5 Times You Are Going To Overspend (And How To Stop Yourself) There’s no more dangerous time than the holidays for overspending- you’re with your friends, you’re in the giving mood, blah blah blah.
No matter how tightly you hold the purse strings, there’s certain times and scenarios that leave you with a zero balance before you even know it. Learn them now and protect yourself later!
5 Times You Are Going To Overspend (And How To Stop Yourself)
1. On Your Third Drink With Friends: nothing, I mean, NOTHING makes Mr. Credit Card feel like your best friend than the warm feeling of a cocktail, the laughter of friends and the lure of a basket of chicken wings that will set you back $25.00. By the next morning, you look at the receipt and realize you just spend the equivalent of your last vacation on one night of drinks.
2. “But, Sandy’s Mom Took Them To The Galleria For Her Birthday!” I’m not proud of it, but there’s been many a time I overspent on my children’s birthday parties and back to school wardrobes. MY kids were going to look as good as YOUR kids! Our accountant once told me about a client fliling for bankruptcy who threw an “Under The Sea” Little Mermaid party for her 5 year old daughter–complete with lobster and shrimp. For 5 year olds. Who are we really trying to impress?
3. Moving Into A New Home: are you kidding? How can we put that shabby bedroom set in that shiny new bedroom? Home buyers average an additional $20,000 in debt over the mortgage for new furniture, appliances and luxury items like hot tubs and big screens. We budget for the mortgage–but did we budget for the huge credit card payment?
4. Worst. Day. EVER. Your boss yelled at you, the school called and your son is in trouble–again. You blew your diet or the bathroom flooded. You need to feel better. Nothing cheers me up faster than a new dress or a really good meal…until I check my account balance the next day. Financial professionals say that for “comfort spenders” like me, take an inventory of how you’re feeling as you’re heading out the door with your credit card in your fist. Vulnerable? Tired? Frustrated? Try another coping method before resorting to the mall. A hot bath? Weeping softly in your walk in closet? (No! That’s not autobiographical! Why are you looking at me like that?)
5. A Raise Or A Bonus: how awesome is THAT? A chunk of money that you never planned on! I remember my first bonus check from hitting number one in the market on our morning show–I bought something so inexpressably stupid that I’m not even going to admit it here. What if I’d saved 90% of that bonus and spent 10% on a little vacation? It’s incredibly hard to not see this check as “found money.” But financial experts say “you were smart enough to earn that bonus or that raise, be smart enough to use it well.”
What about your family budget? How do you control emotional spending? Share! Discuss!