by - Sunday, February 21, 2016

Overspending is a bad habit that's hard to break 'cause it's easy to just give in to the voice inside our heads that says "buy this, buy that", than to exercise control over our spending impulses. It's a vicious cycle of mindlessly splurging on impractical or non-essential things at the moment in exchange for short-lived contentment. Conforming to the norms influenced by, guess what, social media, we may not realize it as it is, but it definitely conspires to those voices in our heads that bring about leakage to our budget. Tsk. Tsk.

Back in the old days when I'm bored as hell, I used to check social media to keep myself updated with the latest trends and where tos. Well, it's the goddamn modern newspaper (mostly the entertainment section) filling me in with diverse infos. Glad I sift through infos of which I suppose adds real value to my life: experiences that I could try on or learn something new about. I hate to admit, but frankly, it holds a huge influence to my spending habits as well with the online selling going on and those everything-under-the-sun marketing that are just irresistibly enticing.

The sum and substance is, in actuality, it is difficult to escape once you're sucked in a black hole of financial mess. Willpower alone is bleak attempt to change your overspending tendencies. It takes real courage to act on gaining control over your current financial situation and self-discipline to really pull it off.

Majority of us associate happiness with spending money on things that make us "happy" for awhile or relieve our stress from work by partying over drinks or goin' on a trip somewhere, so by the time we receive our paycheck (without proper planning or money cushion), we start to go broke again (unless you have Midas touch) and depend miserably on our next paycheck, worse, be ensnared in debt. I bet this is a common dilemma for people in their 20s, because even I have experienced this.

Turning over a new leaf, let's change our approach to our finances shall we?

Basically, awareness of your spending habit and current financial situation:

Money in your bank account, savings or emergency funds, debts, utility bills, etc.

Set monthly financial goals:

- determine how much money you want to save every payday, say 10% - 20% of your income

- settle your debts

- stop using credit

- restrain from loaning money

- agree on how much money you want to spend on leisure

- side projects to earn extra income

Take note: DON'T spend your savings, just don't. You may invest your savings for compound interest or anything similar though.

Make a simple (non-restricting) budget you can stick to and don't spend more than that. Do it for 21 days, and you'll see favorable results and soon adapt the habit of spending less.

Keep track of your spending - make a list of your expenditures or keep a record on your smartphone or you can download an App for that. As for me, I keep a record through my mobile's Notes App. Create grocery lists, deliberate before buying, carry just enough cash, find economical alternatives, go for communal living spaces or tiny home rentals, cook your own meals, choose local products, save on electricity, cut off monthly subscriptions, or what have you.

Read books and articles or listen to audio books about financial success and money management.

Challenge your self in applying these 3 steps for at least 25-30 days, and you'll definitely feel a beneficial transformation.

Once you've adapted to these new money habits, sure as hell you'll manage your money better than ever, and don't forget to share your know-how's to people you care about who's unfortunately also having this kind of trouble.

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