When it comes to overspending, the action knows no bounds. Overspending doesn’t just mean you are spending excess money on things you don’t need. It also means you could be spending excess money on things you think you need! Familiarize yourself with the signs you’re in overspending denial, and take an honest, open look at your spending habits.
Like any other problem, the sooner you actually understand there is a problem, the sooner you can begin to fix it. Overspending is a serious issue for your finances, so if you don’t have control, you can end up in a lot of debt, with zero savings, or in a terrible living situation. Check out the 6 signs you’re in overspending denial, and vow to make a change if any of these signs apply to you.
Signs you’re in overspending denial…
#1 You refuse to track your spending
When you make the decision not to monitor your spending, two things could be the culprit: 1) you don’t know or understand the importance or 2) you are afraid of what you will see. If you don’t track your spending because you are afraid of what you’ll see, you are in overspending denial. Think about it. When your spending is under control, looking at your numbers shouldn’t be frightening.
It’s when you are scared to see how much you spend that determines you likely have a problem with spending your money. I need you to break past that fear and look at your spending for the past 3 months. How much money did you spend on things you don’t necessarily need? Things like fast food and coffee multiple times a day, more trinkets for your home or office, or cheap purchases that unexpectedly add up.
#2 You never set a budget
Similar to sign number one, if you never set a budget, you are likely afraid of what that will mean for your current spending. Now, there are plenty of reasons why people don’t create and follow a budget, but if you are in overspending denial, then your primary reason will be because you are afraid to cut back.
People who think they can’t have fun on a budget aren’t ready to get their spending in check. They are in overspending denial, and partly realize it. The issue here is that if you wait to get your spending together, you are prolonging your financial growth and success.
#3 You convince yourself you can’t afford to save
Guess what? Regardless of how much money a person makes, or how little a person makes, everyone can afford to save something. If you are convincing yourself you can’t afford to save, it’s time to take a cold, hard look at where your money is currently going. If you don’t seem to have any money roll over into your next pay period, think about things you buy that you don’t really need.
9 times out of 10, people who say that can’t afford to save don’t have a budget in place. When you have a budget, you can see how much money you have coming in that can cover your living expenses. Once your living expenses are covered, you can see what is left over. Even if it’s as little as $25 a paycheck, saving money consistently can help you break out of that overspending denial.
#4 You are waiting until you make more money
This one hurts. The reality is that if you are waiting until you make more money before you start saving or paying down debt, you are going to be waiting forever. When a person can’t manage the income they currently have, more money is not the answer. Often times, people who make more money increase their spending a long with it. They’ve convinced themselves that they were behind on their previous salary, so now they spend to make up for the lost time.
Sure, more money never hurts anyone. However, you must be willing to master your spending and expenses with the income you currently have, or you will not be financially successful when you do make more money. Read the article The Rules of Frugal Living to learn how to start cutting back and make sure your income doesn’t exceed your spending.
#5 You buy things and never use them
When you overspend on clothes, it’s pretty easy to see that if you have tags on most your clothing items, you buy things you don’t need. However, overspending doesn’t just apply to clothes or things you can see still have tags on. Overspending also applies to things you buy and never use. Be it books, office accessories, kitchenware, or anything.
The goal should be to stop buying things you don’t use, and focus on only buying things you need. You can also take it a step further buying selling those things you bought and never used, especially if you don’t plan on using them. Poshmark, eBay and plenty of other online or in-person stores are great options for selling your things and making a little bit of profit.
#6 You can’t control your spending
Controlling your spending, by only purchasing things you need, versus things you want, is one of the signs that you are in control of your finances. When you can’t control your spending, whether you realize it or not, you are in overspending denial. Try to look at it from a logical, unemotional perspective: No one is forcing you to whip out your debit card and buy that brand new bag. No one is forcing you to go to your favorite department store when you don’t need anything new.
The only person who is in control of your spending, is you. If you can’t resist the urge to spend in your favorite stores, don’t go to your favorite stores. If you always overspend when you shop, only bring enough cash for what you need. Be realistic of your situation, and make the appropriate changes to help you get ahead.
Related: How to Save Money When You’re Broke
Overspending denial can be a huge problem, especially if you don’t take control of it as soon as possible. You have too many important things to accomplish in life, so overspending needs to be controlled. Do you have, or have you ever had, any of the overspending denial signs listed above? How did you realize it and breakthrough? Share your experiences with overspending in the comments section below!