Hi, my name is Allie and I am a former reckless spender *waves* I wanted everything, and I wanted it now. Yes, my dad jokingly calls me Veruca for a reason. Reckless spending can lead to many terrible habits like credit card debt, opening up too many credit cards (those ones that sound SO inciting at check out) or not saving for emergencies. Yikes. I wish I saw all those red flags when I was younger because boy my savings account would look a lot different.
Reckless Spending Habits
To me, reckless spending habits can be defined as living above your means, purchasing things on the fly when you don’t need them and/or spending “just because”. There are four simple steps that you can take to tame your habits once and for all. You ready?
Put an end to your reckless spending by admitting that you’re doing it.
Something that helped me put this into perspective was joining Mint, which categorizes your spending (mostly) on its own. It was PAINFUL to see how much I was spending on clothes, coffees, concert tickets, alcohol. You know, everything. Buy food we didn’t need, clothes I’d only wear once. If you’ve been there, or are there, you can relate.
Identify your excuses, triggers and habits.
Worked overtime? Getting your tax return? A bonus check? Holiday money? Those were all of my excuses to go spend, even when I didn’t need a darn thing. They were also my triggers, if I didn’t have the “extra money” as I liked to call it, my reckless spending was almost always in check. But even if I worked two extra hours, I saw it as a way to justify buying that $40 pair of leggings or another pair of sneakers. I was able to identify my habits, based off of my Mint, which showed me that the weekend after pay day was always “the time” and the biggest offender was online shopping.
Stop making excuses and make a plan.
Making a budget can be daunting, especially when you’re used to flying by the seat of your pants. But if there is ANYTHING you take away from this, it is that in the long run this reckless spending “high” is not going to last! My savings account would be triple the size or more than it is now if I wasn’t such a fool during college. Real talk. Instead of letting it get to me, I am taking action, and you need to too!
Think of the big picture. What do you have to save for? To pay off? Have you acquired any debt from your habits? Are you looking to buy a house soon? Get married? Have kids?
If you’ve said YES to any of the above, you need to make a plan, like now! The best part about this is you can do what works for YOU but you need to stick to it. Not sure where to start? I’ve shared my budgeting tips before, which you can check out here. Having someone hold you accountable is even better. Whether it’s your spouse, your BFF, your parents or your friends online, you need to say it loud and proud. OWN IT. Looking for even more support? Head over to my free Fit Girl Finance Facebook Group where we are all working on our financial and physical fitness.
Shake it off and don’t sweat it.
Look, you might have dug yourself into a deep hole, I know that’s how I felt, heck some days I still get that feeling. But you can’t sweat it. It’s time to shake it off and make a change for good. Take the time to learn from your mistakes, take action and prove to yourself that you can manifest money in your life in new ways that don’t include filling up your closet. Unless you NEED new clothes, that’s a completely different story. Something that I always ask myself before I buy something is “Do I have something similar? Do I need this or do I want it?”
There are a few resources online that can help you “undo” your reckless spending to make some extra cash back to replenish your savings account or pay off those credit card bills.
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ThredUP* – takes your gently used clothing or accessory items and sells them for you, does all the “dirty work” and if your stuff doesn’t sell they will either send it back or donate to charity, sweet deal.
OfferUp – similar to craigslist but actually ensures your trust and safety with their “TruYou” feature.
How do you “control the urge” when you are feeling like you want to spend for no reason? Share below!