How Much To Spend After 70 1 2 Years Old Addicted to Spending: Here Are Three Issues You Can Overcome

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Addicted to Spending: Here Are Three Issues You Can Overcome

You’ve been on a spending spree using cheap money to upgrade your lifestyle. Everywhere you go, people are telling you that interest rates are at historic lows, and you need to look for spending opportunities before rates start to rise.

Your key purchases include a car, furniture, appliances, home renovations. That flatters you invitations People tell you that you need good credit to get more credit, but even with mounting debt, finance companies continue to offer you more credit.

People compliment you on your beautiful home and car! Your invisible debt obscures reality, even to you! That’s why life still seems good to you at this stage, with credit so easy.

You ignore advice on how to work on a budget and keep spending because you have to have these wonderful things offers. How can businesses afford to provide so many cashless offers on such a wide range of items? Imagine zero payments for two whole years; Gentlemen! Indeed, you are lucky as long as these great deals keep coming your way.

Two years later, you’re stunned when you start getting letters saying you have to start repaying those loans. How could you owe $40,000? You didn’t think your spending was excessive! The monthly payment requirement for each item was reasonable. How could your total expenses be so high two years earlier?

Still in disbelief, you decide to review all the loan documents you signed and complete your first big challenge. Where did you put those contracts you signed? You are in shock; how could you throw them away

Does this situation sound familiar? This is quite common and suggests three problems which I will briefly look at:

  1. Uncontrolled spending
  2. Lack of accountability
  3. Absence of a search system

1. Uncontrolled expenses

Uncontrolled spending is the most common reason people get into debt. Even so, the easiest way to fix it is if you accept responsibility for your actions and decide to change. However, you must be disciplined and patient.

Studies show that 60-70% of supermarket purchases are impulsive, unplanned. Likewise, the longer shoppers stay in a store, the more they buy. Therefore, it is essential that you plan your purchases and always shop with a list.

Start with your groceries. Make a master list of the foods you buy regularly. Show the prices on the list and if you shop at different supermarkets, put the name of each next to the items on the list. Each week or whenever you normally shop for groceries, prepare a specific list for that trip; take a list with you and stick to it. To train yourself in the early stages of implementing this system, if you forget items you wanted in the store, stick to your list; be prepared for further trips. You’ll love it when list-only shopping becomes instinctive!

Between grocery shopping periods, use a magnet to keep a blank paper on the fridge. As the items are exhausted, or as you remember them, write them on the list. Every time you go grocery shopping, review the list with your master list and then prepare a list for that trip.

Extend this method to all your purchases. You will find that if you follow this process, you will significantly reduce your expenses. This will later lead to regular use of a spending plan or budget.

2. Lack of accountability

Credit is easy to get. Credit is seductive and people spend impulsively. This is a bad combination that will trap you. So asking a trusted person to hold you accountable to following the above could be a crucial step in taking control of your finances.

You can decide how much detail about your finances to share with this person. However, it is okay to give this person the right to ask you how you are doing at agreed upon intervals.

3. Absence of a search system

Notice I didn’t mention the “feed” system. You want a simple system that you can quickly get to key documents. To develop it, ask three questions:

  1. What receipts and invoices will I need later?
  2. Why might I need them?
  3. What keyword or words can I use to remember where I saved the item?

Suppose you buy a computer, where do you put the receipt so you can find it quickly if you need to return it shortly after purchase? Are you listing it in the supplier’s name? accounts? Computer? Where? To answer this, try to imagine that you now need to find an account. How might you think about it? Every household should develop a simple search system. For starters, I suggest an accordion folder with seven slots for these items:

  1. Church and charities
  2. Computers and accessories
  3. Education
  4. Finance
  5. Furniture and appliances
  6. Home repairs and maintenance
  7. Transport

The three fixes suggested above are difficult lifestyle changes, not easy financial juggling or engineering. Sure, they require discipline, but the payoff is great and can be permanent: debt freedom, family harmony, and peace of mind!

Copyright (c) 2011 by Michel A. Bell

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