Monday, July 5, 2010

The Secret To Avoiding The Temptation To Spend Money

The Secret To Avoiding The Temptation To Spend Money

by William Blake

The Secret To Avoiding The Temptation To Spend Money

William Blake

No one wants to go into debt. We try to avoid it if we can, but we fall into the traps of credit cards and delayed payment specials so easily. Curbing our spending requires discipline and an honest effort.

We have to learn to live within our means. This does not mean just having enough money to pay our bills- it means much more, such as having money in a savings account, and emergency money put away just in case.

If you live paycheck to paycheck, this is very dangerous, particularly if you have a family. Things happen that you need extra money to pay for- such as a vehicle breaking down, or a child getting sick. If you don't have the money to pay for these things, you will often have to take money from the bills, which is not good. In order to break this vicious cycle, you need to learn how to spend less money each month.

This type of discipline can only be done with a plan. This plan includes with devising a family budget. The first budget is usually the most difficult to develop, but it gets easier once you know what you are doing, and won't be so time-consuming.

A budget is only as good as the people using it. Keep yourself accountable to someone your spouse, your friend, your parents. Have a person who will call you out if you are spending too much money.

Specialists in behavior say it takes about 2 weeks to make or break a habit. At the beginning of the month, try to start your new budget. If you usually eat out for lunch, try preparing your lunch for a month. Remember to include items for lunch on your grocery list and to pack your lunch the night before work.

In order to spend less, you also need to make other changes. Remember to make lunches for the kids as well the evening before. If you thaw out meat in the morning for that evenings dinner, you won't be tempted to get take-out. Leave yourself notes around the house, car and work until you get used to your new routine.

Get out of the habit of pulling out your checks or credit card whenever someone in your household wants something. You need to decide if that item is necessary. You might find with some searching that you already have that item. Keep your house well organized so you can actually find items, rather than needing to go out and find things you misplace.

If you happen to get as lucky as to get a raise, don't increase your spending; treat the extra income as a way to save more money. Do not include the increase in the family budget. Use the extra cash to put into savings.

You won't be able to change your spending habits over night. It takes some time to change an over-shopper into a frugal one, but it can be done with some work.

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