I Need to Stop Spending Money!
We all like a little retail therapy now and again. It makes us feel good to see inspirational things in the shops or online.
We might go away but will keep thinking about it and wanting it. Then inevitably we go back and buy it.
It could carry on to be a wonderful feeling or result in guilt. Especially if you have other financial priorities and little money.
Treating yourself now and again is all well and good but when it becomes a regular thing and you simply don't have the disposable income - you may have problems.
It could result in overdrafts, debts from loans or from credit cards. With interest added on, you could be playing catch up for a very long time.
What are you buying? Clothes, gadgets, fine food and wine? Everyone has an area they are drawn to, but now is the time to prioritize. If you can't afford it, you can't have it!
Check your Bank Balance
Work out your incoming and your outgoings for the month. Include all your income from work, tax credits, child benefits and anything else regularly coming in.
Then look at what goes out. Rent, gas and water bills, tax, telephone bills, insurances and of course your credit cards or loans.
Try not to miss anything out when calculating your outgoings - there will be many which could be quite a shock. Check your bank statements to see exactly what goes where.
If you have any money left over consider what else you will be buying in the month, such as food, drink, any birthday gifts or lunches out.
Focus on Paying Your Debts
Never skip payments on credit cards and loans. Make sure you pay off as much as you can.
If you're paying interest on your credit card, apply for a 0% interest one. Then transfer your balance over to your new one and concentrate on paying it off.
Cancel and cut up the old card to avoid temptation. Do not spend on the new card either! Cut up the PIN number without memorizing it to ensure your credit card doesn't get used.
Stop Window Shopping
If you spend your weekends in town, try and find a new pass time. This will be the only way to avoid seeing the things you want to buy.
Instead, spend time with your family on days out to a (free) park or local attraction.
Encourage your friends to do other things together rather than hang around the shops. Invite them to your place for coffee and a DVD and convince them to save too!
If it's Internet shopping you like to do - find something else. Read more books (you have more time than you realize), write that essay or short story you've been meaning to do.
Find hobbies to start up or continue with old ones. It could be anything - cycling, cooking, learning a new language or blogging. Focusing on something more constructive will stop the shopping addiction.
Look at What You Have
If clothes shopping is your weakness, you will probably feel you have absolutely nothing to wear. But in fact you do!
Check what you have in your wardrobe and put outfits together. If you haven't worn something for a while (or never have) look at what it can go with.
Revamp jeans with beads and jewels bought cheaply from a haberdashery. Jazz up pockets for a completely different look.
Add bows to ballet pumps to make them look like a completely different pair of shoes.
Turn up skinny jeans in the spring and you also have some cropped trousers for a 2 in 1 look.
If your friends are the same size as you, swap some of your clothes with them. If they are at the back of your wardrobes make some use out of them.
Although this is still shopping, try and check out your charity stores for some cheap bargains. Some people give away brand new clothes - so if you are desperate for a new jacket, take a look here instead.
Wanting the Latest Product
If your shopping habits are a little more costly it will be easier to get yourself into debts. Wanting to buy the newest phone, tablet, laptop or games console is difficult when you want to keep up with trends.
Get rid of the old stuff you no longer use by selling them. Try online sites such as ebay or specialized computer stores who trade.
Next save up for your latest item - do not buy it if you can't afford it.
Wait until the buzz has died down a bit and the price gets lowered. Then shop around for the cheapest deal or wait until a store has a sale.
Check Forums for Advice
Sign up to money saving websites with advice on saving money, getting the best deals and cutting back the cost of bills. Check out and join in forums to see where other people are saving money and get email alerts when the sales are on.
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