Last week we spoke about budgeting and learned that the first step towards changing your spending habits is figuring out where your money is going.
So, how did you go? Did you track your spending?
For those of you that did, you may have been surprised by how much you spent. Maybe it’s all the little things that are adding up, or maybe a bigger ticket item like your mortgage or car loan is really eating into your bank account. Whatever it is, before you can really make a change, you might need a little bit of self-reflection time…
Confessions of a shopaholic
A few years ago I was working in a corporate role that I didn’t enjoy. I might go so far as to say I hated it, but I was determined to make a good go of it and stay positive. I thought that I just needed time, a different project or a different client, and it would all feel better. And while I waited for things to improve, I indulged in some pretty serious retail therapy.
My hubby and I planned overseas holidays, I bought designer clothes, a nice new car, you name it. I bought all this to reward myself for my years of hard work in a job I hated. I was a real life Rebecca Bloomwood…”When I shop the world is better, but then it’s not and I need to do it again…”
Then fate stepped in and I got sick. So sick that I had to stop working for extended periods of time and I had to quit my corporate role. I started going to yoga, studied Swedish massage, spent more time with my friends and eventually took up a part time position as a receptionist so I could take things easy.
What I also took was a giant pay cut. But strangely, after a few months I actually seemed to have more money in my bank account.
Well, I was happier. I was calm and content, and I was enjoying my life and my work. I didn’t feel the need to spend money on expensive clothes, cars and holidays. I finally understood that my negative mindset had been controlling my spending, not me.
Get to know your inner shopaholic
To master your spending you need to understand your “why”. Why are you spending your money the way you are now? Is it necessary, or is it a habit? Is it purposeful, or is it impulsive?
Take ten minutes this week to:
- Review your spending from last week.
- Look at each item and ask yourself ‘what does this item mean to me?’
Does a daily coffee make you feel better after a night of no sleep with the little one? Does that take away mean you have time to relax after a long day? Does that designer dress make you more motivated to go back to that job you hate?
- Decide which of the items are really, truly, necessary (be honest!). And the ones that aren’t, well…
So, once you’ve done these steps I would love it if you would share your story in our Facebook group here and tell us what you discovered! That way we all benefit from each other’s experiences and know we aren’t alone with our spending habits!
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