Money Savings

8 Easy Ways to Stop Overspending

January 22, 2017
If you want to save more money and stop overspending, check out these 8 simple, yet effective tips! They really will help!
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After surveying my lovely readers a few months back, I noticed one common recurring theme that seemed to be giving you all trouble – overspending.

You wanted to save, pay bills, and pay off debt; however, you always felt like there wasn’t enough money at the end of the month. More importantly, you flat out told me that you had big issues with overspending.

I understand your struggles. I’m not so far removed from overspending tendencies myself. I still have my bad days occasionally, but the difference is I’ve learned to budget enough money to make up for those every so often frivolous spending sprees.

So in order to address your issues, we’re going to discuss a few things today that will help you reign in your overspending so you will feel like you’re actually making some progress.


If you want to save more money and stop overspending, check out these 8 simple, yet effective tips! They really will help!


8 Ways to Stop Overspending


1) Write down your goals.

It’s not good enough having your goals locked in your brain somewhere. Trust me, you will forget all about them when you see that handbag on a major discount at TJ Maxx.

So, first, you need to write those suckers down and keep them in a place where you can see them every day. I keep mine in my Happy Planner and I also have a Google Doc that goes into more details on each goal (and yes, I have Google Docs saved on my phone too).


2) Unsubscribe to mailing lists to stop overspending.

Trust me on this one. It’s not helping you whatsoever to be on the COACH email list so you can receive an update on their weekly sales. And is it just me or does it seem like they have a different sale every darn day of the week?

It doesn’t help me control myself when I’m tempted with the latest and greatest on one of my major weaknesses. Since I’ve unsubscribed, I haven’t purchased a new COACH bag in almost four years. I don’t need one either. I’m still carrying the same $400 Italian leather bag I purchased back in 2010.


Related Reading: 6 Step Plan to Pay off Debt and Save Money


3) Do not go browse the stores for fun.

I know you’re bored, but you need a new hobby. If you like reading, grab a few books from the library or treat yourself to a Kindle monthly subscription so you can read all the books you want.

Do not go to Target just because you have a few minutes to spare. If you need to step into a store, go in there with a plan and avoid areas that tempt you into purchasing what you don’t need. For me, that means avoiding the home decor and kid’s clothing area. For you, it may mean avoiding the beauty aisles.


4) Sleep on it.

If you absolutely see something that you feel you NEED (not want) to have, sleep on it. Think of how much it costs and do a cost analysis to see how much debt you could pay off if you didn’t purchase it.

Or think of how many hours you would need to work to recoup that purchase.Once you’ve slept on it and considered the true cost of the item, you will be leaving your emotions at the door and can make an informed decision on whether you really need it after ALL.


5) Budget for your overspending tendencies.

When I say budget, I don’t mean keep a crazy amount of loot set aside to go crazy with. What I mean by that is simply accounting for things you forgot to budget for.

For instance, I’m currently experimenting with You Need a Budget software and one of the items on the budget is stuff I forgot to budget for. Anytime I overspend, I add it to this category. At the end of the month, I’m able to see how much in this category was spent due to overspending.

If the spending was justified, I can use this information to budget accordingly for whatever I purchased in the future. Perhaps, this means I’m not budgeting enough for fun stuff. Or maybe it means by budget doesn’t accurately reflect how much money I need for clothing for my family.

Sometimes overspending isn’t an indicator you don’t know how to control yourself, sometimes it means you’re not accounting for everything you truly need to make your budget work for you. So if you have an overspending problem, think about what you’re spending money on and figure out whether you need to put it in the budget.


Related Reading: How to Create a Budget That Won’t Fail


6) Reign in those coupons.

This doesn’t mean to stop using your coupons, of course. However, it does mean don’t purchase things simply because you have a coupon.

You know, you have a coupon for a $1.00 off conditioner, but you have 15 bottles of conditioner under your cabinet sink. Nah…leave that conditioner in the store and forget about that coupon. You don’t need it.

If you like (or insist) on stocking up on things like toiletries and food, put it in your budget. Have a category where you budget for stockpiling so that you won’t spend more than what you’ve budgeted for that particular month.

This way, regardless of whether you have a coupon, if you’ve already spent your $20 stockpile budget for the month, you shouldn’t have a reason to pull out that coupon to justify your overspending.


7) Declutter and organize.

Now this one doesn’t seem so obvious, but it truly will help you stop overspending. How?

Well, how many times have you went to the store to buy, let’s say, AA batteries, only to discover a week or two later that you already had some at home?

If you don’t know where your stuff is at, it’s out of sight and out of mind. You’ll forget all about it and end up going to the store to repurchase something you already have. That’s the worst kind of overspending right there and it can be downright annoying.

So save yourself some trouble and go through your house and toss things you don’t truly need. Then take the time to organize the things you need to keep. Having a place for everything will help you stop spending on things you don’t really need.


8) Get a budgeting app.

Let’s be real, just about everyone has a smartphone of some sort these days. Since you’re paying all that money for it, make sure you’re using it to help you save money.

Not only is having a smartphone good for money saving apps like Ibotta, it’s perfect for keeping up with your budget!

There are so many different budgeting apps that it’s ridiculous. Finding the right one can be a pain in the neck, but right now YNAB is making quite a good impression on me.

It allows me to budget for whatever expense right from my phone (it syncs back up with the computer version), and I’m able to easily add expenses as I spend from each category while I’m out.

If I spend too much in one category, I have to find money from another category to add to the budgeted expense.

I’m pretty sure that YNAB isn’t the only app that offers this function, so regardless of whether you use a paid app or not, use any type of budgeting app that will inform you when you’re about to overspend in a category

Check out this awesome article that reviews some of the best budgeting and savings apps for Android and iPhone.


Wrapping Thangs Up

If you have trouble with overspending, it’s not the end of the world. And no matter how much you think you’ve gotten it together financially, we’re all capable of a little budgeting mishap every now and then.

The magic happens when we’re able to figure out what is causing our overspending and create preventable measures to keep it from happening again.  These eight measures helped me to bring that overspending into check, and if you really want to stop overspending, it will help you too.

Do you struggle with overspending? Which one of these eight things do you believe will help you stop overspending?

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Latoya Scott
CFEI/Social Entrepreneur
Latoya Scott is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and personal finance writer with a mission to help millennials learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck so they can become financially carefree.

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  • Kemkem January 23, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Numbers 2 and 3 especially are great points. Unsubscribe to resist temptation. We use the paper for lighting the fireplace now 🙂 .
    Kemkem recently posted…Olumo Rock Abeokuta. Remarkable Climb And Awesome ViewsMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott January 25, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Ha, that’s a good one!

  • Amanda @centsiblyrich January 23, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Great tips, Latoya! Decluttering is one of the best things I’ve ever done for spending. I don’t want to bring more “stuff” into the house that I’ll have to deal with a year from now.
    Amanda @centsiblyrich recently posted…How to work on your goal when you don’t feel motivatedMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott January 25, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      I know! Thanks, Amanda!

  • LaQuisha January 23, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Ooohhh, did I need these tips! I need to stop browsing, not just stores, but also the internet for fun! Thanks for these!
    LaQuisha recently posted…Photography MattersMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott January 25, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Yes, the internet can get you too!

  • Yaz - Wallet Moth January 23, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Not browsing the shops for fun is so true – when I go out for some fresh air at lunch these days, I make sure to leave my purse in the office to avoid any shopping temptation! 😛

    • Latoya Scott January 25, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      That’s a good way to defeat it!

  • Tanya January 23, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    These are so good! I am guilty of several of these.

  • Stacie January 23, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    I think I have a good wrap on overspending. Window shopping is fun for me. It helps me see what’s new and I can get an idea of what I really want to buy.
    Stacie recently posted…Happy 5th Blog Anniversary!My Profile

    • Latoya Scott January 25, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      That’s awesome, Stacie!

  • Kenya January 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    There are great tips! I keep myself out of the stores and I also have unsubscribed to the mailings (except for a few)
    Kenya recently posted…This Is The Real Truth About My Blended FamilyMy Profile

  • Shanita January 24, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    No matter how simple it sounds it is really difficult for people who have little understanding of how to cut out excessive spending. Love all your tips and there are a ton of people who need to see them in order to have a place to start!

    • Latoya Scott January 25, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      All of us have different motivations and when it boils down to it, its really about your mindset.

  • Emily @ JohnJaneDoe January 24, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Very good list. I realized last month I was picking up extra stuff just because I could get an Ibotta rebate, and feel so silly about it.

    If ebooks are your impulse downfall (as they are mine) free Kindle book emails help, as does the library’s download site. Instant gratification…without any expense.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…The Big Revelation? No-Spend January Challenge Week 3My Profile

    • Latoya Scott January 25, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      I caught myself doing that one time with Ibotta, and I had to nip it in the bud.

  • Kirstin Fuller January 25, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Excellent tips! #2 is great advice. If you don’t know about the sale then you can’t spend money on the items. I also had to stop thinking if I had a coupon I had to use it. Nope can’t miss what I didn’t have…lol

    • Latoya Scott January 25, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      This is one of the main reasons I gave up on my little coupon addiction.

  • Tia | Pennies In My Pocket January 25, 2017 at 2:29 am

    Yes! I use many of these tips myself. I do not shop when I cannot afford it. Even when I can afford it, I go to the store with a clearly outlined goal for what I need and how much I can spend. If I am ever unsure, I sleep on it. Usually I find sleeping on it results in me not making the purchase but when I do, I know it’s essential

    • Latoya Scott January 25, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Yes, sleeping on it works wonders!

  • Mimi Green January 25, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Guilty as charged! I’ve been doing a debt diet since the new year and it is working for me. It isn’t always easy though but I get it.

    • Latoya Scott January 25, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Awesome, Mimi! Keep at it!

  • Elle (CleverlyChanging) January 25, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Not looking at blogs or advertising that have the latest deals really helped lessen my impulse spending. If you don’t think you’re getting a deal on something you didn’t already need, then you probably won’t buy it. Cool creative tips.

  • Adeola Naomi January 26, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    I am so so guilty and need to start sleeping on things!
    Adeola Naomi recently posted…Your Self Care and Creativity is a Form of ResistanceMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott January 30, 2017 at 12:39 am

      Yeah, it’s definitely a learned habit, lol!

  • DC @ Young Adult Money January 27, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Sleeping on it is a great tip. This has saved me SOOO much money over the years. I always browse tablets but I’ve avoided buying one for years because I always force myself to sleep on it and I always realize that I don’t need it.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…How to Make Money on Social MediaMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott January 30, 2017 at 12:39 am

      I do the same thing, David. Especially when shopping online!

  • Alexis @FITnancials January 28, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Writing down your goals and coming up with a plan is crucial. I know of so many people who get distracted and spend money simply because there isn’t a plan in place. A budget book is really helpful, too!
    Alexis @FITnancials recently posted…How I’ve Saved Almost $5,000 From Not Buying StuffMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott January 30, 2017 at 12:36 am

      Hey, Alexis! A budget book is a really good idea!

  • Jonna January 31, 2017 at 3:32 am

    I don’t really struggle, and I think it’s because when I spend anything I always question if it’s overspending. Even when it’s a need, I’m like do I reallllllly need this or nah? These are great tips!
    Jonna recently posted…The Perfect Gift for the Urban Gentleman in Your LifeMy Profile

  • Antoinette February 1, 2017 at 4:33 am

    Great tips. I found fast food to be a huge expense. I saved so much money by cutting back.

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