Why We Spend Too Much Money

For many people, over spending is a serious problem. They know they over spend and wish they didn't, but it is an emotional drive that is challenging to stop. If you have ever over spent your income even for a short time you know how addictive it can be.

Choose to Overcome Over Spending

Don’t let over spending destroy your life and that of your family. If you spend too much money learn how to stop. If you can't do it alone, don’t hesitate to get professional help.

If you just have a bad habit of spending too much money, take steps (that means setting a goal and making an effective plan) to deal with it yourself. For most people it is a matter of decision and determination. But do whatever it takes to stop. Success with money is impossible without overcoming over spending.

If your problem is of the less serious type (but nevertheless real) try to improve your effectiveness in dealing with it by taking some proactive steps to understand your buying habits better. Then lay out some steps to achieve change.

Understand Why You Over Spend

To develop an understanding of why you spend too much money, ask yourself some key questions:

  • What drives you to shop? To purchase in response to a predetermined real need or just to shop?
  • Are your memories of money related to insecurities?
  • How do you feel about shopping? Do you shop when depressed? Or when feeling tension?
  • Do you spend when you know you cannot afford to do so?

Writing out your thoughts is one of the best ways to develop understanding. Reflect on each of the questions above and write out your reflections. Think about how these emotional responses to life situations are affecting your mental and financial life.

Learn How to Overcome Over Spending

Once you have a better understanding of your buying motives you can take steps to change. The best way is through substitution. Think of what you could do instead of shopping, for example going for a walk.

If one thing doesn’t work, try another. But whatever you do don’t give up until you lick any tendency to over spend. You can do it, and when you do you will never be the same again.

There are numerous resources available to help if necessary. Olivia Mellan has written a book, Overcoming Overspending: A Winning Plan for Spenders and Their Partners that is very inexpensive and offers lots of help.


While I never had a huge problem with over spending, I used to spend too much overall leaving too little money for saving and investments. It was not too difficult for me to resist spending in general once I committed to it, but I still got a little compulsive when shopping—especially with tools and books!

My way to put an end to this practice was to make it a rule to never buy on impulse. Instead, when I saw something I thought about buying I pulled out a 3X5 card (I always carry them for notes) and writing them down to buy later.

This not only put an end to impulse spending, I soon discovered that if I did not buy them immediately I often wondered later why I even considered doing so in the first place.

End the Habit of Spending Too Much Money

Spending money is not a hobby. Cruising the mall looking for new ways to exchange your money for more things is not a good use of time. Learning to shop by plan only for things you need—or legitimately want for activities you enjoy—is a primary key to success.

When you do these this you will no longer spend too much money. You will stop over spending for good. And when you no longer over spend you will soon have more money in the bank and smaller balances on your credit card.