There are a lot of spending temptations you could be going through which poses a threat to your financial security. These temptations to spend normally revolves around your wants in life since there is a good chance that you have been suppressing them for a long time focusing your finances on your needs.
It is also possible that you are tempted to spend because you are trying to keep up with the people around you. Remember that you do not have to prove anything to people around you and that a new car will still bring you from point A to point B. Buying that latest phone will not increase your social status but put you in the red if you did not really save up for it.
Spending temptations can also manifest itself from pent up desires you have from your younger days. You might be trying to collect as many shoes as you can because when you were younger, you never really had the luxury. Vacation packages are your weaknesses because you did not get the chance to visit a lot of places with your family when you were younger.
These are some of the reasons why you could be tempted to spend outside your budget and understanding the root cause gives you better chances of addressing them appropriately. This is important as USA Today shares that Americans spend an average of $18,000 on nonessentials every year. You cannot stop spending outright because it is a basic human need to spend. What you need to be on the lookout for are the temptations that make you spend more than what you really need.
Spending temptations can hurt your finances
There can be a number of temptations out there but if you do not act on them, they cannot do a lot of damage to your finances. The problem starts when you act on your temptations ruining your budget and putting you in the red. This can happen in an instant and there could be times when you do not even realize that you already gave in.
This is a dangerous territory you are walking on since it can take away from all your goals and even from your financial security. Rather than put the money down to pay off your student loans, you used the money to buy clothes. The money you spent buying items you do not need could have been used to max out your 401k and take advantage of that matching program by your employer.
You could also have the chance to strengthen your emergency fund but you decided to take that trip you did not really need. You just booked it because you know a lot of people have been in that resort in the past few months and you heard good things about it. There is nothing wrong with taking a break every now and then but if you do not need one and you did not save up for it, it can only land you in debt.
Revisit your goals
When you start to feel that familiar tinge of spending temptations, it could help you to look back at your financial goals to put you back on track. This is a great strategy to help you focus and keep your sights on the big picture. It might sound like an easy thing to do but this usually entails a lot of practice coupled with a good amount of restraint.
Once you see that there is a new smartphone out there from your favorite tech brand, you might start to justify the need to buy one. When you find yourself in this situation, remind yourself about your mortgage timeline. When do you want to pay off the house and what will it take to help you reach that goal?
You might see your friends taking lavish vacations taking tours and cruises and you start to feel left out. You then find yourself browsing through websites offering the same experience your friends are getting and feel the need to book that trip. Before you do, look at your retirement fund and rather than spend on a trip you do not need, why not put the money and invest it to add to your retirement fund?
Replace your temptation with something useful
One idea to help you stay away from spending temptations is to focus your energy on something productive. There are a lot of options you can choose from but the general idea is to keep your mind off your temptation to spend and look for creative ways to re-channel that desire and use that eagerness to accomplish something positive for you and your finances.
One idea is to take up a healthier lifestyle and every time you feel the temptation to spend, lace-up and go out for a run around the block. Just go out and do it since NY Post shares that almost 42% of people say they do not have time to work out. If you have access to a swimming facility, do some laps for a few minutes to help you forget. Not only will you be able to focus on something other than your desire to spend, but you are also helping your body get healthier and stronger.
Rather than spending money, why not use that energy to look for ways to earn extra money on the side. There are a number of side gigs you can choose from and taking them up will keep you busy. This can help you channel that desire to spend and turn it around. You can also look at income-positive hobbies to give you the chance to earn money while doing something you love to do int the first place.
Make it a little challenging to give in to your temptations
There are times when you find it easy to give in to spending temptations because it just seems to easy to pass up. Once you see that new pair of shoes online, you quickly click on it to know more while you browse through the photo gallery. Next thing you know, the item is already in your cart and you have checked the item out with your card ready for express delivery.
This process might not seem surprising for a lot of people since credit card payment information can easily be stored in your devices ready to be used in just a few clicks. This makes the process a lot faster and convenient. Remember the convenience and temptation should not go hand in hand that is why you need to find ways to make it harder to give in.
For one thing, start by deleting all saved credit card payment information on your devices. This forces you to look for the card, type in the details over and over which can make you think twice about the purchase. This also helps protect your identity online because there are hackers out there who will steal this sensitive information in a heartbeat. You can also try and leave your cards at home and just bring cash with you to prevent you from shopping non-stop when you go out. It could also help if you unsubscribe from the mailing list of online shopping sites.
Spending temptations can ruin your finances if you let it run over your budget unchecked. There are tips to help you nip it in the bud giving you the chance to keep your finances intact and out of danger.