Working Man Creative | How to Break Out of Bad Spending Habits
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How to Break Out of Bad Spending Habits


How to Break Out of Bad Spending Habits

92 West is an Omaha Web Design Agency

First we form habits, then they form us. – Rod Gilbert

Bad habits are a fact of life, like death and taxes. Whether it’s something relatively minor like, say, smoking cigarettes, or something completely unthinkable like bringing 10 items or MORE into the express checkout lane at the grocery store, bad habits exist and in many cases can be just about impossible to break. And that’s experience talking there.

A couple of months ago, my computer crashed. This wasn’t entirely unexpected — I’d had it for close to 8 years, which is closer to 50 in computer years. So I took it into Best Buy’s Geek Squad service to see if they could help it limp along for at least another couple of months before I’d have to break down and buy a new one. They told me the computer was fixable, but it’d cost me something like $300 total to put it back together again.

So what did I do? Rather than taking them up on that offer, I decided that just wasn’t worth it to fix my old computer (in my defense, this computer was so old, it was struggling to multitask), and ended up leaving with a whole new system, to the tune of about $1,200.

Yes, it’s true. I am an impulse shopper. A compulsive, impulsive shopper, if you will. Yeah that sounds better; we’ll go with that. Now, I like to think I’m not in TOO deep; I only buy what I know I can actually afford (and I could afford this new computer….barely), so don’t worry about me, I can quit whenever I want.

But what about the people out there that aren’t fortunate enough to have my awesome sense of self control? The people who just CAN’T quit while they’re behind, or worse, are in so deep they can’t remember which way is up? If the overabundance of financial blogs offering savings tips are any indication, I’d say I’m not exactly alone on this problem. So what’s a compulsive, impulsive shopper to do to quit cold turkey, AND try to avoid a relapse as well? Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re strolling your favorite toy aisle:

· Create a budget for yourself. You’ll need to pool all of your total earnings in a month, then subtract all the money needed for bills. Now you’ll have a clear idea of the leftover money you have each month to spend — or save, if you really wanna impress someone. Do this every 3-4 months at the very least.

· If you “suddenly” find that you’ve been a little lax on the whole “use your credit cards as a last resort” rule, it’d probably be a good idea to close that Amazon order before you fill it. If you find yourself wondering what to do with all this plastic that you won’t be using so much now, consider arranging a meeting with a pair of scissors.

· Limit yourself to no more than 3 open, revolving credit cards, so you won’t completely lose your credit rating and will still have something available in case of a real emergency. For all other nonessential expenses, switch to cash payments. If you can’t afford it with cold, hard cash, don’t buy it. It’s that easy!

· Finally, if you’ve found you’ve charged yourself so far into a corner it’ll take a miracle to afford to even think about going out shopping again, consider seeking help from a debt settlement firm to help you get back on track. Any service that offers debt negotiation and settlement options are great for those who want to get their lives back on track, but don’t know where to begin.

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