Thank you Carrie Wilkerson for these AWESOME tips on how to spend less….
- If you want to make more, spend less. #truestory
- If you’re complaining about being broke, spend less.
- If you’re stressed about minimum payments or juggling dollars, spend less.
- If you’re mad at yourself or your spouse or fighting about money, spend less.
- If you’re jealous of other folks because of ______ then spend less.
- If you want more choices about where to live, what to drive, where the kids go to school, quitting your job or having some options… SPEND LESS.
It all starts with SPEND LESS! I know, I have been there. We struggle with wants versus needs especially during the holiday season. YES – we can make more with our business. YES – we can still work to change our circumstance- but first we need to SPEND LESS.
Trust me, I know this is NOT the time you want to do this. BUT this is the exact time you need to do this before we get caught up in the holiday craziness.
Evaluate EVERY expense. Is is NECESSARY or just something you ‘deserve’? Is it a want or a need? What if you did ‘without it’ for a few weeks/months? Would it change your quality of life?
How do you do this? First, print out 3-6 months of credit card and debit card statements. I know it will be scary. Take a deep breath and jump in. You can do it!
- Highlight EVERY recurring charge.
- Highlight EVERY disposable thing.
- Highlight EVERY spontaneous purchase.
- Highlight EVERY expense for something you don’t wear/play with/use/cook with/read or watch anymore.
- Highlight EVERY unlicensed therapy expense (meaning you were self medicating with food/shopping/movies/girl time/drinks/etc.
Now for the hardest part – STOP spending on those things!
This part, may be a little easier….Evaluate insurance, credit card rates, cable plans (unplug it), phone plans (downgrade) and new clothes (seriously. stop buying them)
I love how Carrie shares her story of getting ahold of her sloppy financial habits (a process, she has used to pay off boatloads of debt MORE THAN ONCE #slowlearner). Her story helps me to remember, I am not alone. I have done it too. Paid off debt, then got sucked in with the thought “I can manage it”. WRONG! My addictive behaviors come back in the form of spending money. So here I am again paying off some debt.
We need to put the blinders on and here is how Carrie did it:
- UNSUBSCRIBE from email ‘sales and newsletters’ – you can’t buy what you don’t see!
- THROW AWAY catalogs that come in the mail. Don’t bring them INTO THE HOUSE. Do NOT fool yourself ‘I’m just getting ideas, I’m making a wishlist, I’m just planning for when I can afford it.’ – NO NO NO NO – THROW IT AWAY. It will still be available for purchase when you can afford it. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER SALE.
- Do NOT click on Facebook ads (they follow you around, wearing you down until you can’t help but buy. STOP IT)!
- Do NOT attend home parties or demonstrations or trade shows or craft fairs or open houses or garage sales or ANYTHING WITH THE CHANCE TO BUY. This is a tough one for me since it is part of my business. How I manage this is I don’t take any money with me or my cards!
- TAKE THE APPS off your phone… Amazon, Starbucks, Instacart, ZigZag, Macys – ALL OF IT — OFF THE PHONE. If we can purchase with a click and without a brain, they WANT THAT. STOP THE MESS. TAKE OFF THE APPS.
- During commercials on TV pick up a project. Tidy the sink or move a load from washer to dryer or go outside with the dogs – AVOID MARKETING MESSAGES. It is extreme but so is debt, financial stress and possibly bankruptcy.
- SHOP your CLOSET. Sounds silly, right? Try it and see what happens. See an outfit you like on someone else or on FB, go into your closet and drawers to put together something similar. Or do without.
- Grocery shop ONCE a week and plan meals ahead of time to avoid mealtime meltdown and drive through overspends.
- Use cash instead of cards. My hubby swears by this!
What if you were to think of every purchase in terms of the effort it takes to make the money to purchase it? For example, “how many xx do I have to sell or hours do I have to work to pay for this delivery pizza instead of doing a frozen pizza?”
Many of us are victims of marketing messages, bad habits, lack of will power and deserve levels. We play the comparison which usually results in spending more.
- Think of what you what MOST (financial stress-lessness and freedom) instead of what you want NOW (cute shoes or a top).
- Think of WHY you’re so quick to spend and what you are self-medicating about or delaying…
Carrie suggests a spending freeze at least once a year. It’s wot be fun, I’m sure BUT it may help to keep you in check. I know you are thinking NOW, it is the holidays….
but HONESTLY it is the MOST EFFECTIVE time of year to do it! If you wait until JANUARY… how many more THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS will you have overspent??
Change your habits.
Change your life.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!