Are you an over spender? Do you have difficulty sticking to a budget? Or do you have a hard time knowing where you spend your money? Are you surprised at the balance in your account every time you go to an ATM? Do you frequently pay overdraft charges and wonder why you never have enough money? It may be that you make enough money that you feel like you shouldn’t have to worry about what you are spending, but if you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you have a spending problem.
It is important that you begin to reign in your unnecessary spending. It is okay to have money that you spend frivolously each month. The key is to set a limit on how much money you can spend that way and then stick to it. The first step is to figure out how much you really can afford to spend. Yes, that does mean setting up a budget (and if you are smart you will put money into savings at the beginning of each month).
Once you have determined the amount you can spend, then you will need to track how much you spend each month. This can mean saving receipts and tracking how much you spend each day. If this sounds like too much work for you, you may consider using cash for this category. In order to spread this out over the month you may want to withdraw a set amount each week (especially if you have the ability to spend a large amount of money each month).
You need to make sure that you stick to this amount no matter what! It doesn’t matter if you found a great pair of shoes on sale or that it may the only time you see that video game on sale. If you do not have the money you do not spend it. If you justify just one item, you have set yourself up for failure.
If you know that you will spend money if you go shopping or into a store. Do not go. Stay home or go to a movie. Do not put yourself in a position where it is difficult for you to walk away without spending money. My husband and I love to go window-shopping. We will wander around a store looking at items, fortunately we rarely find an item that we can’t pass up, and when we do we find room in the budget. If you don’t have the self-control to do this, then don’t go into stores once you have spent your money for the month.