Reformed spenders sometimes relapse

by Kristina on March 28, 2013 · 2 comments

Good morning Dinks.  This year I decided to track my spending, expenses and income on a monthly basis. I usually keep all of my receipts from throughout the year in an envelope and add them all up at the end of the year when I am ready to file my taxes – this is very time consuming.

I already filed my taxes this year and I am waiting for my refund, which is very exciting because this year my entire tax refund is going to be put directly into my savings account, that’s a first. In previous years I had to decide which credit card bill I would pay with my tax refund, but those days are over. Since I turned my life around and made the decision to become a financially responsible adult I no longer have to worry about being able to afford paying my rent and my telephone bill in the same month.

I can’t believe how much money I used to waste

As I added up all of my expenses from 2012 and compared them to my tax returns over the last few years I was surprised at the amount of money I used to waste in my previous (and less responsible) life.

As you know I a reformed credit card user and over spender.  Of course I occasionally have random relapse moments when I suddenly become overwhelmed with the urge to spend money carelessly, but I try to snap out of my temporarily insanity before I can do any real damage to my financial state.

I try to pay off my credit card balance (yes, now I only have one credit card) in full each month in order to avoid costly interest charges and avoid letting my balance grow.  I never again want to be overwhelmed with debt because I never again want to spend money just because I have it, I never again want to let multiple credit card balances exceed their credit limits and I never again want to be hungry because I can’t afford to buy food.

I have learned a lot about myself, my relationship and my money over the last few years as I breast stroked my way out of my debt before I drown.  I considered bankruptcy, but decided to do it on my own. I considered asking my parents to bail me out, but I realized it wasn’t their problem to fix.  I couldn’t talk about it with my friends because I was ashamed but the truth is that a lot of my friends were experiencing the same problems and making the same mistakes.

Do you talk about money with your friends and family?

After all, if no one ever teaches us about smart money management as a child how are we supposed to learn about becoming financially responsible young adults?

The amount of money I used to spend on eating out was absolutely ridiculous.  I was too lazy and too busy to take the time to learn to cook.  I wish that I did learn how to cook when I was still living at home because it would have saved me a lot of grief (and money) as an adult.

Now at 32 years old I cook at home and limit myself to eating out only once a week at work and once a week at home.  I only spend money on items that I need for our home.  Saturday is the best day of my week because I get to go grocery shopping, the way I see it groceries are money well spent and a little grocery shopping is better than no shopping at all.

Photo by tax credits



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 James March 31, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Christina,

Great points. I have also wasted a ton of money eating out.

James

2 8yearstofreedom December 23, 2013 at 12:31 am

I hear you! My fiance and I are in a similar situation…but on our way out the hole. We are 34 and 37 now and finally wised up about money…when we actually did they math we realized we could actually retire in 8 years if we just stopped wasting so much of our ‘disposable incomes’ on b.s. eating out and also cut our expenses. You’re right…we are not really taught about finances and the true value of money. Consider investing your money in index funds instead of just savings. Inflation is a biotch that will eat through your savings. Good luck!

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