Answer these questions truthfully:
1.) Does your spouse or partner complain that you spend too much money?
2.) Are you surprised each month when your credit card bill arrives at how much more you charged than you thought you had?
3.) Do you have more shoes and clothes in your closet than you could ever possibly wear?
4.) Do you own every new gadget before it has time to collect dust on a retailer’s shelf?
5.) Do you buy things you didn’t know you wanted until you saw them on display in a store?
If you answered “yes” to any two of the above questions, you are an impulse spender and indulge yourself in retail therapy.
This is not a good thing. It will prevent you from saving for the important things like a house, a new car, a vacation or retirement. You must set some financial goals and resist spending money on items that really don’t matter in the long run.
Impulse spending will not only put a strain on your finances but your relationships, as well. To overcome the problem, the first thing to do is learn to separate your needs from your wants.
Advertisers blitz us hawking their products at us 24/7. The trick is to give yourself a cooling-off period before you buy anything that you have not planned for.
When you go shopping, make a list and take only enough cash to pay for what you have planned to buy. Leave your credit cards at home.
If you see something you think you really need, give yourself two weeks to decide if it is really something you need or something you can easily do without. By following this simple solution, you will mend your financial fences and your relationships.
You say you know where your money goes and you don’t need it all written down to keep up with it? I issue you this challenge. Keep track of every penny you spend for one month and I do mean every penny.
You will be shocked at what the itty-bitty expenses add up to. Take the total you spent on just one unnecessary item for the month, multiply it by 12 for months in a year and multiply the result by 5 to represent 5 years.
That is how much you could have saved AND drawn interest on in just five years. That, my friend, is the very reason all of us need a budget.
If we can get control of the small expenses that really don’t matter to the overall scheme of our lives, we can enjoy financial success.
The little things really do count. Cutting what you spend on lunch from five dollars a day to three dollars a day on every work day in a five day work week saves $10 a week… $40 a month… $480 a year… $2400 in five years….plus interest.
See what I mean… it really IS the little things and you still eat lunch everyday AND that was only one place to save money in your daily living without doing without one thing you really need. There are a lot of places to cut expenses if you look for them.
Set some specific long term and short term goals. There are no wrong answers here. If it’s important to you, then it’s important period.
If you want to be able to make a down payment on a house, start a college fund for your kids, buy a sports car, take a vacation to Aruba… anything… then that is your goal and your reason to get a handle on your financial situation now.