*SENSITIVE TOPIC ALERT!*
It only takes bringing up living above your means once to realize it makes people really uncomfortable. Why? Because all of us can identify with the topic in some way.
People sometimes ask me how I manage to seamlessly budget in international travel twice a year ( I used to travel more but I decided going forward to focus on two major trips per year) and my answer is always the same.
“I live within my means”
I assume right after that I grow a horn out of my forehead or at least that’s the look that I get next. Why is it that under spending is such a foreign concept? Well for one, there are so many cool things thrown at us every day. Things we simply think we cannot live without. Couple that with how easy it is to start a bad habit of spending on credit.
So how can we take immediate steps to break this cycle?
Stop the bleeding
This was a term an old softball coach of mine used to use when we were really getting creamed, and it fits perfectly as it relates to credit card spending and temptation. Stop adding to your overspending immediately. Take your credit cards out of your wallet and unlink them all from the “wallets” of your favorite shopping sites (ie. Amazon, Ebay, Paypal, etc).
Block temptation by stopping it before it invades your inbox. Unsubscribe from all club emails that might offer your daily deals on clothing and other items. My obsessions of choice used to be American Apparel, Groupon, and Fashion Nova among others.
Stop Take 5
Impulse buying is the root of all overspending evil. One method I use when deciding what to spend on is the shopper’s retreat. If I see something that I like and want to buy I will step back, retreat and if it keeps nagging at me later then I may consider buying it. Most times I forget all about the item.
Those are three things you can do RIGHT now to decrease the likelihood that you will blow your budget to smithereens this month. Baby steps of scaling back your spending will eventually lead to finding a realistic spending medium and put an end to living above your means.