Dollars & Sense - Are You an Over-spender?

Post holiday time is always a good time to take your pulse on over-spending. Over-spending is something for which we need to take responsibility. It’s all too easy to blame it on store bargains, end-of-the-month specials, going out of business sales or just keeping up with the Jones. Sometimes we feel we’re owed a shopping spree because we’ve just gotten a divorce or a promotion. To know whether or not you have an over-spending problem, truthfully answer the following questions. Is your spending a topic of dissention between you and your spouse or partner? When you have to put off buying some thing you really want, do you feel deprived, out of sorts, or down right angry? Do you buy things just because you want them, even when you can’t afford them? If you’ve answered yes to these questions then you need to confront the problem of over-spending. Look into joining a 12-step group such as Debtors Anonymous. Start keeping a diary of everything you spend and how you’re feeling about the purchases. List your biggest points of temptation, then make a concerted effort to avoid circumstances that put you in temptation’s way. When you feel tempted, call a friend, take a walk, go to a movie or take the kids to the zoo, anything that will change your habits. Finally, set a goal for accumulating money instead of spending it. Put money away in a savings account or an envelope or pay down a debt. Track your progress in writing. If Ben Franklin were living today; I’ll bet he’d say “a dollar saved is a dollar earned”.

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