How to Control Your Spending Habits

A successful retirement is the culmination of many different financial components. But, if you can’t get your spending under control, the likelihood of a healthy, non-stressful retirement is low. If you feel like your spending habits are out of control, read on to see how you can fix this.

Stop the instant gratification cycle

Overspending is often caused by need for instant gratification or keeping up with the Joneses. The rush of having something that you want when you want it can be addictive to millions of people. Or, you may find yourself in a community where you feel like you will be judged if you don’t keep up. Whatever the reason, it’s incredibly important to recognize those feelings and then work through them instead of spending. Overspending can oftentimes create a cycle of guilt where you feel a rush when you buy something and then feel guilty later once you realize you spent more than you should have. Recognizing this cycle is an important first step to control your spending.

Put the credit cards away

Credit cards can absolutely be a healthy tool to improve your finances. If you find yourself overspending, then it is important to stop using them. Cut them up, hand them over to a trusted person in your life, or even cancel them. It’s hard to overspend on discretionary purchases when you don’t have a line of credit allowing you to do so. Generally, when people have issues with overspending, they have multiple credit cards with high APRs. The high interest rates will eat up any kind of minimum payment you make, so you will find yourself struggling to stay afloat. Until you can get your spending habits under control, put away the credit cards!

Create a budget

We will always stress the importance of a budget no matter your financial situation, but it is especially important to create and follow one if you are an overspender. Those who overspend are likely to not have a clear picture of what each bill is and how much goes out every month. Create a budget that includes all of your non-discretionary expenses like rent or groceries and then see where you have some wiggle room. If you give yourself permission to buy non-discretionary items while sticking to your budget, you may find yourself less likely to overspend.

Prioritize your goals

As you are setting up and following your budget, you will need to prioritize your goals. Paying down your consumer debt and saving for retirement should be high on that list. Setting clear goals for yourself will help you to make smart financial decisions and stop overspending. Seeing your progress every month will help you take back control of your finances.

Overspending is a problem for millions of Americans — you are not alone. Getting your spending habits under control is a necessary step to having healthy finances and a successful retirement. If you are feeling overwhelmed getting everything in order, speak with a financial advisor who can make a plan based on your individual needs.

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