You've had your moment of realisation—you've overspent and now you're determined to make drastic changes. No more nights out, takeaways, or even self-treats. But is this self-imposed austerity the way to go? Not quite. Rigid restrictions might feel like the answer, but they can actually perpetuate an unhealthy cycle of spending and deprivation. Let's explore how to break the Splurge & Restrict cycle and find a balanced approach to finances.
The Dangers of Going Cold Turkey
It may seem logical to completely cut out unnecessary spending when you've overshot your budget. However, trying to hold back the tidal wave of urges with a "financial broomstick" can be counterproductive. This form of self-punishment not only affects your emotional well-being but can also set you up for a disastrous splurge later on.
What is the Splurge & Restrict Cycle?
The Splurge & Restrict cycle is a form of compulsive spending where one alternates between episodes of lavish spending and severe financial austerity. It's a vicious loop that doesn't resolve the underlying issues but rather exacerbates them.
The Spending Plan: A Balanced Approach
Many dread the term "budget"—it feels confining, like a pair of jeans after a holiday feast. Instead, consider framing it as a 'spending plan.' This subtle change in terminology can psychologically make a big difference. A spending plan is a guided approach where you consciously allocate your spending. It brings autonomy back into your finances and allows you to control where your money goes, rather than letting it control you.
The Power of Mindfulness
Being mindful and intentional in your spending doesn't mean that you compromise on your happiness. Rather, it allows you to enjoy the peace of mind that financial stability brings. A realistic spending plan, when executed thoughtfully, can significantly improve your relationship with money.
You Don't Have To Go It Alone
Financial struggles are a universal experience. While the journey toward financial stability is individual, you don't have to navigate it solo. Seeking guidance can help you maintain focus and provide actionable steps to achieve your goals.
Breaking free from the Splurge & Restrict cycle means embracing a balanced approach to spending. Creating a realistic and mindful spending plan can be the first significant step toward that. It doesn't require you to compromise your happiness; rather, it sets you on a path towards sustainable financial wellbeing. And remember, if you need guidance, there are people who have traversed these paths before and are willing to help you do the same.