You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 63. Today, we’re talking all about overspending. You ready? Let’s go.
Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.
Well, hello there. How are you? I am marvelous. I just got back from Big Sky. I don’t know if I told you guys that in the last episode, that I was getting ready to head there. But I did, I went out there for sort of like a reconnaissance mission to plan the upcoming live event for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind that’s going to take place in August.
I ended up bringing a couple of my girlfriends with me. We’re all entrepreneurs, so we sort of made a working retreat out of the weekend. And got to relax and enjoy each other’s company, but also really brainstorm about our businesses, bounce ideas off of each other, and just learn from one another. It was just so incredible.
I think people see me, and they know I’m a little glam, so they tend to underestimate that I love the outdoors as much as I do. But I cannot begin to tell you how breathtaking Big Sky was. It was incredible being there. The weather was really nice. Little drizzly, but it was still very charming.
But more than anything, I cannot wait to be there this summer when it’s fully gorgeous and warm, and everything is fully in bloom. And all the snow, there were a couple spots with some snow left on the ground, so all the snow will be gone. It will just be full-on gorgeous summertime nature in Montana. There’s going to be nothing like it.
So, if you’re going to be there with me, you are going to get to soak up all of the Mother Nature goodness right alongside me, along with the learning and the community. That’s really the neat thing about these live events that I do. Is that you get to be there with everyone, in person, and you get to bond and brainstorm and bounce ideas off of them, just like I did with my girlfriends this week.
I think the thing that is still blowing me away, now that I’ve been home for a day, it’s just how many trees there are. I live in Michigan and northern Michigan has a ton of greenery. We get the colors changing through the seasons here, and that’s really beautiful. But man, I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many trees as I saw in Montana. And there’s just something about it that is so grounding and calm.
And it just warms me up, that there are still places that are so untouched and haven’t been modernized or haven’t been industrialized. I just think that’s really beautiful, that we have the opportunity to go and enjoy places like that in the US. We don’t have to travel that far to see something so beautiful.
I’m excited to introduce some other people to that, as well. If you haven’t been to Montana before, if you haven’t been to Big Sky, then you’ll get the chance when you’re inside the next round of the mastermind. Fun fact, you will actually have one more chance to enroll coming up. And I’ll share more about that in the next episode.
But I just want to put that on your radar. If you watched enrollment close for the last round of enrollment, and you were like, “Oh, I wish I would have joined, and I didn’t join, and I kind of got in my own way, and didn’t move forward and say yes and apply,” and now you’re kind of kicking yourself.
Especially if you follow me on social media and you saw all of the amazing behind-the-scenes moments from my trip to Big Sky, and you’re like, “Man, I want to be there, in person, with Olivia. For the learning, but also just to soak up Montana in all of its majesty.”
Then you’re going to have one more chance to do that in the next couple of weeks. So, stay tuned for that. Make sure you’re on my email list. You can go to Mastermind.TheLessStressedLawyer.com and sign up for the wait-list. Just to make sure that you get all the details as soon as I roll those out. All right?
Okay, so with all of that being said, little life update from me. We’re going to continue talking about the Money Mindset Series that I started in the last episode. So, in the last episode, we talked all about your thoughts about money. And if you followed the prompts in that episode, you should have a much clearer understanding of what you’re currently thinking about money.
I also gave you a lot of different new thoughts to think about money, instead. So, you can start to try some of those thoughts on. Play with them. See which ones resonate with you. See which ones maybe you need to spend a little bit more time working on. But you should be starting to create some new neural pathways when it comes to thinking about money.
I also explained the importance of mindset, in the last episode. And remember, the reason mindset is so important, is because our thoughts about money create the results that we have when it comes to money. Our thoughts always create our results. Because our thoughts cause our feelings, our feelings drive our actions, and our actions produce the results that we have.
So, that’s true in any area of our lives; when it comes to managing your time, when it comes to setting boundaries, when it comes to working less, when it comes to how you act with money. Whether it’s how you make money, how you spend money, how you save money, all of those things. It’s caused by our thinking. The results that we have are directly caused by the thoughts that we think about money.
You are starting to see the importance of cultivating a positive money mindset. If you’re thinking negative thoughts about money, and your relationship with money and how you steward money and what’s possible for you, as far as money is concerned, you’re going to have a lot of negative results in your life when it comes to money. You can see the importance of cultivating that more positive mindset, so we can cultivate more positive results when it comes to money.
Now in this episode, and the next episode, I want to talk about two of the main actions that I see people indulge in as it relates to money. Neither of which serve them. Now, remember, these actions are caused by your thinking. So, if you’re thinking negative thoughts, you’re going to feel negative feelings, and it’s going to drive you to take negative action. This is still a thought problem. All right?
You’ve probably heard me say this before on the podcast, but there are really only ever three problems that you encounter: a negative thought you’re thinking, a negative emotion that you’re avoiding or reacting to, and intentional actions that you’re not taking.
So, the only three solutions are ever; to change your thoughts, to allow yourself to experience the negative emotions, the discomfort, and to take the intentional actions that you haven’t been taking. Those are always the three solutions.
Two of the negative actions that I see people engage in when it comes to money are overspending and underearning. In this episode, we’re going to focus on overspending. And then in the next episode, I’m going to talk all about underearning; the ways we do it, why we do it, and what you need to think and do in order to stop under earning.
When it comes to overspending, first things first, we want to know what kind of behavior we’re actually talking about here. Now, overspending is both subjective and objective. And here’s what I mean by that. What constitutes overspending to one person, may not count as overspending to another person. So, overspending is going to be subjective.
Overspending doesn’t just have to do with how expensive something is. You decide what constitutes overspending to you. I might spend money on something, and you might think that that’s a ridiculous expenditure. That doesn’t mean that I’m overspending. I’m just spending more than you are on something.
What makes it overspending, is whether I’m spending more than I want to spend, or whether I’m spending more than I planned to spend on something. So, it’s going to be subjective to me. I get to decide what constitutes overspending for me.
Now, the objective standard is whether or not I surpassed whatever I’ve decided upon. Okay? So, that part is measurable, and it’s going to be objective. If I said, “Oh, I’m only going to spend 20% of my income on my housing expenses.” And I ended up spending 40%, then I’m overspending, right? That’s objective, that I’m surpassing the limit that I set for myself.
The amount, let’s say it’s $3,000 a month that I’m willing to spend either on my mortgage payment, or my rent payment. And for some people that might seem like crazy high. For some people, that might seem like small potatoes, right? That’s where that subjective piece comes in. So, I might say, “I don’t want to spend more than $3,000,” and I end up spending five, then I’m overspending. That’s objective, I’m spending more than what I set.
But the fact that I decided that three was my limit, not five, that part’s subjective to me. That’s a decision that I make unilaterally, there is no right answer on the amount to spend on living expenses. Okay? Same thing with hotels. I love to splurge on a hotel.
So, what I’m willing to spend might not be what you’re willing to spend on a hotel. That’s okay, that doesn’t mean that I’m overspending if I’ve planned to spend as much as I’m choosing to spend. What would be overspending, is if I budgeted a certain amount for hotels throughout the month or throughout the year, and then I ended up spending three times that. Okay?
I want you to think about that. I want you to give some thought to what overspending means to you. How do you define that? Like I’m always teaching you on the podcast, you always want to define “enough”. What’s enough money? What’s enough spending? You want to know what your answer to those questions are, so you can measure whether or not you’re operating within the parameters that you’re setting for yourself.
And if you’re operating outside of those parameters, then you’re probably overspending. Now, I do think it’s important to understand that subjective and objective piece of overspending. But brass-tacks, end of the day, as simple as I can explain it to you, overspending just means you’re spending more than you intentionally planned to spend or would like to spend. All right?
And it’s going to look like this. It will either look like you spending more than you want to spend, but you actually have the money. Okay? Or it’s going to look like you spending more than you actually have; aka living outside of your means. So, check in with yourself.
If you’re guilty of overspending, which camp are you falling into? Do you have the money, but you’re just spending more in certain areas than you’d like to be? And you’d like to reallocate how you’re spending? Maybe you’re splurging on things, and you’d like to put that money into savings.
Or you’re living outside of your means. And if you are, the solutions to create the results that you want to create when it comes to money, are probably going to be slightly different. So, you just want to be aware: What exactly does your overspending problem look like?
Now, let’s take an inventory. Real quick, let’s get clear, and be honest with ourselves here: How are you overspending right now? Let’s get very specific. Let’s identify all the ways that you’re doing this. And then, we’ll explore why you’re doing this.
The ways that I see people overspend, it can be broken down into two larger categories. And then, there are a bunch of specific habits that I see. So, let’s start with the two main categories. The two main categories: Number one, is you didn’t make any decision about how much to spend. So, you just keep operating on autopilot, on default, really unintentionally.
You’re spending money. You weren’t making any decisions about whether or not you should or should not be spending that; you’re just kind of living and flying by the seat of your pants. And you end up spending a lot more than you plan to, because you didn’t make any decisions ahead of time.
That’s one way that we end up overspending. You don’t make any decisions, you don’t budget, but you still spend more than you’d like to spend, if you had taken the time to make decisions about your spending.
The other way people overspend, more generally, is that they decide how much they’re going to spend on something, and then they feel restricted. And they end up rebelling against that feeling of restriction. And they overspend. They bucked the system, so to speak.
Now, whether you fall in the first camp or the second camp, in either category, what’s happening is your thinking thoughts, and then you’re experiencing negative feelings, and you’re avoiding or reacting to those negative emotions. All right? I’m going to give you some different examples of that in a second.
You want to be onto yourself here, though. Which camp do you mostly fall into; are you making a plan, or are you not making a plan? Based on which camp you fall into, we’re going to start to see different emotions arise. Are you feeling more restricted? Or are you trying to use money to solve other emotional issues? And that leads to that unintentional spending. Because you haven’t made a plan, and you just end up doing the thing that’s the most comfortable in the moment.
Speaking of budgets and feeling restricted, I want to give you an analogy here that really was so helpful for me. I used to think that budgets were so constricting and restrictive. And I had this breakthrough, because I used to think the same exact thing about time management and making a schedule and having to stick to it. That also felt very constricting and restrictive to me.
And what I realized is the reason that making a schedule for the day used to feel constricting and restrictive, was that I was trying to fit more than 24 hours into my schedule. So, I didn’t have time to get to all of the things that I wanted to get to, because I wasn’t doing the math right.
When we’re arguing with how much of a time allowance we have to play with, we’re going to feel restricted. We’re going to feel disappointed that we’re not getting to more. And we’re going to try and buck the system and fit more things in than we actually have room, for based on the amount of time that we have.
And people make the same exact mistake when it comes to money. Let’s say you have $100,000 to spend, and you want to split it between five different things. Well, you can make it really easy, and all five things get $20,000. That’s one way to not feel restricted. You can divvy it up, and one category can get 40%, another one can get 30%, another one can get 20%. And I think that brings us to what, 90%. And then you’d have five and five leftover for the other two. So, that’s another way to do it.
But what I see people do is they want to fit $50,000 into each of the categories, even though they only have $100,000 to play with. Or they want to fit $30,000 into each one of the categories even though they have $100,000 to play with.
So, they’re spending more or budgeting more than what they actually have as an allowance to spend in each of these categories. And that’s why their budgets end up feeling restrictive. Because they don’t like the amount of the allowance that they have to play with in the beginning, from the get-go.
Same thing happens with time. So, if you don’t like the idea of budgeting, check in with yourself here. Is it because you’re wishing that you had more of an allowance to spend than what you do? A really good friend of mine said to me that, “You’re the one who makes the budget, it shouldn’t feel restrictive. Just make a budget that doesn’t feel restrictive.”
And it dawned on me the reason that I hadn’t liked making budgets in the past, and the reason why they did feel so restrictive, is because I always wanted to be playing with more money than I actually had. And when you’re doing that, you’re always going to set yourself up for disappointment and frustration, and you’re going to feel scarce and restricted and insufficient.
So, we want to get really clear on how much money we have to play with. And that’s the allowance that we’ve got to divvy up. We’ve got to, just like with time management, with money, we’ve got to make sure that the math works. That’s the only way that we’re going to prevent ourselves from overspending.
Now, like I said a moment ago, many people overspend because it’s an effective way to avoid negative emotions that they experience. Let me give you some examples of this. For instance, you may want something badly, even though you’re “trying to stick to your budget”. And that wanting, that feeling of deprivation, is really uncomfortable for you to experience. To just sit in, and to be with. To have it come along for the ride, so to speak.
So, instead of just experiencing it and allowing it to be there, what you end up doing is you avoid feeling that feeling by buying whatever it is that you want. Maybe you want to splurge on a first-class ticket, but it really doesn’t align with the budget that you’ve set for yourself, as far as your travel expenditures go this year.
Or you haven’t made a budget, but if you’re being really honest with yourself, and you checked in, you know in your gut, that you’re probably spending more than what it makes sense for you to spend, at this point in your life, at this point in your career, based on the income that you have coming in.
And yet, you buy the first-class ticket anyways. It’s because you feel restricted. You feel deprived. That discomfort, that FOMO, of wanting something that you’re telling yourself you can’t have, feels very uncomfortable. So, instead of just feeling that feeling, and allowing yourself to feel deprived, to feel disappointed, to feel frustrated, to feel restricted, you rebel, and you make the purchase, you make the expenditure.
A close cousin of these feelings, of deprivation and FOMO, is also the experience of feeling entitled. So, remember, there’s always a thought driving these feelings. With entitled, it’s going to look something like, “I deserve this. I’ve earned this. I should have this.” And then it’s going to trigger that negative emotion in you. And then you’re going to end up reacting to it ,and you’re going to spend the money in an unintentional manner.
So, you want to be onto yourself. Feeling entitled to something feels pretty good in the moment, but if you look at the action that you take from it, it’s rarely an emotion that serves us. I’ll actually go so far to say it probably never serves us, to feel entitled and to take action from that place. I think deserving is also akin to entitlement.
If you feel very deserving of something, pay attention to how that feels in your body and then look at the action very specifically, the action that you take when you’re feeling deserving. Is it intentional action? Is it action that aligns with the ultimate results that you want to create for yourself at the end of the day? Especially when it comes to how you spend money and the money that you have, and the money that you save, all of that.
Now, we don’t just experience feelings of deprivation, FOMO, entitlement, we also use spending money as a way to escape other negative emotions that we experience day in and day out. I see a ton of people use money and spending money as a way to avoid and escape feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
And in order to get out of those emotions temporarily, they distract themselves by making an expenditure. You might buy stuff off of social media. I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but those targeted Instagram ads are just so spot on. So, it can be very tempting to just click on the ad and then go buy the thing.
You get a hit of dopamine; you get a little bit of excitement when you make the purchase. And then something gets delivered to your house. And you get to feel the same excitement all over again. So, it’s like killing two birds with one stone, when you’re making these expenditures.
You might be feeling frustrated that a deal didn’t work out the way that you wanted it to. Or you’re annoyed with the way opposing counsel has been acting in these deal negotiations. Or you’re frustrated with a client who won’t leave you alone and is really dissatisfied with how the case is going. And you keep having to have the same conversation over and over and over again. Or your boss keeps just burying you with work, and you’re feeling really pressured and behind and inadequate, like you can’t keep up.
A really easy way to escape these negative emotions is to buffer them away by spending money. Maybe it’s not Instagram ads, maybe it’s Amazon. You love to head on over to Amazon and hit that ‘Add to Cart’ button or the ‘Buy It Now’ button. Maybe you love going to Target, and you love just roaming the aisles and finding things that you really don’t need.
Or maybe you’re a little bit more like me, and you like to splurge on luxurious items. You’d like to live a little lavishly. Now, I’m not trying to shame anyone who likes to do that. I also love to live lavishly, and to splurge and to enjoy luxurious things. But you just want to make sure that you know and like your reasons for the spending decisions that you’re making. All right?
You want to make sure that those spending decisions are coming from a clean, intentional place. Not as a way to avoid other discomfort that you’re experiencing. I used to do this myself, when I worked in big law and I was really unsatisfied with my career, with what I was doing, with my future, as I saw it at that moment. I used to use vacations as a way to escape my dissatisfaction with my life.
I also would splurge on expensive meals. So, between spending money on plane tickets, or expensive hotels, or oysters galore or bottles of champagne or nice wine or bone-in rib-eyes, and all of those things. Those were how I used to splurge. Those were the ways that I would go to, in order to give myself some temporary gratification and excitement. And to temporarily escape all the negative emotions that I was experiencing day in and day out through work.
And in my personal life, I had some personal issues that I also needed to contend with. And it was a really easy way for me to escape some of the negative emotions that came up in my personal life, as well. Dissatisfaction with relationships that I was in, feeling frustrated, or out of control sometimes, because I literally can’t control other people. But that was news for me at the time.
And I was trying to control other people in my life, failing miserably at doing so. But because I was failing miserably at doing so, I was feeling a lot of frustration and disappointment and resentment. And I was using spending money as a way to escape those negative emotions, as well as all of the negative emotions that would come up for me at work.
So, as I list these items off, I want you to check in with yourself. What are you guilty of? Where do you overspend? And why do you overspend? Get very specific. The more specific you get, the better you’re going to be at remedying this behavior. At being able to identify it and interrupt the pattern.
Because what you should be starting to see is that your bank account ends up being a reflection of your habits. If you have a habit of seeking and giving yourself that instant gratification, your bank account is going to reflect that. Your credit card statements are going to reflect that. You’re going to be left at a deficit, quite literally. Okay?
So, check in with yourself. Where are you spending? One of the trends that I’m seeing a ton of is this indulgent spending on DoorDash, or Grubhub, or Uber Eats. It’s a really easy way to spend unintentionally. Or the subscription services that we love to subscribe to, and then we never pay any mind to them after we sign up for them.
But we sign up impulsively, and it feels good in the moment. It feels really productive and useful. And lo and behold, later, if we were to take a closer look, you’d be able to see ‘I did that impulsively. I did that, and I got that instant head of gratification. I was able to do that and temporarily escape some of the negative emotion that I was experiencing.’
Even with the delivery apps, just avoiding the emotion of feeling tired, or exhausted or bothered. It’s much more convenient to have something just delivered to your door. But when we do that, A, we end up spending a lot of money that we don’t realize what we’re spending. And you can just feel a little bothered and go pick it up, or cook dinner, right?
If you’re feeling pressured or scarce on time, you’re going to have to allow those emotions to be there, instead of react to them or avoid them by ordering the delivery item. Now, again, this is not to villainize and say that there’s one right way to spend money. And then there are other wrong ways to spend money. This is truly subjective.
You have to decide what you’re okay with and what you’re not okay with. And your answers are going to be different from another person’s answers. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s completely okay. But you want to know for yourself, where are you spending money? How are you spending it? And do you like your reasons for spending it?
Are you using it intentionally or are you spending money as a way to avoid a lot of the discomfort that comes up for you? Both in just feeling restricted, or in all of the other negative emotions that I mentioned earlier; that can come from your work life, your personal life, all of the above.
Now, the way to gain the most clarity here is for you to not just list out the ways in which you overspend. But also, to make a list of the negative emotions that you experience, that drive you to overspend. The negative emotions that you end up avoiding through your overspending.
Go ahead and list them out. What feelings drive you to spend money in a way that is misaligned with the results you want to create in your life around money? And then when you get clear on those emotions… Remember, if you struggle to articulate the one-word emotions that you experience, head on over to the Google and just type in “feelings wheel” and start to look at one, and see if any individual feelings jump out at you. Okay?
And cultivate that list of emotions that you experience, that you end up avoiding through your overspending. And then, take a look at the thoughts that you think that cause you to feel those feelings. That is the way to create the most awareness here, to really address your overspending habit at the root.
As you do this, very quickly, you’re going to see that your thoughts don’t serve you. That there are negative feelings that you’re currently avoiding. And those are the exact emotions that you’re going to have to be willing to embrace, in order to address your overspending problem. Now, if you’re having trouble figuring out the negative thoughts and feelings that drive you to overspend, I want you to complete a model, okay?
And remember, the model is basically like an equation for your life. It has five different variables, five different components: Circumstances, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions, Results. We’ll start by plugging in a life situation that you’re dealing with. Maybe it’s life generally, maybe it’s something that you’re dealing with at work, your job. Any situation that you have some emotion around right now.
So, put that in the Circumstance line. And then ask yourself: What am I thinking about that? You’ll identify the thought. And then when you see that thought, ask yourself: What emotion do I feel? What’s the one-word feeling that I experience when I think this thought? And it’s going to be a negative thought and a negative feeling, all right?
When you’re thinking this negative thought and you’re feeling this negative feeling, you will be able to see how, in your action line, you’re avoid feeling that emotion ,or reacting to experiencing that emotion. And then the action that you take is that you overspend instead. And it will produce the current results that you have in your life when it comes to money; your bank balance, your credit card balances, the amount you have in savings, all of that.
It should start to make very apparent sense to you why you have the results that you currently have. So often, I watch people say to themselves, “I should be somewhere different than here. I should be further ahead. I shouldn’t have these results.” But then I always look at their action line. Then I check in and see the thoughts and the feelings driving that action. And it makes perfect sense.
They’re thinking a negative thought, they’re feeling a negative feeling, and they’re taking negative unintentional action, like overspending, and it’s producing the negative results that they have. It all matches perfectly. In fact, they should have exactly the results that they do have, when it comes to money. Based on the thoughts that are thinking, the feelings that they’re avoiding, and the actions that they’re not taking. Right? It all makes perfect sense.
Same thing, if you’re thinking about the Circumstance, not spending money on something. So, if the Circumstance was to not buy X, Y, or Z. Maybe you want a new car, but it doesn’t make sense for your current financial state. So, the Circumstance would be: Don’t buy the Tesla. And you’re thinking, “But dammit, I really want a Tesla.” So, you’re feeling deprived.
Or you’re thinking the thought, “Oh, man, I work so hard. I deserve a Tesla,” and you’re feeling very entitled. So, what do we end up doing when we’re thinking these thoughts or feeling these feelings? You’re feeling deprived or entitled, or that sense of FOMO, like you’re missing out, you end up avoiding those emotions and you end up spending the money. You end up buying the Tesla.
Or buying the handbag or splurging on the dinner or splurging on the hotel or going on vacation, when you can’t really afford it. Whatever the case, may be, you end up buying the thing. And then you have the exact result that you end up having, right? Your current bank balance, your current credit card balance, your current results with money.
I want you to work through these models yourself, so you can start to see, does this thought serve me when I think it? How do I feel? And when I feel that way, how do I act? And what result does it produce? If it produces a negative result, it’s not a result that you like, then that thought doesn’t serve you and we’ve got to change it.
The solution here, to overspending, is threefold. Number one, you’ve got to change the way that you think. You’ve got to change the way that you think about money generally, which we talked about in the last episode. But you also have to change the way that you think about your life, about work, or the situations that you have a lot of negative thoughts and feelings about.
You’ve got to change that type of thinking, so you’re not putting yourself in that avoidant, escapist, buffering pattern. You also have to change your thoughts about not spending the money. Because if you keep creating a situation where you’re making yourself feel deprived, over, and over and over again, it’s going to be so much harder to curb your spending, when you’re dealing with all of that discomfort.
The truth of the matter is, remember this, I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a million times, I’ll say it again: There’s always discomfort both ways. So, there’s going to be discomfort in spending the money, and there’s going to be discomfort in not spending the money. Only one of the two routes gets you closer to the life you ultimately want to have.
And I always suggest you embrace the discomfort that gets you closer to that life that you desire. So, you’ve got to change your thoughts. And then you’ve got to embrace the discomfort that comes up for you. So, sometimes some of our negative thoughts are going to be sticky. And they’re going to linger, which means the discomfort that comes from thinking those thoughts is also going to linger.
You need to become better practiced at experiencing that discomfort, rather than trying to escape it through overspending. Like I said earlier, you want to list out those negative emotions. And you’re going to have to make a deal with yourself. You’re going to have to say, “I’m willing to feel these feelings, in order to produce the results I want, when it comes to money. In order to not overspend, I’m going to be willing to experience these negative emotions.”
And then lastly, the third solution is to take the intentional action that you need to take, to produce the intentional results you want to have. Now, there are a lot of different actions that you can take, in order to produce the intentional results you want to have. Instead of me giving you a long list and overwhelming you, I want you to brainstorm for yourself.
Start by asking yourself: What results would you like to create for yourself when it comes to money and having more of it? How would you like to spend your money? What would you like your spending habits to be? Let’s get really clear on that. And then when you do get clear on that, you’ll be able to start to see the types of changes that you would need to make, in order to create that result when it comes to your spending. Okay?
And now, remember also, that this is a practice, okay? Overspending, you’re not going to go from being bad at overspending to being amazing at it overnight. And that’s okay. You’re not going to be perfect at this, at first. This is a practice. So, you want to commit to getting a little bit better at this, day in and day out over time.
If you make that commitment to yourself, just like I tell you guys to do with time management, you’re going to make consistent 1% improvements, and it’s going to make a world of a difference over time. Now, I said I wasn’t going to give you a full list, but I will give you a couple of things that I do for myself.
Number one, making decisions ahead of time when it comes to my spending is very, very helpful. It keeps me from making indulgent decisions in the moment. So, are there certain things that I don’t buy? Are there certain things that I don’t spend on? Can I have a 24-hour rule in order to get myself out of that instant gratification cycle?
I like to do that and just add things to my cart. And if I want to come back the next day and buy it, by all means, I can. I basically never want to. I get hyped up in the moment, I get excited to buy something, and if I just give myself a day, the impulse passes.
Speaking of impulses, another thing that I do, just knowing myself, I love to hide money from myself. So, I set up automatic daily deductions from my checking account that just goes into a separate savings account, that’s not linked to my bank account in my bank. It’s through a separate service; I use Qapital. That’s with a “Q”; it’s an app.
They deduct certain amounts each day, I do the roundup feature on all of my expenditures, but I also have a certain amount taken out every day. You can set $1 a day, $5 a day, $20 a day, $50 a day, whatever makes sense for you. And then, that money gets taken out. I don’t have to do anything. It’s a way for me to hide money from myself, and just put it in a place that’s a little bit more remote. That really helps me.
I also like to practice constraint. I might only spend on certain things, at certain times, or I might only make purchases from certain places. A great example of this would be you only DoorDash twice a week, rather than every day. That’s a great way to make a decision ahead of time and practice constraint.
Or you always fly Comfort Plus instead of First Class if you want to curb your expenditures. That’s not a decision I make. I am hooked on First Class now, so I budget for it. I make a plan to factor that into my expenditures for the year, because I like to travel in that manner, and I give myself permission to do that. So, it’s not a way that I’m avoiding a negative emotion. I’m doing so intentionally, and I plan for it. I also might be more restrictive in another area to accommodate that expenditure.
So, you’re constantly in a state of give-and-take, right? Like I said, there’s always deprivation two ways. You want to be really clear that you’re picking the type of deprivation that gets you closer to the life you want. Those are a few of the things that I do. But I want to really encourage you to brainstorm.
Think about the results that you want to create. You’re going to know your overspending better than I’m going to know your overspending, because you’re intimately familiar with how you spend your money. And if you’re not, because you’re burying your head in the sand, it’s time to unbury your head and start to take a look at where your money’s going.
So, when you gain that information, when you start to see what you’re doing with your money and the ways in which you’re overspending, you can start to make decisions ahead of time and practice constraint, in order to remedy some of the ways that you’re overspending. But just remember, there’s always those three key solutions. You’ve got to change your thoughts about money, about a situation you’re encountering, about not spending on the thing that you want. You’ve got to change your thoughts. You’ve got to allow yourself to experience discomfort. And you’ve got to take intentional actions that are aligned with the intentional results that you want when it comes to money. If you do that, you will really significantly curb your overspending. This is a habit that you can absolutely overcome. It’s just going to take some practice, some trial and error.
This is another great area for you to practice the evaluations that I teach. What’s working? What’s not working? What do you need to do differently? What’s working, What’s not working? What would you need to do differently? You can do that every week, and you can narrow in specifically on overspending, if this is really a bad habit of yours. Take a look.
“Last week, what did I do that worked, when it comes to spending money and not overspending? What didn’t work? And what would I need to do differently next week, in order to remedy what I did that didn’t work?” If you do that, that’s how you’re going to make those consistent 1% improvements.
That’s what I have for you this week, my friends. Next week, we’re going to talk all about underearning. It is a topic that I am so, so passionate about, and I can’t wait to cover it with you. In the meantime, I hope you have a beautiful week, and I will talk to you in the next episode.
Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.