We all want to create healthy spending habits so that we do not feel guilty whenever we look at our spending. The urge to spend money is something we need to handle step by step. Start with minor changes, then find why you need to stop overspending.
Why do we overspend?
While each person’s spending habits are unique to their situation, there are several common motives behind this harmful habit.
Advertising sends the message that it is acceptable. We must wear certain clothes, drive cars, and eat in certain places. However, following this message can quickly lead you to excessive debt. It can even lead to higher student loan amounts if you take out additional loans to supply these “wants.” Consider your financial priorities before you end up with a mountain of stuff (that doesn’t make you happy) and bills (that you can’t afford).
You do not know your budget
Many people have an idea of what they want to buy, but they don’t check to see if it fits into their financial plan and budget. They buy items according to their wants, but at the end of the month, they find excessive spending when they check their budget.
Shopaholics are fun, but compulsive spending is a serious problem. Although it frequently happens among women, the problem does not discriminate based on gender and can happen to everyone. Watch for these cautionary signs:
– Do you buy items that you never actually use?
– Do your online shopping activities take more time than homework or socializing with friends?
If the answer is yes, then you have an impulsive buying habit.
How to stop overspending?
How to stop spending on food
1. Buy groceries intentionally
Preparing meals at home is an excellent way of saving money. Instead of buying useless things, utilize any gift cards you may have and all of the spare change from your household’s various jars to pay for this week’s food. Buying only what you need will help you avoid overspending on groceries.
2. Develop your cooking skillset
You may think that you can not make good food at home. Of course, not everyone is a Gordan Ramsay. However, you can still develop your cooking skills by practicing. Some excellent websites can help you cook what you have in the fridge, so try supercook.com.
3. Do not cut out eating altogether.
Enjoy a dinner or takeout once or every other week to celebrate your achievements. In that way, you’ll look forward to it and value it more.
How to stop spending online
4. Shop with a purpose
Avoid aimlessly browsing online sales like Cyber Monday to avoid buying things you don’t need.
5. Stop buying to feel good
Instead of spending when you feel stressed, walk away and find something else that can make you feel good: a walk, a long bath, a good book, an online yoga, whatever works for you. Stress shopping may make you feel better in the short term, but it can cause you even more stress in the long run if you go over budget.
6. Unfollow expensive brands on social media
Social media sites and apps can also trigger you to shop. If you can’t control yourself to shop or are a typical person who is easily influenced by social media, then unfollowing their account is one of the good things to do so they don’t appear on your feed. You can avoid receiving ads from these brands, and you will not have any intention to buy unnecessary stuff.
How to make these last
7. Create a budget
Address these questions before making a purchase:
- Did I need this thing?
- Was this something I wanted, or was it just something I wanted to feel better now?
- Did this expense contribute to the system I support? Do I intend to continue investing in this system in the future?
These questions will guide you to spend on the items, experiences, and companies important to you. Avoid spending money on items you don’t care about. This allows you to save more money.
8. Find your “why”
What is the goal of spending less money? Is it saving for a significant purchase, saving for a vacation, or planning for a comfortable retirement? Only you can make that decision; once you do, you may find that discipline comes naturally.
Islamic view on overspending
Islam discourages wasteful or excessive spending in consumption. In Islam, being wasteful is called Tabdhir, and excessive spending or extravagance is called ‘Israf, and both actions are prohibited.
“… Eat and drink, but do not waste …” (Al-A’raf: 7) “… Spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift” (Al-Isra: 26)
Wasteful spending goes against the spirit of stewardship. Allah has given us the resources we own, possess, and use. Stewardship encourages us to use these resources responsibly. Therefore, avoiding an extravagant lifestyle will make a good habit for your finances and give you peace as you feel content.
Lastly, as a Muslim, you should implement Islamic values in every aspect of your life, including finances. Upholding your faith in your investment would bring peace of mind without worrying about earning from unlawful (prohibited) sources. Musaffa has built a halal stock screener to help you align your investment with Islamic values. Feel free to sign up at Musaffa.com
Click here and visit our academy to read more about Islamic Finance-related topics.