| August 15, 2013

How can I avoid overspending?

Budgeting is an important part of your financial success, but if you overspend you may find yourself running into money problems. In fact, spending more than you planned, even on a single occasion, is a surefire way to bust your budget.

Here are some tips you can follow to prevent overspending:

No. 1 – Avoid small trinkets at check out areas

When shopping, you have likely noticed the small items such as candy bars or chapstick that retailers put at checkout. While most of these items are only a couple of dollars, it is best to avoid purchasing them. Once or twice may not hurt, but one dollar here and there adds up over time and can lead to overspending. Falling short of your essential monthly expenses because you couldn't resist a Snickers bar at the checkout every time you were at the grocery store probably isn't the best idea.

No. 2 – Create a list and stick to it

Impulse purchases are one of the most common ways people find themselves spending more than planned, and one of the best ways you can avoid these buys is by creating a list and not straying. Whether you are going to the grocery store or the mall for some shoes and work clothes, write down everything you need and don't buy anything else. The latest and greatest personal music player might seem like a good purchase, but being able to listen to your favorite music shouldn't come at the expense of your credit card bill.

No. 3 – Limit your credit card use

Credit cards can be your friend when you use them responsibly, as you can receive cash back and be provided with a convenience of being able to swipe and go. However, overuse of your plastic can lead to overspending and a pile of credit card debt. That being said, it would be wise to limit your credit card use if you are on a tight budget. And if you do utilize your plastic at checkout, be sure you don't charge any more than you can afford to pay off. Carrying a balance can get costly, especially if your card has a high interest rate, as any benefit you receive may be canceled out.

April Lewis-Parks has more than 15 years of experience in the financial sector, she is a certified financial counselor, and a consumer affairs advocate. As the director of education and public relations for Consolidated Credit she is dedicated to generating awareness about personal finance issues and acts as their consumer affairs advocate. As host the of MissMoneyBee.com, she promotes financial education and offers timely and informative personal finance articles to educate the public. April’s promotional efforts can be seen in past issues of the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsday, Consumer Reports, the Business Journals, Money Magazine, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, among others. Connect with April on Google+

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