“Too much month at the end of the money” is a phrase many of us find funny and relatable. But serious financial problems are no laughing matter. So if you feel like you might be spending too much money, you should read on.
Finding yourself eating rice and beans until payday because you spent too much on electronics or the latest fashion trends might seem like no big deal, but what about the big picture? What happens when an emergency comes up? What happens when it’s time to retire?
A 2016 report on financial capability by FINRA Investor Education Foundation found that about 60% of Americans spend about equal or more than their income. And, a GoBankingRates survey in the same year found that 70% of Americans have $100 or less saved for retirement. Not only are most Americans retiring without a savings, they’re retiring in debt!
With statistics like these, you might want to think about making responsible money decisions.
Here’s 5 reasons you’re spending too much money
(And how to change your mindset)
1. I can’t wait!
There’s nothing quite like instant gratification. But indulging in every impulse buy will either blow your budget, lower your cash flow for the month, or put you further in debt. If you save the money to make that purchase in cash instead, you’ll not only realize over time if you really still want it, but you’ll also save potentially hundreds of dollars in the interest you would have paid if you bought it with credit.
2. It’ll make me feel better
People often use retail therapy to give themselves a mood boost. In fact, a recent survey estimates that 62% of shoppers are making their purchase to make themselves feel better.
If you’re feeling down or depressed, find other sources of comfort like a bubble bath, a cup of tea and a book, or a walk in the park. It’s much better for your budget and it actually has a chance of helping, whereas the former does not.
3. I’ll be getting more money soon
Too often, people overestimate their potential for earning money, and underestimate future expenses. If you’re looking to create a comfortable nest egg for yourself, you might want to focus on rising future expenses to avoid buying something you really can’t afford.
4. It’s a special occasion
Everyone likes to spend a little something for a special occasion, but unfortunately, special occasions seem to roll around more often than most of people can afford. Limit your “special occasion” spending by setting a cap for the year, then budgeting by month. Save money by planning ahead or handcrafting gifts.
5. I earned it!
If you just finished a complex project or landed a big client, you might be tempted to overspend to reward yourself. Of course, you earned it, but making responsible financial decisions means you’re making choices not just for your happiness and comfort today, but for decades into the future.
If you’re struggling with finances and need help becoming a better money manager and can’t seem to figure out why, find an awesome therapist your like and trust to help you figure it out.
James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in Greater New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists reduce stress, increase fulfillment and enhance performance so they can move From Surviving To Thriving.