing shops online.
- If you’re in an area you’re unfamiliar with or have time to kill your first thought is to go shopping.
- When you’re visiting a new city you’re most excited about the retail selections.
- Your keychain and wallet are heavy with loyalty cards or retail credit cards.
- Your biggest spends happen after a major event- either joyful or stressful and you’re ready to spend.
So, is that you? The problem with out of control spending is that it totally creeps on you over time. While sometimes it can be the result of a trigger (death, stressful situation at work, income boost) many times we slowly but surely subject ourselves to shop-inducing stimuli that gear us to spend.
Most of the “shopping sprees,” happen after a crazy event and are easy to spot, but the slow budget-busting bad habits come on a daily basis when we’re snared by enticing emails or impulse inducing 48 hour clearance sales.
Try These Stop Spending Tricks:
- It may be difficult, but unsubscribe to the retail emails- especially the really tasty ones that offer limited time sales.
- Toss catalogs before you even peruse them: only shop the sales or go shopping when you know what you want to buy.
- Carefully examine how you spend your time, what are you triggers? Do magazines, tv shows & blogs influence you to spend?
- Go through your living space & purge. Seeing everything you’ve accumulated already can be a sobering wake up call.
- Sit down & set priorities- what is it you really want? Would one key piece be better than a bunch of impulse buys?
- Reframe your downtime: if you’re feeling bored or unsure how to spend your time insist on making memories, not purchases!
Have you ever caught yourself in an uncontrollable spiral of spending? If so, how’d you catch on and how’d you stop it?