Why We Overspend – The Top Triggers To Watch Out For

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c600x618For many of us there’s something deeply satisfying about shopping. That moment you spy the perfect pair of shoes or that handbag you’ve been dreaming about is nothing short of thrilling. Your heart starts racing and you find yourself whipping out your credit card and heading to the cash register (or clicking ‘add to cart’) without even realising. While a little retail therapy can be a good thing, we all know that too much of a good thing can be dangerous. If emotional shopping is getting in the way of you getting ahead then take a look at these top triggers to spending and some simple strategies to help you stay on top.

You’re Bored – It’s a Saturday night and you’re home alone feeling a little lack-lustre when you decide to perk yourself up with a side of online shopping. Before you know it you’ve spent half of next week’s salary without even getting off the couch – eek!

The Solution: Online shopping has made it super easy for us to overspend – especially when we’re bored. The key is to recognise this behaviour and take time out before you “add to cart”. Also if this is a weakness for you, find something to replace it with. Why not start a mood board on Pinterest to help you plan your purchases and avoid boredom buying?

You’re Sad – We’ve all been there at one time or another. Life has kicked us in the guts and we feel like we deserve a little treat. The only problem is when you’re not feeling too flash it’s easy to blow the budget.

The Solution: Change your thinking. You may have just been dumped or didn’t land that new job but it’s important to try and turn it around and focus on the good stuff in your life. Even when the chips are down we all have good stuff to be thankful for. If you must buy yourself a little treat then set yourself a limit. Research suggests that purchasing can give us back a little power in our lives but be sure not to let it take over.


When In Rome – Traveling is another time we tend to over spend and buy things we really don’t need. The last thing we want is to suffer FOMO when we get home so we often fall into the trap of buying for no other reason than we’re on holiday, we’re relaxed and we don’t want to miss out.

The Solution: Change your focus. Don’t fall into the trap of needing to buy stuff when you’re away to prove to your friends what a great trip you had. Cool photos are the best way to capture the mood of a holiday anyway – not trinkets that usually don’t really work into your lifestyle once you get back home. If you want to buy anything when you’re away focus on only buying things you can’t get at home or stuff that is much cheaper than what you’d normally pay at home.

It’s A Bargain – It’s never a bargain if you don’t need it. But for most of us it’s hard to resist buying something that seems like the deal of the century. But more often than not impulse buying doesn’t end well. It may have been a bargain but if you never wear what you bought then it was a total waste.

The Solution: Be strategic about your bargain hunting. Often online sites will let you add items to your wish list and they’ll notify you when it goes on sale. Ask store owners when they are next having a sale. Get to know when some of your favourite retail stores go on sale. A little planning will mean when you do nab a bargain it will be something you actually want and need.

It Will Fit Me One Day – You’ve found the perfect pair of jeans but they’re a tad too tight. You decide to buy them anyway because you’ve been meaning to lose those extra kilos anyway. We all know not to do this but so many of us keep falling into this silly trap.

The Solution: Wanting to better yourself is great but be careful not to set yourself up for failure and disappointment. The feeling of owning an item of clothing that is too small will quickly bring down any shopping high you experienced when you bought it. Don’t let those pieces get in the way of you feeling good about yourself today. Remember you are amazing just the way you are.


BNZ wants to help you return your credit card balance to zero. If you want to get on top of your debt, BNZ is offering you 0% interest for 12 months on balances transferred* from a non-BNZ credit or store card to a BNZ credit card. Note that if you use your card for new purchases, they’ll be at the standard purchase interest rate. So if you’ve been over-spending and want to get back on track, find out how you can nail your debt now at zerobalncetransfer.co.nz

  • * After 12 months the standard purchase interest rate will apply to any transferred balances. Lending criteria, terms and fees apply.