You Might Need to Ease Up on Spending Money If...
1. You justify every purchase you make with a long and unnecessary explanation.
If you need to write yourself a novel to make yourself feel better about spending money on something, you might need to question whether or not you should be spending that money. Sure, some expenses are unavoidable, but those ones don’t usually require any personal justification.
2. You find yourself “purging” all the freaking time.
If you have too much stuff, you’ve probably been buying too much stuff.
3. You’re not actively saving for retirement.
In my humble opinion, you’re not truly doing well financially if you’re not even sort of planning for the future. If you’re not putting money into a retirement account — or, at the very least, a savings account — each month, you probably should stop spending and find something to cut out of your budget so you can start thinking ahead.
4. You have everything you really need.
If there are no noticeable “gaps” in your life, or nothing you genuinely need and find yourself without on a regular basis, then a lot of the money you’re spending on stuff might be unnecessary.
5. Your balance in your bank account is basically always a giant question mark.
If you’re spending so frequently that you really can’t keep track of it even vaguely in your head, you’re probably spending too often and unnecessarily. Checking out your bank account regularly enough and spending carefully and mindfully enough that you always have a firm grasp on what is actually in your account at any given moment is important, and if you’re avoiding it (perhaps because you don’t want to see how much you’re truly spending, and what you’re spending it on), you may want to bite the bullet and take that first step to fix what’s going on.
6. You never really say “no.”
If you indulge your FOMO more than you pay attention to your bank account and decide if it is actually a good idea to go ~out on the town~ tonight, you might need to start toning it back. Being the person who always says “yes” is fun, but being the person with no savings account at age 27 isn’t.
7. You justify experiential spending that you really can’t afford.
If you don’t have enough money to spend on “things,” you probably don’t really have enough for pricey experiences either. If you have money for both, and feel that experiential spending is a worthier cause for your dollar bills, good on you! But if you don’t have the money to go to the concert, don’t go and tell yourself that it is okay because it was an ~experience~.
8. You have a lot of debt that you’re not paying proper attention to.
Sometimes, you just have to keep spending money to live when you have debt. However, if you have a big fat pile of debt, and income that is going towards things that aren’t really important or necessary, you should probably rethink your plans of paying it off. Debt isn’t really something you should leave to your future-self. The sooner you can throw money at it, the better. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy the occasional night out or “treat” while you’re paying off debt, but in reality, most of your money should be working towards paying it off.
9. You feel anxious af about money.
If you’re regularly earning it and not spending above your means, you shouldn’t be consumed with the fear that you’re going to go broke at any moment.
If you’re leaving the number in your bank account a mystery because it scares you to look at it, if you’re using a credit card to charge things you don’t need and don’t have the cash for, or if you’re not budgeting or using any method at all of figuring out what kind of spending is within your means, you may start to feel anxious, like you’re trapped in a lifestyle you can’t afford.
The good news is, there are so many resources offered (!!!!! Like TFD!!!!!) that can help you slowly start to mend your relationship with money, by teaching you how to earn it, use it, budget with it, and save it in a more effective and comfortable way. If you’re feeling anxious about money all the time, you may have to stop freaking spending so much, and you may have to confront it and start now — we all have to start somewhere.
Article Originally Appeared in The Financial Diet.