Ah, the biggest guilty pleasure. Going out.
Everyone loves going out and spending time with friends and family especially after a long work week. Sometimes we overindulge ourselves on our weekend plans and overspend our money. I am a huge advocate for going out and having a great time, but I am not a fan of overspending my play money.
How to stop overspending
I don’t think you should stop going out and enjoying life because then life would be very boring, but we need to figure out a strategy to not breaking your bank.
First off, a great way to not spending more than you want is to set a specified amount to spend each night you go out. How do you know if you are overspending if you do not set a limit?! Make sure your limit is less than you have in your bank account for obvious reasons. You can’t spend more than you have, and you certainly want money left over after the night is done. Once you have establish your budget for the night, you need to be able to stick to it. What is the point of making a limitation if you do not follow through?
If you are the type of person that can actively keep track of how much you are spending throughout the night and stick to the budget, good for you for having control of your money. If you are like me and do not think about how much you are spending then here are some tips and tricks on barriers to keep you on track:
The easiest way to not overspend is paying in cash. The cash you bring is the only cash you’ll have (unless you run to an ATM but don’t do that). Once you run out of cash, you cannot buy anything else! I you think you are going to use a credit or debit card after you run out of cash, leave your plastic at home! You do not need it and it will just tempt you to buy more things when you are out.
If you feel nervous about leaving your plastic at home, a great strategy that can potentially help you with spending only your allocated budget is to put any funds from your debit card other than your limit into your savings account. This will stop you from spending more than allocated because once the money runs out, you cannot buy more. This method can be good for someone who can keep track of their spending, so they do not overdraw their bank account. Some banks charge extra for overdrawing funds but let that be a lesson learned!
The biggest culprit for overspending on nights out is the credit card. Credit cards allow you to buy things without actually having the money in your bank account. You can see where this goes wrong on a night out right? When you are trying to limit the amount of money that you spend, credit cards do not help at all! If you only want to spend $40 that night but your credit card has a $100 limit, you could be tempted to ignore your budget and exceed it. So if you think you will be enticed to sue it, leave it at home.
You can go out and have a great time without breaking your bank. There are many other strategies that you can do to not overspend that are not listed in this article but find what works for you. If you have a night where you spend more than anticipated, take out however much you overspent by and subtract it from the budget for the next night out. Doing so will keep you on track to not spending too much when enjoying life!