Let’s face it: most of us are guilty of spending a lot of money over certain things that we like whether we need them or not. Whether shopping for groceries, devices, or another new pair of shoes, it’s too easy to get a little carried away, especially when the items are on sale. This unconscious behavior, if left uncheck, can lead to overspending money and, in the long run, unnecessary debt.
In simple words, overspending is living beyond our means, and spending more money than what we earn. Overspending is one way of conveying and expressing one’s emotions like excitement or stress in certain situation where we spend on something unexpected or uncalled for.
According to several , overspending happens for several reasons. The following are some of the most common reasons why people spend their money unconsciously and excessively:
Retail therapy and overindulgence
Retail therapy is one thing that we sometimes do to relieve stress and wind down after a tiring day. As rewarding as it sounds, it is also one of the things that lead to overspending if done regularly. Spending on new stuff can take our minds off of things that worry us and make us happy at the same time. However, as we all know, too much of one thing is never good.
Indulging too much on something can lead to spending on more things that we don’t need. Overindulgence is related to one’s lifestyle; when one has gotten used to overspending, it would be hard to control and stop. Too much emotional shopping can burn through our pockets faster than we know it, and we need to be aware of this behavior.
Social pressure and flaunt status
Trying to keep up with what’s trending and what people are currently into often makes us overspend. We often give in to the pressure of trying to fit in and being updated with what’s in because most of us have a major FOMO or “fear of missing out.” This “fear” is what drives most of us to spend on unnecessary things or things that are trending but have no use in the future.
Most of us also splurge just to “show off” our status to others. We unconsciously become competitive with the people around us, and that need to be better than others makes us spend so much money on an expensive pair of shoes, bags, clothes, or the latest gadgets.
By abstract money, we mean the money you can’t hold or touch. In short, the money in our credit cards. Whenever we use our credit cards to buy something, we don’t immediately feel the pain of spending. This delayed pain of losing money makes us overspend. Having and using a card to pay for almost anything—from bills, shopping, necessities, down to small online purchases, can make us unaware of how much we’re spending and how fast we’re spending it. Depends how big is the card’s limit, some of us won’t be able to stop until the card gets declined.
We must tread carefully when spending using a credit card, more than the perils of overspending, we have to be mindful of our capacity to pay our bills, in full, when the statement arrives.
Most of us think that we spend less money and save when we buy anything on sale. On the contrary, we still spend money even when those products are on sale. Sales can lead to impulse buying, as these low prices can be very tempting. We don’t realize how much money we’re spending on sales because of the price we’re getting the products for; we’re too focused on the red tag that we forget to control ourselves stick to our budgets.
We often reward ourselves whenever something good happens or when we achieve our goals. Rewarding ourselves isn’t a bad thing at all, as this can motivate us to continue performing well. However, rewarding ourselves repeatedly and without any real achievement gained can lead to overspending.
Impulse buying is related to this, as people who buy themselves rewards before achieving a goal can be seen as impulsive and impatient. Those who regularly “reward” themselves in this regard can fall into spending money repeatedly and excessively.
Overspending can seem like a hard cycle to break from, as it can stem from your lifestyle. To help ease your overspending behavior, here are a few tips you can follow:
TIP # 1: SPECIFY YOUR GOALS
Having specific goals set can help curb your overspending tendencies, as you would be pressured to save your money. If you’re aiming to buy a new laptop or wanting to go on a trip abroad, these goals can compel you to not spend your money.
TIP # 2: SEPARATE YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS
Setting your wants and needs apart can also help suppress your overspending behavior by giving light to your priorities and the things that can be set aside for a later time. By separating your wants and needs, you get to set aside more money for more important expenses like everyday utilities, credit card bills, even life insurance premiums.
TIP # 3: SET A BUDGET
Having a budget can help promote smart spending, especially if you stick to it regularly. Setting a budget doesn’t necessarily mean you’re restricting the way you’re spending your money. Think of it as being able to set aside money for your future wants and goals.
TIP # 4: WAIT A FEW DAYS
If you want to buy something that you like at first glance, it would be best to wait a few days before purchasing it. Waiting for a few days will give you ample time to think about whether it would be a good purchase. Giving more time to decide on your purchases can also help you save and set aside your money for the next month.
TIP # 5: DISCIPLINE
Having discipline when it comes to your money is helpful especially if you have big goals, like buying a house or traveling. Being disciplined with your money can be beneficial to your lifestyle as well, as you can pay all of your bills while being able to set aside for your wants as well. Finding the balance between spending on your needs and wants and still being able to save is a great feat to achieve, as doing this will help you manage all your finances for the future.
Gelene Peñalosa is a Content and Engagement Writer Intern from De La Salle University-Manila, with International Studies – European Studies as her degree. She has a penchant for any kind of coffee, drinking at least 2 cups each day, and an interest in international relations, history, and culture. She also has a taste for fashion, beauty, KPop, and makes Youtube videos in her free time.