Be aware of your overspending triggers

Treat yourself only to luxuries you can afford.

1. Emotions

Emotions such as feeling blue, being angry, bored or frustrated may specifically trigger overspending.

It’s a natural human tendency to try to compensate for experiencing feelings that you know you don’t deserve to feel.

To prevent emotional overspending, take some concrete measures to ensure that you don’t indulge in anything lavish.

Circumvent your perception of happiness that’s derived from materialism to start thinking about your happiness derived from spending time with loved ones. Focus on them and discuss your problems or, in fact, any of your feelings with them.

If you can’t get your mind off online shopping, divert your attention to recreational activities and favourite hobbies like yoga, painting and other things. All of your triggering emotions can easily be brought under control with music and relaxation.

Listen to your favourite songs or indulge in a warm relaxing bath accompanied by scented candles.

2. Influential people

The influence of those you spend the most time with can trigger overspending. This is because you often fall victim to peer pressure. If you hang out with a rich, spoilt friend who throws money around, it’s a natural reaction that you might do the same thing just to fit in.

At some point, you may even feel a strong urge to replicate that friend’s life. To avoid succumbing to this trigger, keep your distance from this friend. If you have to socialise with them, remember who you truly are.

Set a budget beforehand so that you won’t overspend in the heat of the moment just to save yourself from being embarrassed.

Here’s a proven technique you can fall back on if you’re worried about embarrassing yourself. If you’re out at a restaurant, tell your friends that you’re saving up for a new house, so you’ve decided to just stick to an inexpensive meal from the menu.

Another potentially problematic situation is when loved ones in strife seek your financial help. In such a case, it would be impossible to say no.

Do help, but make sure that you’re not being taken advantage of. If you’re allowing that person to depend on you fully, you’re not helpful, are you? Be a helper, not a crutch!

3. Special situations

A change of location, situation or atmosphere can trigger overspending. Birthdays, weddings and other joyous festivities can cause people to get overenthusiastic when buying presents.

You must think about being fair towards yourself before being generous. Spend the amount of money on a gift that you know would be spent on you by that individual in a reciprocal situation. Alternatively, you can call on your creativity to recreate or refurbish something meaningful yet inexpensive.

When you go on holiday to a new exotic location, it’s very natural to feel a strong urge to indulge all sorts of your extravagant desires.

Similarly, after buying a new house, you feel pulled to decorate it with luxurious new items. Of course, nothing tops the excuse of wanting to appear at your very best for a job interview.

Other triggers might be winning a huge sum of money, obtaining an employment bonus, getting a tax refund or inheriting a sum of money.

All these triggers can be successfully tackled by determining a budget that allocates a certain extra amount of money to be spent on splurges.

These extras can be adjusted at any time to be included in a later month’s budget. This can be the perfect way to enjoy spending a little extra money without overspending.

4. Persuasive media

Persuasive media can trigger overspending quite effectively, thanks to huge seasonal sales, contests and enticing deals. In these cases, you would be a fool not to take advantage of these perks.

However, you must indulge only in products that will be beneficial to you regarding price and value. There’s no point purchasing something at a good deal which will only gather dust at the back of your closet.

Therefore, you ask yourself before you buy whether you can do without this product if it were being sold at its original price. Once again, you are allowed to indulge a little when it comes to shopping deals, but you must abide by a sensible budget.

Don’t end up spending excessively on something that will quickly become worthless to you.

This article first appeared in

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