“I have been leading a very disciplined life financially since I started implementing some personal finance principles. I have been able to cut down on most of my unnecessary expenditures, save more and eradicate debts from my financial charts.
However, I at times get my self in a financial mess when I am either very excited or in very low moods. I usually tend to overspend on things which later on I discover I never needed and regret why I ever bought them anyway. At such moments I feel inadequate due to my lack of commitment to my financial plans and wonder just how I should be able to avoid such financial mistakes. How should I deal with such financial mistakes when they occur or even how can I prevent them from happening at all?”
The above concern is not a monopoly to the person who asked it; rather, it is a common problem to many of us who are learning and implementing the discipline of sound personal finance management.
The road to financial freedom is usually very exciting and for any one of you who have tried to tread on it can bear me witness that mistakes are not tolerated there. You always feel that you want to save more and invest even more; anything deterring you from that path then become the greatest crisis you want to deal with. No wonder the individual presenting their concern above sound so angry to themselves; this is due to the urge they have to save, but these emotional upsurges or drops seem to be standing on their way and eating on their savings.
To deal with this kind of financial mistake, you should approach it from two angles in order to smash it best.
First you have to deal with it before it happens. As human beings we are subject to emotional variations and this is there to stay. Therefore, your duty lies on dealing with the urge to spend when emotionally charged or grounded rather than stopping the emotions; coz they will keep on coming anyway.
To deal with this, you could avoid places where you go spending when you are emotionally imbalanced such as: the pub, supermarket, the mall, the candy shop e.t.c.; you could also avoid carrying money or your credit card with you. This will prevent you from spending impulsively and once you return to your normal state of mind, you will congratulate yourself for the shillings saved.
Secondly, you have to learn how to deal with the mistake once it has happened. The obvious feeling after the mistake has happened is that of resentment, a feeling of inadequacy and a feeling of lack of personal discipline. However, this should not be the case. The mistake has already happened and you cannot change anything about that; you need to be soft with yourself.
If the goods you bought can be returned, you can go for that option to recover your money. If they can be resold, you could also resell them to at least recover some amount from them. If nothing can be done and they are either already consumed or cannot be resold or returned to the seller, you need to be calm. Analyze where you went wrong and use that as a learning opportunity to know what not to do next time.
Man is to err, or so they say, don’t judge yourself harshly when you make these mistakes, take it easy and “learn through the mistakes”.