Avoid Overspending with This Simple Mindset Shift

Despite our best intentions, we’ve all been there. We find ourselves purchasing items, not because we necessarily need them, but because we’ve convinced ourselves with the “it’s just” argument. However, as inflation rates hit record levels in 2022, over half of Canadians have turned to budgeting to combat price rises, achieve their monetary aspirations, and curb overspending.

Overspending

In this article, we will explore what constitutes a ‘good deal’ and how these so-called bargains can shatter your budget. We’ll also share some simple mindset shifts to avoid overspending.

Decoding a “Good Deal”

In these challenging economic times, everyone is on the hunt for a bargain. But what exactly is a good deal? Stores are brimming with eye-catching promotions, time-sensitive offers, and bold red clearance signs, all aimed to encourage you to buy on impulse. This marketing ploy urges us to act swiftly due to urgency or FOMO (fear of missing out), leading to unplanned purchases.

We justify impulsive buying with the same logic, adopting the “it’s just” attitude. Picture yourself requiring a $15 mobile charger and spotting a sales tag that says, “Only TODAY: Get headphones for just $39.99!”. You know you don’t need headphones and that you are there for a charger, but the price is appealing, offering a $20 saving. We convince ourselves that $39.99 won’t break our bank and that it’s significantly better than the original $60 price. We experience immediate satisfaction from buying the headphones and deceive ourselves into thinking it’s a “budget-friendly” decision since we saved money on the headphones, even though we spent more than we intended.

How Quickly Can “Good Deals” Ruin Your Budget?

The “it’s just” mentality can be set off in various shopping situations, both for small and large purchases. When making a significant purchase, we often focus on the minimal payments to justify our decision, like, “it’s just $87/biweekly”. However, if this large purchase was unexpected, an additional $174 per month can strain your budget, leading to decreased savings, increased debt, potentially missed payments, and poor credit.

Retailers, sensing this mindset, are increasingly offering “Buy Now, Pay Later” options, luring buyers with smaller, spread-out payments and interest-free financing.

Lower priced items are easy to justify using the “it’s just” mentality since they appear to have a smaller impact on our budgets. Buying an $8 sandwich three times a week can add up to nearly $100 by the end of the month. This sandwich, along with your daily coffee and the subscription service you forgot to cancel, can quickly accumulate to hundreds of dollars per year, most of which many of us don’t account for in our budgets.

How to Curb Overspending?

Breaking a habit is harder than forming one. The “it’s just” mentality is something we’ve all experienced, and it’s something we can overcome. Here are some tips to resist the power of suggestion and avoid overspending on unnecessary purchases.

 

Plan your budget. A well-thought-out plan can guide your spending decisions, helping you stay on track and resist buying unnecessary goods or services. If you’re unsure where to start, check out our budgeting blog.

Set a goal. This year, challenge yourself to set a new financial goal; this could be anything from refreshing your budget, reducing your debt, or creating an emergency fund. Having a goal for your money can help curb impulsive overspending.

Take stock of what you own. If you love new things, try shopping in your own closet; you might be pleasantly surprised by what you already own. If not, you might be able to sell something you don’t use to fund the item you want to purchase.

Follow the 24-hour rule. If you find something that you feel is a must-have, wait 24 hours before purchasing it. Give the adrenaline of the sale some time to pass by getting away from those tempting sale signs. Creating that space allows you the opportunity to think about your purchase, reference your budget, realize you own something similar or forget about it.

Clean your inbox. If you’re an online shopping enthusiast, reduce the temptation to buy unnecessary items by cutting them off at the source. Go through your inbox and unsubscribe from promotional mailing lists. It’s hard to be tempted by a deal you don’t know about!

Delete your digital wallet. It’s easy to overspend when checkout is one click away. Removing saved payment information and Apple or Google Pay will make one-click payments less accessible, giving you more time to consider your purchase.

Create a shopping list. If you find yourself shopping for two things only to leave with ten, a shopping list may help you stay on track, avoid temptation, and leave with only the things you need.

 

There’s no denying that getting a good deal feels great. However, budgeting and smart spending can provide long-term feelings of security, empowerment, and satisfaction. So, start the new year on the right financial foot and leave the “it’s just” mentality behind!

If you struggle with overspending and find it difficult to pay back your debt, we’re here to help. At Bankruptcy Canada, we offer judgment-free, 30-minute consultations to help you find the best path to debt freedom. Call today at 1-877-879-4770 and start on the path to a financial fresh start!

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.