Well . . . it may be easy to identify the problem from the outside. But for people who are embroiled in a gruesome game of self-deception, I guess it’s not so easy to identify.
Short of an intervention, here are a few tricks and tips to keep more of your money in your pocket.
Shopping Isn’t a Sport
The headline says it all – shopping should never be considered a sport. It’s not a recreational activity, it’s not a way to blow off steam, and it’s not a way to out-do your friends and neighbors.
Or at least it shouldn’t be.
But all too often, shopping turns into just that, a way to get over whatever “down” we’re experiencing or a way to show-up everyone around us.
Instead of turning a trip to the mall into the next SportsCenter topic, see it for what it truly is – a way to get your family what’s needed most.
Take ‘Splurge’ Out of Your Vocabulary
Once this awful word creeps its way into your head, you’re more likely to act on it. And when you act on it, you dismiss the consequences of spending too much money – because, hey, it’s just a spurge.
If you avoid using this word, chances are high that you’ll stop finding an excuse to go on a shopping spree. OK, avoiding using the word won’t save you completely, but changing your perspective will help.
Say ‘No’ to Store Credit Cards
Do you have any department store credit cards? What about specialty shops? Outlet stores? Mega marts? Have you actually read your statements and seen the interest rates.
It could be 25% or higher!
It’s my personal belief that having too many credit cards helps your brain compartmentalize your debt. And when enough debt gets scrambled around in your brain – too much to keep track of – it gets dangerous.
Just like the dozen or so worker camps in the US who helped build the atomic bomb without actually knowing it. Too much debt spread across too many cards is like a powder keg waiting to blow.
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘addiction’? Drugs? Alcoholism? Homelessness? And, if you’re not in any of these three categories, you probably think you’re doing ok.
But most of us are addicted to something. Maybe it’s eating out. Maybe it’s going to the sports bar. Maybe it’s smoking, or movies, or music, or even video games.
Look, I’m not saying you have to stop cold-turkey. But you need to look at your hobbies and recreational activities and decide if they’re worth going broke over.
Sometimes, all it takes is baby steps to see the change. Whatever you’re into, scaling back to save money can’t be a bad thing.
Photo By saintbob