How NOT to overspend

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There are many temptations in everyday life to spend money. We are surrounded by adverts for cars, holidays, food, clothing and electronics with promises that owning any or all of these items will make life happier and more fulfilling.

It’s important though to not overspend when looking to make any purchase – whether it be one which is necessary, or one which is a luxury treat. Overspending can lead to unwanted – and often unnecessary – debt which will be part of life for much longer than the memories of two weeks in the sun or a must-have gadget. On the other hand in an emergency when overspending may be unavoidable you can always turn to reputable credit providers like Barclays, the Halifax or Wonga for a personal loan, payday loan or other credit solution. The trick is not to convince yourself that a three week holiday in the sun is an emergency requirement!

The place to start with looking at any overspending is to first find out how much disposable income is available each month. A budget sheet which shows all the regular outgoings will give a total amount to spend at any time and can be used as a tool to make other savings and adjustments to spending habits (wikihow.com/Budget-Your-Money).

Every day thousands of people grab a coffee on the way to work, or a croissant – or two – from the bakery opposite their office. This can quickly add up and unless this regular overspend is highlighted and addressed, can contribute to a lack of available cash when it’s really needed. A spending diary will show where the money is going and whether it’s a small notebook carried around at all times, or an online record of every time a newspaper is bought, it’s important to look to recognise and stop spending which is of little benefit. It’s also a fun way to introduce children to budgeting by them becoming involved with their own personal notebooks. They can compete with each other to see who can spend the least money each week and parents can introduce a reward as incentive.

Many people find it hard to stop overspending if they have no support or there is nobody to gently remind them they don’t need a particular purchase. There are some fantastic online communities where not spending is the main focus and the groups often run fun, but hugely beneficial challenges to keep everyone talking, saving and helping one another.

For anyone with concerns about money and their financial situation, there are those who are qualified to help. Whether it’s because overspending is become a worrying habit, or previous overspending has led to a situation where debt is now an issue, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) offer practical help and advice on all areas related to money. They can talk to creditors and help with putting together a plan to reduce debts over a period of time. The CAB offer a non-judgemental and confidential environment and have counsellors available in most locations across the UK (http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/).

Whether it’s to stop spending money to save for a treat, or to create a healthier bank balance by cutting back on unnecessary and quickly forgotten about purchases, learning to not overspend is always going to be a great skill to have. Everyone is entitled to throw caution to the wind every now and again to splash out on something a little bit special, but if occasional becomes regular, it’s prudent to look to use a few money-related tools to ensure the finances stay healthy and begin to bloom again.

 

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