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How to Avoid Over-Spending

Aug 20, 2008
Sticking to a budget can be extremely difficult particularly if your finances are tight and you aren't inclined to be particularly organized or disciplined. Never fear, even those of us who aren't prone to budgeting can do it successfully, so long as we know how to stay on track. True, that's easier said than done, but there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to help keep curb excess spending and keep your budget intact.

1.Limit Your Resources
Oftentimes, people spend money on spur of the moment purchases, that they really should be saving (and likely even have ear-marked) for something else. Credit card bills, savings accounts and other payments that aren't necessarily imperative (or that people believe can slide) often fall victim to this kind of spending. The easiest way to avoid this bad habit is to portion out your money every time you get a pay check. Put your bill money (including credit card payments!), grocery money, and funds for other necessities in the bank. Whatever you have left over that can be considered spending money, take out in cash. This way, once the money you've budgeted for miscellaneous spending has been used up, it's gone. Plus, having the funds in cash can often help you monitor your spending better people often go overboard when buying things with a debit or credit card because they don't see the account balance shrinking in front of them.

2.Make Shopping a Marathon
Next time you head out on a shopping trip, plan to run all your errands at once. If you have a list of places to go and things to accomplish, you'll be less likely to spend extra time shopping or browsing for items other than those on your list. Additionally, if you're spending quite a bit of money in one day as a result of consolidating your errands, you'll probably be less inclined to spend more money frivolously. Plus, running all of your errands at once saves gasoline and can help trim that ever-increasing, always-pricey area of your budget.

3.Make a List, Check it Twice
Anytime you head to the store, take a list with you. And if you're going on a major shopping outing for your weekly groceries, or something bigger like back to school sit down with your list before you leave the house and go back over everything, eliminating anything you don't actually need. Keeping a list will not only help you stay on track, it will likely make your entire outing more efficient, and more effective. Plus, having an accurate list will help you avoid forgetting something important and having to make an extra, unnecessary trip.

4.Avoid Emotional Shopping
Everyone knows the adage, "Never go to the grocery store hungry." The same applies for any other kind of shopping. Many people over-spend because they find shopping therapeutic it eases stress or relieves depression and often buy things they don't even really want, just for the feeling they get as a result. Just don't do it; shopping is not a hobby.

Over-spending is easy to do, and sometimes it can be entirely justified, but those times are rare. Follow these simple tips to keep yourself on track and foster financial security something that never goes out of style.
About the Author
Escapeso Realty is a small real estate brokerage in central Texas. They have a Austin MLS search for visitors along with statistics and trends on the Austin real estate market. They also provide a free mortgage interest rates widget to keep up with current mortgage interest rates changes.
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