Good morning Dinks. I am admitted former spend-a-holic. I am also a 33 year old who used to be over $50k in debt. Thankfully I turned my entire life, including my finances, around and now I’m debt free. I say that because when I decided to take my finances into my own hands and control my spending it changed my entire lifestyle.
Decided to be debt free and avoid spending splurges
I started spending less and using the majority of my money on repaying my debt. It felt like a defeat because I felt like I was wasting money paying off debt since I wasn’t spending it on myself. However the truth is paying off my debt was the best decision I ever made. Instead of spending money I was using it to pay off debt and that was a big lifestyle change – for the better.
Spending splurges were out of the question with my new financially responsible lifestyle and it made me realize that I don’t need “stuff” to be happy. I started to think of creative ways to use items that I already have like recycling clothes and I started looking for cheaper ways to buy items such as buying basic household items at the Dollar Store. That’s something I never did in the past.
What happens when spending splurges relapse?
It was a hard struggle, but now that I’ve been debt free for a couple of years my day to day living habits have definitely adjusted. I went from spending money carelessly to actually feeling guilty about spending more than $20 on anything. Big change.
I do still have moments when I just want to take my bank card and go shopping for new clothes, personal beauty items and expensive dinners. The fact that I want to use my bank card and not my credit card is also a huge indication of my personal growth.
How I avoid spending splurges
Whenever I get in the mood to spend money I keep these three tips in mind:
Bad memories come rushing back. I remember the feeling of being broke and I definitely don’t want to relive my past. Those were some of the toughest years of my life. My relationship suffered because we were always fighting about money. I don’t want to go back to living with the burden of stress and I definitely don’t want to go back to going to bed angry.
If it’s not a necessity I don’t need it. I ask myself if I need or want the item. Spending splurges were an emotional coping mechanism for whatever else was going wrong in my life. So is eating and I’m trying to change that too. It would be great to have all the latest clothes, but I don’t really need them.
Think about the future. I think about getting my credit card statement. The after guilt of spending is brutal and it’s far more consuming than the temporary euphoria that comes from spending. I may be momentarily happy when I buy my new item, but I will be very depressed when I get my credit card bill in the mail and have to make a lump sum payment onto my credit card. Of course that’s if I choose to use my credit for the purchase.
Photo by AshleyM