Budgeting is a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to financial responsibility – but even those that budget the best, those that budget intentionally, regularly find themselves having a tough time not splurging every now and again.
It isn’t easy to avoid overspending these days, especially with online shopping making it easier and easier than ever before to add things to your cart, click couple of buttons, and not really realize how much your spending until you have a look at your bank or credit card statements later down the line.
Top 5 Budgeting Tips to Prevent Splurging
Below we put together a couple of quick tips to help you stick to your budget better, helping you avoid the temptation to splurge, and giving you a little more control over your financial future.
Let’s dive right in!
Automate as Much of Your Budgeting as Possible
Recognizing that we all have a natural tendency to want to spend a little bit more than our budgets might otherwise allow, it’s a good idea to take as much of the heavy lifting of saving, investing, and budgeting out of your hands as possible.
Today’s modern financial tools and technology make it a whole lot easier to automate big parts of our budget.
Systemizing your savings and investment decisions, moving money into or out of different bank accounts on autopilot – especially when it comes to saving money – and being real intentional with your money becomes a whole lot easier with this approach.
Recognize and Record Your Spending Triggers
One of the bigger pieces of the puzzle to stop splurging in particular is starting to recognize and record your spending triggers so that you can sort of get out ahead of this issue before becomes a bigger problem.
Some people like to shop when they are bored, others like to shop when they are stressed out, and others still just sort of compulsively shop and splurge without ever really thinking about why they are doing it in the first place.
You might have environmental triggers, time of day triggers, mood and emotional triggers, or pressure triggers, or lifestyle triggers that compel you to want to spend more money than you have budgeted. You are not alone!
The important thing is that you recognize and record these triggers so that you can get out in front of them when they start to pop up, slamming the brakes on your tendency to overspend with a little more intentionality.
Limit Credit and Stick to Cash
Moving to cash and away from credit can totally change the game for you when it comes to taking more ownership over your finances and your budgeting, simply because you start to throw up natural roadblocks to spending more than you intended.
For example, if you leave your credit card at home (or keep it safe in your car’s glovebox, for example) and only take cash with you you’ll have a much harder time spending more than your budget allows.
After all, when you only have $50 in your wallet it’s tough to spend $75, isn’t it?
Obviously you aren’t going to be able to use cash in every situation. But the more you restrict yourself to this kind of spending – and the more you avoid using your credit or debit card sort of mindlessly – the better off you are going to be.
Cash gives you a physical sort of checkup how your spending is going in a way that cards never could. It’s a lot easier to curtail overspending and splurging with this sort of physical reminder than it ever would be with a credit card.
Create Shorter Term Financial Goals
One of the best ways to wrangle in your spending – and do so very quickly – is to create a bunch of short-term financial goals that you can hit in a week or two.
These kinds of goals help you to build the day-to-day habits you need to make budgeting in the long-term whole lot easier. They also are usually quite a bit more realistic, helping you to feel like they are easier to accomplish than longer-term financial goals can.
There’s a certain concreteness to shorter-term goals with your money that makes them more manageable, too. Weekly goals or monthly goals can go a long way towards building that rock solid budgeting foundation you need to succeed in the long term.
Give Every Single Dollar a Responsibility
At the end of the day, one of the most powerful decisions you can make when it comes to money is to start thinking of each and every single dollar – every single dollar – as a valuable resource with a singular mission to achieve.
Every dollar that you bring in should have a job, whether that be to pay down debt, to pay off bills, or to contribute to a savings or investing account. The worst thing you could do is let money sort of “sit around” without any responsibility attached. That’s the kind of money that usually gets spent frivolously.
When you give each dollar a responsibility this way spending it on splurges becomes more challenging, even if it’s only from a psychological standpoint. You’ll never feel great “stealing” money away from its responsibility – saving, investing, for bills, etc. – and all of a sudden you’ll have to think through those splurge purchases far more than you were before.
At the end of the day, it’s important to realize that the overwhelming majority of people understand that they aren’t as good with money as they could or should be – but that doesn’t have to be a permanent problem.
Armed with the inside information we highlighted above (and just a little bit of discipline) you’ll be able to avoid the financial pileups and emergencies caused by splurge spending and bad budgeting, changing your financial future almost overnight and giving yourself a lot more freedom along the way.
Your life changes for the better when you start to control your money situation, getting a handle on splurge purchases and making your budget work for you.