Spending money isn't always reckless and extravagant; you need to spend a certain amount of money for your comfort, health and security. Spendthrifts don't just spend enough; instead, they spend too much on items they don't need and often can't afford. Just knowing they have the money makes spendthrifts want to buy something. It's like knowing there's a pint of your favorite ice cream in the fridge and not being satisfied until you eat it. You can imagine the problems being a spendthrift can lead to: debt, fights with your significant other and even depression after the thrill of the purchase wears off. If you are having these spending problems now, it is time to learn how to quit being a spendthrift.
Pay using cash instead of a credit card. Credit cards make it easy to impulse buy, which is a spendthrift's downfall. You are distanced from your money when you use a credit card, so it's easier to spend. Most people feel a resistance to counting out and handing over cash. Paying with cash also means you cannot buy items you can't afford, as you can with a credit card.
Create a budget. Spendthrifts typically have no plan regarding spending money. Therefore, if they see something they want, they buy it. Having a plan keeps spendthrifts in line. They know before they are tempted whether they have any discretionary money to spend that day and, if they do, how much.
Keep your hands off store merchandise. After you handle an item, you are more likely to buy it. Resist putting on the sample hand lotion, tasting a delicious chocolate, wearing headphones or sitting in the massage chair at your favorite mall store.
Walk away from the sale rack. Many spendthrifts justify their purchases by telling others or themselves how much they "saved." However, sales often cause you to buy something you ordinarily would not have bought because you hate to miss a deal.
Don't store your credit card number on shopping websites. Leaving your online shopping device to locate your credit card and enter all the information might deter you from purchasing the item. If all you need to do is click "Buy Now," you might just do that.
Take up a sport or hobby or find a second job. Do something to keep you busy. Many spendthrifts are tempted when they are bored. Shopping often fills an entertainment need. If you have no spare time for shopping, you'll spend less.
Put your credit card in a water-filled container and keep it in your freezer. That way, you still have a credit card to use for unplanned expenses that might come up, but it prevents you from impulse buying.
Don't cancel your credit card. Doing so could lower your credit score.
- Bankrate: Spending Too Much? Try the 7-Day Challenge
- MSN Money: 8 Ways to Stop Spending -- Today
- Vanguard: Nine Ways to Outsmart Yourself and Maybe Spend Less
- Times Atlanta: I Literally Just Put My Credit Card Into the Freezer
- CNET: Five Ways to Put a Stop to Online Impulse Shopping
- Bankrate: Closing Credit Card Dings Credit Score
- Put your credit card in a water-filled container and keep it in your freezer. That way, you still have a credit card to use for unplanned expenses that might come up, but it prevents you from impulse buying.
- Don't cancel your credit card. Doing so could lower your credit score.
Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.