The Scrooge in You: How to Curb Your Overspending Right Now

moneymoneyWalk into any department store, gift shop, or grocery market and there will likely be temptations more than you need to and more than you should on items you don't need. Overspending is a very common mistake families make because society makes it pretty easy to part with your money.

Here are 5 tricks to help you resist the urge to spend!

Create a Visual Board of Wants

Gather up your magazines and start cutting out images of things you really want ( a new car, a house of your own, a college education for your kids). Buy a cork board and some thumb tacks and create a visual display of things you really crave in your life and for your future. Place this visual in a place you are likely to see often. It will serve as a reminder of why you can do without those quick impulse buys. Make a wallet-sized reminder (your kids' photo, a beach house) to put in front of your credit cards.

Related: 10 "money-saving" tips that actually leave you broke

Leave Home with Only Essentials

If you need to shop for a specific item, bring only what you need to make the purchase. Leave your other credit cards and most of you cash at home. Make sure you are prepared for unexpected emergencies, but leave all the stuff that could lead you into temptation.

Don't Cure Boredom with Shopping

When you are bored out of your head with nothing to do, do not go to the mall. While many people claim they can 'just' window shop, there are plenty of other activities that are good for your health, heart, and wallet that take place outside of the mall.

Know Your Financial Limitations

Many times people are chronic over-spenders but have no actual idea this is their situation. This is because they do not have a handle on their personal financial situation in the first place. Ideally, you should know exactly how much income you bring in, how much you pay out in expenses, and how much is left over for savings. By allocating an amount to spend on miscellaneous things based on your actual financial information, you can ensure you never spend more than you have.

Be an Individual

Many people end up overspending because they try to keep up with their family and friends. They feel they need to remain competitive with people on material things rather than becoming comfortable with their own financial capabilities. To be truly happy and debt-free, you should not attempt to keep up with the Joneses, but rather be grateful for the things you already have.

-By Anna Newell Jones

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