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Financial Fitness For The Spendthrift

Updated on September 10, 2015
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You have a lot of debt and you simply cannot walk past a shop without being drawn into the drama of new merchandise. Every occasion needs a new outfit, even if it just involves family members. You’re struggling to make payments, yet you’re still shopping every day. How do you move beyond this point?

Go Cold Turkey

It may not seem like the best thing to do, considering that you need that new pair of shoes or a dress for the function next week. The reality is, if you happen to lose your only source of income, would you still buy the shoes or the dress? The answer is more than likely no, which means you probably don’t need it. Cut up your store cards immediately and lock your credit cards in a safe. Make a list before going grocery shopping and only stop at stores that form part of your grocery shopping.

Get An Inexpensive Hobby

If you’re not shopping to impress your family or friends with your neat stuff, the other reason could possibly be that you’re bored. Take up inexpensive hobbies like gardening or writing to get rid of that extra energy. Exercising also seems to be a good way to curb that shopping frenzy. Once a month, allow yourself a treat like coffee, cake, and a good magazine. Try to steer clear from the stores that tend to soak up all your cash and also stay away from the magazines and programs that send you over the edge on the latest must-haves.

Cancel Your Subscriptions

You find it very difficult to say no to friendly salespeople over the phone and when you think of it, most of your debt and expenditure can be chalked up to those friendly people on the other side of the phone. Wine subscriptions, magazines, newspapers, pay TV, laundry pick-up services and anything that is not a necessity to your daily living, should go.

Cook At Home

Running into a shop and purchasing a prepaid meal seems easy but it will take its toll on your budget. If you’re used to socializing with your friends, arrange for dinners at your home instead of going out to supper all the time. Don’t be scared of asking your friends to each bring a side dish or to ask someone to bring a dessert. This way, it will take some of the pressure off your friends too.

Give Yourself An Extra Month

If you happen to spot something that you’re finding hard to resist, give yourself a month to buy it. If it’s still there the next month, give yourself another month. Do this until the item is on sale or until you’re satisfied that you no longer need it. Often, impulse buying turns into regret the moment the shopper gets home. By giving yourself the extra month, seeing your credit card balance shrinking and your savings account increasing, will motivate you to think carefully about impulsive purchases.

If you’re really finding it hard to resist something, still give yourself a month. Set the money aside and if you still have it a month later, purchase the item. If not, save up until you do. This way you do not run the risk of running up your credit cards.

Save The Money You Would Have Paid On Fees

Credit card fees have a sneaky way of creeping up on you. Once you start adding all these fees together over the years, you will be alarmed at the amount of money wasted. Instead, save the money you normally would have spent on fees. Unfortunately interest on positive balances aren’t nearly as high as on negative ones, but the benefit of not having to pay any still far outweighs it.

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