How To Start Budgeting When You Have a Spending Problem?

There is no denying the fact that spending money gives us joy. When you reward yourself or look at something that you instantly want and get, a lot of dopamine gets released into your body. That happy chemical is what is responsible for most of your financial problems. The online eCommerce industry lives off of this. They have made purchasing material so easy that a quick dose of dopamine is just a few clicks away.

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Are you feeling sad? Order new shoes. Bored and don’t know what to do? Order a pizza and boost up that dopamine. It is a habit that builds on itself, and the more you depend on it, the more dependent you become. Much like any other habit, if you wish to change the pattern, you will have to find what is triggering it and make it as difficult as possible for you to follow through.

This blog has shared some basic budgeting tricks that might help you keep your expenses in control, even if you have a spending problem.

Budget to Zero: Plan out every rupee of your income beforehand. Now, this might sound difficult and a tedious task to begin with, but it is not. See, most of your major expenses are fixed and clear right at the beginning of the month. You need to budget for the recurring costs like food, entertainment, shopping, etc. When you budget initially, make sure you set aside funds for all the necessary things first, like rent, electricity, food, bills, etc. This will leave you with less than half your income. Now take out a significant sum from this and invest it immediately. The only money you will be left with is all you will have to spend on other things like shopping, going out, etc.

Also read: Take Part in Wizely's Spend Challenge & Earn Rewards

Use the envelope system - A good trick to make sure you follow the above practice is to create different envelopes. Make one for food, one for entertainment, one for shopping, etc. And then never take out money from the food envelope to go shopping. This will still require self-discipline on your part to happen, but it will make sure you rethink your decision.

Switch to cash - When you go out to buy groceries or to the mall, do not carry your credit card. Carry only cash; take only the amount of money you think you will need for whatever purpose you are going. This will help you keep your impulse purchases in control and again give you time to rethink before making any unplanned purchase. Even psychologically, spending cash is a lot more complex than spending on a credit card.

Pay off the important categories right in the beginning - You know how much rent, electricity, wifi, etc., you have to pay each month, and also you have to pay it no matter what, so spend it right in the beginning. Make it a habit to pay for these expenses in the first week itself; this will make you feel lighter and build good credit and goodwill with the related parties.

Read more: 10 Smart Financial Planning Rules for First-Time Earners

Understand the triggers -To change any habit, you must understand what is triggering it. Please make a list of all the expenses you made in the last two months and analyze them. Think about what led you to make those decisions and if you can find a way to avoid them. Let us say you have a habit of buying expensive chocolates every time you go grocery shopping. If this is the case, try ordering groceries online. Maybe you have a habit of buying two extra pairs of clothes every time you purchase something you need. If this is the case, try carrying only as much cash as is required to buy what you need. You will have to understand these triggers for yourself and figure out a way to overcome them. This is the only way to stop a habit from building on itself.

We hope these ideas will help you bring some of your expenses under control and help you create and follow a budget well. Happy budgeting!

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(Check out 'Learn & Grow with Wizely' 'to read and learn all about personal finance and financial planning.)

Sakshi Mehrotra

Sakshi Mehrotra