Spending money seems to be the way of life. It seems that way!
Fighting back the urge to spend money seems to be a battle many of us and continue to fight on a daily basis. Seriously is like going on a diet, they both go hand in hand.
At least for me, they seem to be. I mean we have to change behaviors and program ourselves to eat less and spend less.
What we call around here a broke mindset is alive and well, and the sense of entitlement leads us to spend money.
The need to spend money is all over, including social media!
I am telling you fighting back the urge to spend money is tough, but it can be done!
Yes, it can be done because you see I loved to shop.
I enjoyed shopping when I was happy and sad; I bought things I didn't need. I bought stuff to impress others. I bought tons of stuff.
The problem was that I was drowning in a vicious cycle. I didn't know how to control my finances. I was in debt, and the minute I realized how out of control it was going I decided to do something about it.
People find hard to understand that it takes more than just not spending to fix your finances.
You have to change the way you view your money and your life. You have to change your mindset.
To help me fight my urge to spend money I have to learn to depend on some tips throughout the years.
Even now I sometimes get my old urges to spend money. I admit it, but I have to keep strong and keep going. When I mean spending money is spending like I won the Powerball!
The worst time for me besides when I'm feeling down is during the holiday season. I think the sense of competition to get that hot item gets me all the time. Well, it did back in the day.
We also want to save money when we shop and this my friends, is when we overspend, and we do it big time. The truth is that if you are spending money, you are not saving money!
My friends when you are buying “sale” items you are not really saving money, and I will explain next.
Those sale advertisements and signs are triggering your brain to think you are saving because you want to be that great money saver and brag about it to your family and friends.
The reality is that you had an urge to spend money when you saw those deal signs. You are now justifying your spending.
This not only happens during Christmas but throughout the year. We are triggered to think we are saving money so we can spend money.
How do I know all this? I worked retail for many years. My job was to make the sale goals, and I did it very well.
So how can you fight the urge to spend money?
How is it possible?
Fighting Back The Urge To Spend Money
Today you are going to learn 5 ways to help you fight the urge to spend money. Now, be advised that this is not going to happen overnight. Especially if you have been doing this for quite some time.
According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, uncontrollable urges to spend money or compulsive spending affects up to 18% of Americans.
I will recommend you start doing this challenge for one week, 7 days and take it from there. Baby steps my friends!
But we go over these tips to stop spending money here are some information to help you understand your overspending.
Why do I like buying things?
Many people love to buy things because it makes them feel good. Many emotional spenders spend money because it makes them feel good. Buying things gives many people a sense of control and choice.
Another reason we buy things is that as humans, we associate things with success.
What does this mean? Many people believe that the more stuff we have to more successful we will look to others.
We buy stuff for three tops reasons:
We made it a norm that buying things made our life better and easier.
Why do we spend money?
We spend money because again how modern society has trained us to believe. Americans buy things to:
- Fit in
- Fear of missing out (FOMO)
- Solve a problem
- Immediate gratification
Does online shopping make you spend more money?
Online shopping has exploded in recent years, causing many of us to spend and spend more than we want.
Online shopping has revolutionized the way Americans shop, and it is a billion-dollar empire and growing.
Online shopping has our top three reasons to overspend. It gives shoppers:
You can online shop anywhere with no need to visit a store. Overspending more money online shopping will happen. It is faster for us to fit in, find what we want, solve our problems, and give us that immediate gratification faster.
People spend more online shopping because we are given more than if we were to go to regular stores.
- Think about it.
- We get enticed with:
- Free shipping offers
- Discount codes
- Loyalty programs
- Faster checkout
And if you buy an item website will entice you with product recommendations.
The truth is that online shopping uses tactics to make customers to spend more money.
Does buying things make you happy?
Buying things will make you happy; there is scientific data to back this up. Think about it this way, let say you save money and you finally get to buy that item you have worked hard for; you are going to be happy.
Many emotional spenders buy because it makes them happy but is when the happiness wines down that the overspending begins because we go out and spend money on something else because we want to be happy again.
Let’s say you buy these pair of Jordan sneakers because it is the latest one and once you purchase it the happiness begins.
After you wear these latest sneakers, your happiness wanes down, and you go ahead and buy another pair of sneakers “you really want” because you have adapted.
See the cycle of spending money? You just got the urge to buy things because you want to be happy. That happiness is temporary, and it urges you to pay more just to “be happy.”
Your happiness doesn’t last.
With pursuing happiness, you spend money, and many times this is followed with buyer’s remorse and comparing yourself to others.
That being said, many people do spend money to be happy, and this is because they spend money on services and things that are not material.
Again, people assume material things with success, and instead of spending their money on things that fit their personality, they don’t.
An example is someone that loves to read, and values books will be happy spending money on books. Books will be recycled and can provide valuable experience.
Buying things or spending money on services that provide you with valuable experience, in the long run, will make you happy.
Smart spending is vital and focusing on instant gratification instead of long-run happiness is key.
What triggers spending money?
Many factors trigger spending, and one way to reduce the urge to spend is to recognize them.
Our top spending triggers are:
- Income increase
- To fit in
- To protect our image
How do I stop the urge to spend money?
Below are tips to help you reduce the urge to spend money. Now keep in mind that we are not a psychiatrist or medical experts please seek professional guidance if you believe you have a shopping addiction.
Love these posts? Check out these money posts:
- 5 Things To Avoid During A Recession
- 5 Steps To Take Control Of Your Finances You Can Do Today!
- 12 Unbelievable Tips For Not Spending Money This Year
So, let's begin!
Make the time to sit and write down your financial goals. You might think this is dumb, but I can tell you that by doing this it will give you a sense of purpose and will make it more realistic.
What do you want to accomplish by fighting back the urge to spend money? When do you want to achieve this?
A better way to do this is by starting small. Start with daily goals, and then weekly goals follow that by monthly goals. Starting weekly will give you a sense of more control and a better chance of achieving your goals vs. a monthly or yearly goal.
When you wake up, and the weather is nice, and you get that urge to go out and shop stop and look down at your goals. This will help you with your spending urges.
Start a budget
Yes, the B-word, but the truth is that with a budget you will be able to get to know your spending habits and more control of your finances.
For me when I first started working on my budget, I realized that I spent money eating out and other dumb things. I overspend money on things that were not “needs” but “wants.”
Adding up my eating out was a big chunk of money and a reality check for me. Budgeting kept my finances real to me, and it guided me, to be honest.
Find ways to keep motivated
Create a collage or find a photo or a daily reminder that will keep you motivated on your goals. Doing this will help you fight back the urge to spend money.
Avoid looking at sale ads or promotion
Log into your email and unsubscribe to all deal sites and store emails. Those emails are set to make you spend money and since you are fighting that urge why give in to temptation?
This goes with phone apps as well. Again, when you spend money, you are not saving money and no matter how “hot” this deal is unless you need it, then it is not worth it.
Get distracted by doing other things when the urge kicks in. For me, I love to garden or to read frugal blogs and another thing to keep my mind busy or to remind me of why I'm doing this.
Even cleaning or going for a walk helps me to the urge to look online or head out to the store to shop around. A quick reminder, if you enjoy walking in malls I suggest you stop and head to a local park or walk around your community.
To fight back the urge to spend money always remember why you need to reduce your money spending habits. Think of what you want to accomplish and if the urge is still strong, sleepover before you spend. This always helps me. I always decide to wait until the next morning and by that time that urge is gone.
What other way do you fight back the urge to spend money?