If you buy with a credit card instead of cash, it is much easier to pass over the card than if you have to physically count out the bills.
The reality of the cash leaving your bank account isn’t as obvious.
That being said, I use plastic all the time, but I don’t overspend over my own personal limit.
I do however, feel myself being less resistant to extra little charges at times. I’ll add a chocolate bar or something, but I wouldn’t overspend by an incredible amount.
Listening to Music or other mood changers
If you listen to music while spending, you WILL spend more money.
It gets you in a good mood, makes you feel great, on top of the world and ready to spend.
Your original budget was $50 for a pair of jeans, so spending $300 on a pair of jeans might make you cringe… but when you see another pair on sale for $100, you might think it’s a real steal, so you go for it.
In reality, you’ve just overspent by $50, because you compared the prices of the items you wanted to buy rather than looking at the absolute cost.
Dieting or any difficult changes in your life
You aren’t your “usual” self, so you make yourself feel more normal by spending, because you feel deprived of what you love to eat.
I think this could also apply to if your budget is too strict — you will feel imprisoned and the need to let go of your shackles will be stronger than ever.
This is the reason why many people suggest having a small provision set aside each month to spend for fun.
Buying on clearance
The fear of missing out on a good sale makes you irrational.
You feel the urge to buy it just because it’s cheaper and you use it!
This might be a good thing, if it’s let’s say.. toilet paper, but it isn’t so good when you apply it to everything, such as when you snag a pair of gloves when you already own 4 other pairs (*ahem*).
Shopping without a list
If you buy things off your list, you are obviously more likely to spend.
So go with a list if you really don’t want to go off budget. Another trick would be to bring cash for exactly what you want to buy, and leave the cards at home — you cannot spend what you don’t have.