When I see the word ‘quick’ in an article title, I generally think that it’s going to uncover a magical blueprint for making money fast. Quick money and instant savings are popular article topics today, but the one you’re about to read isn’t quite so popular.
In fact, I’d say this topic gets ignored online and in our personal lives. No one likes to dwell on mistakes, and going overboard with your spending can feel like an error that can’t be undone.
The truth is that you can recover from a spending spree, but the action steps to recover might be painful. No pain, no gain right? Even if you aren’t personally trying to recover from a spending spree, you might help someone else with a few of these suggestions.
1. Sell The Stuff
Groundbreaking, I know. But if you didn’t have the money in the first place, you shouldn’t be buying stuff. Sell it! It’s the basic principle of spending less than what we earn.
But I won’t get what I paid for it, so it’s a bad idea to sell it!
That’s not a good reason. If you’re trying to break the habit of buying things you cannot afford, then you need to make the tough decisions, which can mean you take a small loss on the item. It’s better to get $15 for a $20 shirt that you bought on impulse. The $5 loss might be the nudge you need to stop buying things you can’t afford.
2. Cut Discretionary Spending
You might not be able to sell everything that you purchased on your spending spree, but you can do something to help correct it. Look at your discretionary income for next month and earmark it for savings or for paying down debt. If you have a fun account or entertainment budget, put it on hold for a month or two to help cover the expenses you incurred this month.
3. Work a Side Job
Can you pick up an extra shift or work a little overtime? If your spending spree only set you back a couple hundred dollars, this might cover it within a paycheck or so. If your spree put you in debt close to a thousand dollars or more, you might consider a seasonal job or weekend work. It’s not an attractive option, but you could work evenings in a restaurant or take an evening shift cleaning office buildings.
There’s nothing wrong with spending money on yourself and getting things that you’ve been saving for. The problem is buying stuff when you don’t have a plan. That’s why setting aside extra money each month in your budget for those spending sprees or shopping trips is the best way to manage those purchases. To control our ‘extras’ category in our budget, we like to set out the money in cash so that when we do go on a spending spree, there’s no way we can go over.
How do you keep from overspending? What ways have you used to correct an occasional spending spree?
Last Edited: 3rd June 2011