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Do you ever feel like you are spending too much money? It’s not always easy to determine if you are overspending but if you are constantly on the go, don’t review your finances on a regular, feel guilty when you spend money or you’re praying that your card is going to be approved while in the store, there is possibility that you may be overspending.
Even if you don’t have any of the problems above you still want to keep your spending in check, especially if you plan to build wealth. Overspending and building wealth don’t go together.
Here are 9 signs that you are spending too much
Your expenses exceed your income.
I'm not talking about your actual bills, I am actually talking about your lifestyle expenses causing you to exceed your income. These are items that you don't need but you enjoy having.
Which can also include things you forget you're paying for, like subscriptions and memberships. An example of this could be that you have an expensive hobby or entertainment.
Spacing these things out on your calendar can help you still enjoy what you love while also saving money.
Related: How To Create A Budget
You're consistently using your credit card and carrying a balance.
So I understand that you may not have your emergency fund fully-funded so you may need to use your credit card to cover an unexpected expense.
However, when you use your credit card for purchasing clothing, taking trips or eating out and you're not paying it off at the end of the month, it's a true sign that you cannot afford your lifestyle.
Now you are carrying a balance and paying interest so the items you purchased for the fun times are now costing more than what you originally paid for them.
Your rent or mortgage is more than 30% of your income.
This one is not for the people who live in high cost-of-living cities, this is for those who live in more affordable cities but their rent or mortgage is over 30% of their income.
Now depending on your financial situation, even 30% may be too much when you look at all of the expenses that you have to pay for.
As a general rule of thumb, I typically like for all expenses so that's including everything that you have to pay for in order to live be under 50% of your income.
I know that it is not always possible, especially now due to the amount of student loan debt some people have but aim to get as close as possible to 50% of your income.
I aiming for 50% is because if you are working a full-time job and you are laid off unemployment typically will pay only 50% of your income (there are some stipulations to this).
So if you are looking for a new job at least you are receiving an unemployment check and hopefully, you will not have to dip into your emergency fund or if you do it will not spend all of your savings.
You buy things to keep up with your friends on social media.
So I've seen it, your friends on social media have the newest shoes, the high-end outfits, and they are traveling all over the world.
What you have to understand is that what people put on social media is just a highlight reel of the good things, they are not posting the bad things so you really don't know what their financial situation looks like.
With social media you have to focus on your own goals, what your friends are doing is none of your business.
You still can look good on social when you post pictures without spending a lot of money, it’s possible I have seen it multiple times so do not let what you see on social media influence your purchases and if you feel that it is maybe it's time for a social media fast.
You're not saving or investing for retirement.
Savings account? 401K? IRA?
If you are saving and your savings account is looking like a revolving door where you save money but then you are withdrawing the money you just saved to either cover a bill because you forgot to pay it or because you are trying to cover a recent purchase, not an emergency, shopping then you might be overspending.
Savings accounts give you options and opportunities so you may be out of luck when something when you have an opportunity to take advantage of a situation but you have to pass it up because you don't have the money.
Going back to the laid-off example I mention above, even though it doesn't seem great you may the opportunity to take your side hustle full-time or launch the business you have been dreaming about.
It's extremely important for you to save for retirement.
If you don’t think so, look at it this way, you don't want to go back to work on Monday mornings so why you set yourself up to work the rest of your life?
Even if you own a business you love you're not going to want to work in the business forever.
And let us not mention the people who are forced to retire due to their health, so don't live in a fake reality of you have a long time to start saving.
If you're not already contributing to your company’s 401k plan, you should start and see if your employer offers a match.
If your employer does not offer a 401k then look into investing in a Traditional or a Roth IRA.
Related: Retirement Plan Series: IRAs
You run out of money before the end of the month.
Do you normally more month than money?
Are you trying to hold on to that last $20 until payday but you end up pulling out the credit card because you can't do it?
Well, it sounds like it's a great time to figure out what you're actually spending your money on.
Are you eating out for lunch every day? Going to brunch every weekend with your girls? Hitting the hottest parties, sports bars, and lounges?
Even if you don't have a busy social life you may be spending the money on other things, so take a look at you're spending and make adjustments.
It doesn't mean that you can't actually do some of these things you just, might do it less often or pick places that are not as expensive.
Related: How I Do A Monthly Financial Checkup
You're throwing away food on a regular basis
If you're throwing away food on a regular basis, you're eating somewhere but it's definitely not at home.
Are you eating out a lot even though you have food at home?
Are you buying more food than you actually need?
Are you lying to yourself saying that you're going to make lunch so you buy groceries but you're still eating out?
I'm not going to say you have food at home.
This may be an unpopular opinion but if you are eating out most of the time and buying groceries too, you are probably spending close to the same amount for groceries and eating out.
You might as well just allocate your money to eating out most of the time and buy fewer groceries.
Then you will not be throwing away as much food and the money saved on groceries could go towards one of your financial goals.
You don't remember when or where you brought items.
This typically happens when you're making a lot of impulse purchases.
So you know the dollar spot at Target, the travel size section at Sephora near the checkout or even the sale rack at your favorite store.
You're buying items that you don't really need and then you forget that you actually purchase them, so when you find them in your house your wondering where did come from and why do you have so many.
A lot of the clothes in your closet still have price tags on them or have not been worn.
When you look in your closet do a lot of the clothes you have still have price tags on them or they've only been worn once?
And I’m not talking about your special occasion pieces.
You're continually adding new pieces to your collection of unworn clothing.
You also have shoes in your closet that you either forgot you owned or you have not worn them yet because you're still trying to figure out how you're going to incorporate them into your wardrobe.
You only purchased them because they were cute and on sale.
(Editor’s Note: I know this is hard but sometimes you have to leave the cute shoe on the sale rack).
You may also have duplicate items in your closet.
It may be time to sell some stuff on Poshmark, Mercari, Depop or eBay and use this money the fund one of your financial goals.
If you have 2 or more of these signs, you may be an overspender and it’s time to start taking steps to get it in check, by tracking your spending, budgeting, and prioritizing saving & paying bills before anything else.
You don’t want to be in the position where your overspending keeps you from taking advantage of a great opportunity.
Related: The 7-Day Financial Reset