The Phrase I use to Curb Overspending
Saving money is incredibly satisfying. Don’t we all love getting a great deal? I love when I’m able to get something I want or need for free or cheap, but often I run into those not-so-good deals. You know, when you’re going to the grocery store and the grapes are $2.98 lb or the recliner you’re eyeing is still full price. That’s when it’s tough. It’s hard to not give in and overspend.
Have you ever caught yourself saying or thinking: I deserve this? But I worked hard for this? Or I really want it? Most of us rationalize a pricey purchase with these types of phrases. The truth is, no amount of rationalizing will cover the fact of overspending. Dollars and cents add up. It’s simple math. If you overspend, there’s a literal price tag on that.
According to CNN, Americans aren’t living within their means. More than half of U.S. citizens are living paycheck to paycheck or going into more and more debt each month. Now this statistic probably isn’t a shocker to us. It’s human nature to want more stuff, but it’s also our job to have some self-control.
If we don’t set up healthy limits and live within our means, overspending is inevitable. What I’ve found to be my own mantra to help me limit my spending and stay on track is this: ‘That’s not good enough.’ Yes, it’s super simple but incredibly effective.
So when I push my grocery cart with my kiddos in tote past the grapes that are $2.98 lb. and my kids are wanting them, I say, ‘that’s not good enough.’ I know that I won’t spend over $1.00 lb. for grapes, so I don’t purchase them. I know grapes are an inexpensive purchase in the grand scheme of things, but all the little purchases adds up quickly over time. So, don’t neglect the smaller and cheaper items.
If you want to learn how to save 40% on groceries without clipping coupons, you’ll need to read my post here. It’s even more important to have self-control on the bigger purchases. My husband and I had been eyeing a recliner for two years. Yep, two whole years.
We know the Costco system for marking down prices, and each time we went there we would check the price of a leather recliner. And that recliner stayed at $399.99 for two years. The truth is, we never saw the price change and we never ended up buying it. I don’t look back and wish we would’ve bit the bullet and just gave in on the purchase. We both felt like it wasn’t meant to be. If you want to quit overspending at Costco, check out this post.
We have to not give into everything we want or desire. By practicing this kind of self-control we are not only saving money, but we become more content with what we have. Plus, as a parent, I want my children to see that I don’t get everything I want all of the time. I want my children to be content with what they have and not ask for a new toy every time we walk into a store. As a parent, I must demonstrate the behavior I want my children to have before I can expect them to have it.
Now, I don’t want you to take this too far and get to the point where you never buy anything full-price or feel guilty when you splurge. If you have the financial ability to do that, go right ahead. But, no matter what income level you’re at, practicing self-control is important. Create your own mantra or steal ‘that’s not good enough’ from me.
Start being ok with not buying something today. It’s ok to sleep on a decision before making a purchase, even a small one. Buyers remorse is real. You don’t want to get home and realize that you were emotionally-charged when you purchased and now you regret it.
Questions to Ask Yourself to Curb Overspending:
Here are a few questions beyond, ‘that’s not good enough’ that will help you see if you really need to purchase something and will help curb overspending. So the next time you’re in Target and you find a cute sundress that you’re eying ask yourself:
- Do I want this or do I really need this?
- Do I have something similar to this already?
- How often will I actually use this?
- Will this make my life easier or better?
- What is one reason why I shouldn’t buy this?
After you answer all of those questions, you’ll have a better idea of whether you should buy it or not. If you start second-guessing the purchase, don’t buy it. These questions will help you not have a closet full of clothing with the tags still on it or whatever your purchases may be.
I’ve even heard of people who will shop, but won’t buy anything that day. If they wake up and still are thinking about what they wanted to buy, they’ll go back to the store and purchase it. Now that’s the opposite of an impulse purchase.
So instead of just buying what you want, take a little bit of time to ask yourself some deeper questions. Practice some self-control. It will save you some serious cash and clutter.