How to Avoid Overspending

piggy bank for saving

The holidays can easily get out of control, from a spending standpoint. Our mentality can quickly shift to a “Sure, why not? Add it to my tab!” perspective. This can become a habit if we don’t get on it. As with other areas in life, January is a good time to do a financial reset. Here are 7 tips to avoid overspending:

1.Make a mental note of your space

This is particularly helpful when we’re hitting the bulk stores. Before leaving for the store, check your current supply and available space. If your back stock bin of paper towels is still fill, no need to buy more – EVEN if it’s on sale!

2. Reframe what sale means


Sales do not mean you save. They mean you spend. You just don’t spend as much as you could have spent. And, often on things you do not need. Know that sales will come around again. With the access we have to procure things from all over the globe, there are always sales to be found – once you know what you’re really looking for. Shop intentionally.

3. Use a list

Use a list, bring it with you, and stick to it. This is crucial to staying on a budget and avoiding the impulse purchases that contribute to overspending.

4. Don’t grocery shop hungry

We’ve all been there. We start throwing things in the cart – anything and everything. It’s a recipe (ha ha!) for overspending.

image representing grocery shopping hungry and blowing the budget

5. Have a budget

Self awareness helps in this area. If you’re one to “have” a budget, but then blow it, try a new approach. Incentivize yourself to stick to a budget by doing something intentional and fun with the amount that you come in under budget. If your grocery budget was $150 and you only spent $130, put the $20 in a trip fund, or go out to eat. Switch the budget “deprivation” mentality on its head. It’s really the opposite! Being intentional in one area means a fun “extra” somewhere else.

6. Let the 1 in 1 out rule guide you

If you’re at the store, tempted to purchase something you didn’t intend to buy, ask yourself a key question. Would I want to part with something I already own in order to make room for this new thing? If no, then the new thing probably isn’t a true priority.

7. Make it hard to overspend

If you’re running into the grocery store for 2 things, but find yourself coming out with 10, here’s a tip. Don’t get a grocery cart. It makes it hard for you to make impulsive purchases, because, just like our homes, our arms have a limited capacity. We can only hold so much, so we’ll be more stick to our plan.