Have you ever found yourself overspending despite your best intentions? You swear to yourself that this time you will stick to your budget, stop eating out, stop going to Starbucks…but by the end of the week, you are so exhausted and just done making decisions that you seem to have that spending creep right back into your best-laid plans? You are not alone.
I too was once overspending my way to “happiness”….except it didn’t work. In this week’s podcast I break down exactly how I figured out I was using a broken strategy and how I learned how to stop overspending for good without depriving myself of the things that bring me joy!
Why is overspending such a problem?
First of all, when we think of overspending, even our word choice indicates that it has to do with willpower and self-control. We are taught that if we just “tried harder” or “had more self-control” we would spend less.
We don’t overspend because we are lacking self-control or discipline. We spend money for 1 of 2 reasons; to avoid pain or experience pleasure.
When we are overspending money we are doing it to meet an emotional need. Always. Need food and shelter. Those are basic emotional needs for security and life sustaining fuel (food). Want to buy a new lipstick because you’re having a bad day and you need a pick-me-up? You can’t tell me that is not meeting an emotional need!
So how did this become a problem? The problem lies in this. When you use money as your key go-to strategy for meeting your emotional needs, you quickly realize that the little hit of dopamine you get from spending doesn’t last too long… and it has you craving more. Overspending should not be your primary tool to meet emotional needs.
The reason that it is problematic is that it doesn’t really meet your needs at the source. It’s just pacifying them for awhile. It’s like eating a power bar when you want a steak dinner. It will tide you over a bit when you’re truly hangry…but it’s not truly satisfying in the same way.
But when you try and remove your current coping strategy (overspending) full stop with nothing to replace it with to meet the emotional needs that you (rightfully) still have? It’s a set-up for failure. This is why trying to use “willpower” doesn’t work.
Your emotional needs haven’t gone anywhere and they demand to be met somehow. They deserve to be met.
Listen in to hear 3 ways I cured my overspending for good
- Before you change your overspending habits: find a new way to meet your emotional needs you are currently meeting with overspending
- When you start to save instead of spend: Learn to associate saving with meeting emotional needs
- As your spending habits naturally change: Learn that you can still spend for pleasure
Overspending doesn’t have to be your permanent reality
You’ll hear me say this a LOT but where you are right now never has to be your permanent reality. Sure, it feels that way right now but that doesn’t have to be true. It’s up to you!
Listen to the podcast to get more details of exactly how I applied this to my own life. Yes, I am a former overspending champ right here!
Interested in learning more about how to set financial goals that you can meet easily? Check out these helpful articles over at my business hub. https://mybulletproofbudget.com
Plus don’t miss previous episodes over at https://moneymythbusterpodcast.com