By SuperShe Staff
It happens to the best of us: we march into Sephora to replace our trusty tube of mascara, but five minutes in, Urban Decay’s new Naked eyeshadow palettes, a lineup of Fenty lipsticks, and those damn face masks in the checkout line have filled up our basket. We do serious damage with our credit cards and don’t know why we can’t exercise some fucking self-control. Ugh, it’s all so beautiful.
The overspending doesn’t stop in the Sephora aisles. In so, so many situations, we find ourselves shelling out when we should be chilling out. But curbing spending habits can be tougher than calling it quits with your reliable Friday-night booty call. A 2018 survey by CreditCards.com found that almost 75% of Americans are prone to impulse buys. So we sent out a cry for help (we’re talking a Kim K-level dramatic cry) to find out why TF we keep on buying and buying—and how to cut that shit out.
1. Stop making rezzies and relax.
If you’re out almost every night with friends, it’s probably time to cut back on the pricey farm-to-table cuisine and bottles of rosé that are steadily emptying your bank account. Listen, ladies: we get that having a jam-packed calendar can feel totally rewarding, but it can also be draining—physically and financially.
“I like going out for drinks because I like to hang out with my friends outside of my apartment,” says Flora, a NYC-based SuperShe. “I go out around two to three times a week with friends, and each time I drop around $30 to $50.” We feel you. And we’re definitely not saying you shouldn’t have some fun with your friends or coworkers. You do you, woman. But if you’re blowing your budget on carbonara and cocktails—and you’re not sure why you can’t stop—it might be due to a common anxiety: FOMO, or fear of missing out, if you’ve somehow managed to avoid the term.
“We want to be included, we want to be part of a community,” says Amanda Abella, an online business coach and millennial money expert based in Miami. “Plus, sometimes, we fear what other people are going to think of us if we say ‘no’ to plans.” While it’s nice as hell to be a part of stuff and feels great to be liked, you’re one woman and life can be exhausting and expensive. Don’t be so hard on yourself or worry about what’ll happen if you decide to stay in and catch up on Netflix.
Cash in this tip and save: Learn to say ‘no’ to plans if you really want to nip your expensive social calendar in the bud. “We tend to people-please and say ‘yes’ to everybody,” adds Abella. “And we end up exhausted, stressed out, and broke.” Practice being pickier about how and with you you spend your precious time. Remember, some much-needed “me” time is actually be a good thing.
2. Don’t shop til your savings drop.
Damn the retail gods who fill up our inbox with too-good-to-pass up offers on sleek booties, perfectly distressed denim, oversized cashmere sweaters and every freaking thing we want to wear right now. Our wallets can’t keep up! If you’re in a similar situation, but can’t stop making the rounds at Zara or clicking “Add to Cart” on your phone, it might be a reaction to emotional stuff in your personal life. Ever heard of retail therapy?
You’re definitely not alone: 49% of Americans say they’ve spent more than they can afford because of emotions, according to a survey from NerdWallet.
Cash in this tip and save: Consider whether something’s got you in your feelings, à la the masterful Drake. “Look at when you’re compelled to overspend,” says Kassandra Dasent, a financial consultant based in Florida and founder of Minding Your Money. “Maybe you went on a bad date or got dumped. Instead of just going online and shopping, stop and say, ‘Hey! What’s going on with me that I’m just buying all this?’” Sucky emotional stuff might be causing you to mend heart strings with price tags.
Definitely check yourself before you wreck yourself. But if that doesn’t work for you, Dasent suggests not saving your credit card info on your computer. It’s hella easy to click “Complete Purchase” when your payment info’s already there, so create one extra step for yourself that gives you a few more minutes to realize that you don’t actually need that leopard print midi skirt from Revolve right now.
3. Kick your gal pals off the gravy train.
We’re all boss babes who don’t need anyone to tell us we’re crushing it. But, sometimes, a little validation feels good. Like, really good. Like, having-a-dude-go-down-on-you-who-actually-knows-what-he’s-doing good. Unfortunately, this desire for external validation can sometimes sabotage our spending, according to Abella. Specifically, some of us end up being overly generous with our funds towards friends to “buy” their affection.
Trying to seem giving and #chill to your squad can leave your wallet a whole lot lighter. “I’ve always been over-the-top generous,” says Cristina, a NYC SuperShe. “I’m often treating friends to movies, meals, drinks, and coffee for no reason at all. There are a few reasons why I end up doing this, but mostly, I’m just so grateful for my friends’ time and energy, and for the enriching conversations and problem-solving that we do when we hang out. I want to thank them, and this as close to me giving them the shirt off my back as I can get.”
There’s nothing wrong with being nice and, in fact, we don’t always realize we’re going above and beyond. “In general, women are taught that their value is in being liked and not respected,” says Abella. “It’s just social conditioning. When our bank account starts shrinking, it’s often from giving, giving, giving, and nothing being reciprocated.”
Cash in this tip and save: Shut this shit down, as awkward and uncomfortable as it’s gonna be. Set some boundaries and stay strong, regardless of how “good” a friend she is. “You have to put yourself first,” says Abella. ”It’s going to really suck in the beginning once you stop giving like that. You taught whoever you’ve been overspending on how to treat you, so the second you change your tune, she’s going to be surprised.” But it’s 2019, baby. Pull on your grown woman power pants and demand the respect and reciprocity you deserve.