Money blast from the past

by Kristina on January 23, 2014 · 3 comments

Yesterday I had a conversation with my Mom about my personal financial situation and for the first time in many years it actually went well.  I didn’t have to be ashamed of my personal financial situation and I could talk honestly about what was happening in my life, money wise.

After the market crash I was tens of thousands of dollars in debt and I hid it from my family.  They knew I was having financial troubles, but they didn’t really know how bad it was because I couldn’t tell them, I was ashamed.

I told my mom I wanted to buy some new clothes for my new job starting on February 3, but I have to wait until my next pay check because I already spent money this week on personal splurges.  I used to buy whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and I usually I bought things on credit – which landed me tens of thousands of dollars in debt.  Now I allow myself to make one personal purchase each pay check to stay out of debt, avoid overspending and not deprive myself.

“But you must be OK now financially, right?” asked my mom.  “Because all your debt is paid off, now you have money, right?” Of course I reassured my mom that everything related to finances is going well in my life.  “Yes mom, I have money.  That doesn’t mean that I should spend it though.”

Make sure you always have money with these 3 tips:

Be afraid to spend money.  Act like spending money is the scariest thing in the world.  That’s how I live my life now.  When I first became debt free I was scared to spend money because I didn’t want to get back into a life full of sadness and debt payments.  When I was emotionally sound enough to actually start spending again I was so consumed with guilt that I stopped spending money.  Being afraid of spending money is much better than living with guilt.

Think about your past.  I wasn’t always bad with money.  Before I ended up in debt I was financially OK but then I started spending money I didn’t have and I ended up in debt that took me four years to pay off.  Learning from our mistakes is one thing, but wanting to change is a complete other thing.  I knew that my spending was a bad idea, but I wasn’t ready to change…until I hit rock bottom and woke up one day and couldn’t afford to pay my rent.

Choose how you want to spend your money.  Be selective and narrow down your Want List to a couple of Must Have items.  I used to spend my money on stuff that doesn’t matter like clothes, candles, and other girly stuff.  I would never wait for sales; I would just buy whatever I wanted regardless of the price. That was a huge mistake and now I rarely buy anything from food to hotel rooms unless it’s on sale.  I have learned to live with less stuff.  Now I save my money and spend it a few times a year on trips.  I wait until I have the money saved instead of buying it on credit and hoping to pay it off later.

Photo by ff137

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Frugal Flirter January 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I agree that thinking about your past is a really big help in making financial decisions – when I remember what it felt like to constantly worry about my credit card debts, and how it sucked to constantly be living paycheck to paycheck, I’m totally demotivated from buying impulse buys.

2 Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter January 28, 2014 at 9:19 am

I think prioritizing your spending (ie your last point) is powerful. It’s a healthy financial behaviour that so many people don’t practice. I cut back in certain places so I can spend more in others.

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