I want! I want! I want! Controlling the Urge to Spend

I just want to spend! Spend on the shower doors I need and want! I want my new kitchen countertops! Spend on the new couch we are in dire need of!

Spend! Spend! Spend! Today! and on my the available balance I have on my Credit Cards. I feel weak today… this past week. I just want to blow my budget that I have been keeping in tact so nicely and be irresponsible!

I see all this overtime my husband is now recieving and I just want to spend it! You would think the nice weekend trip my husband and I took that one weekend would have curbed the crave. But, it didn’t.

I just want to go to Home Depot and rack up that debt!

(do you ever have these moments of sheer weakness????) In my mind, I feel like a child throwing a temper tantrum. Of course, on the exterior, I am calm and collected with no stress on my face.

So, I googled for some literary calming material with search phrases like, “stop the urge to spend”, “controlling the urge to spend”, “stop urge to splurge”, and “stop spending”. Do you know what happened? I received links to “stop impulse shopping”. Good right? But when you read many of the links it was in regards to COMPULSIVE SHOPPING ADDICTS!! haha! all I wanted was something to curb today’s attitude. That was a good laugh.

Well of course, here are some of the tips I received:

  • Do not purchase items on a whim.
  • Comparison shop and buy only the items you need.
  • Create a budget. Add up the total dollar amount of the items you want to purchase and see if the total fits into your budget, and if it doesn’t, just buy the things that you absolutely need.
  • Compare all alternatives you have for not buying certain products.
  • Stay out of stores, malls, and other places that entice you to spend.
  • Refuse to be swayed by fancy advertising ploys. Just because something is on sale does not mean that you just absolutely have to have it.
  • The main point is that you plan your purchases and stick with the plan.
  • I know I need to create a budget for the things I want. But, I also feel the burden of paying off this debt we racked. I don’t want to wait, I don’t want to skimp and save, I don’t want to create this budget for house renovations. It can all be very tiring!

    Needless to say, I am not going to ‘blow’ my intact budget. I am not going to succumb to this feeling of weakness. Have any tips on how to control this urge?

    After searching endlessly, I did find a good blog post (if you still have yet to get those Credit Cards out of your wallet) by Blueprint For Financial Prosperity called Curb Spending By Writing Goals on Credit Cards

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    Some of my friends put a rubber band around their wrist if they’re supposed to remember something, like getting milk on the way home. Some of my friends send themselves email or schedule events in Outlook. Some of my friends draw treasure maps and hide them behind paintings in their attics (okay no they don’t, that was from Goonies). The point is, we all have little hacks we use to remind us about things we are supposed or not supposed to do in the future.

    Here’s a hack: Write on your credit cards. If you’re saving for a new television, write “New Television” on your credit cards. If you’re saving for your kid’s 529 plan, write “College Education” on the front of your credit cards. If you are $10,000 in credit card debt and devoted to busting that monkey on your back, write down $10,000 on the front of your credit cards. This simple act alone has the potential to change your behavior for the better and, if nothing else, help you achieve your cash flow-related goals much sooner.

    It’s a reminder. Every time you go to pull out that credit card to buy something, you are reminded about your goals. You are reminded you are saving towards a television, your child’s education, or cutting down that monster of a debt to Uncle Citi (or Uncle Discover, or Uncle American Express…). Do you really need what you’re about the buy? Do you really need it more than the television/education/debt? You may decide you do need it more, but at least you’ll have made a conscious decision.

    Other people will see it (but not truly know!). When I recommend that you write $10,000 on your card because you owe that much, I don’t mean to embarrass you in front of others. That $10,000 could mean anything, however it will mean $10,000 in credit card a debt to you and that’s all it needs to mean. You merely need to remember how long and hard you’ll have to work to pay off that debt and decide whether that purchase is worth it.

    It’s also a conversation starter that might net you some positive benefits. For example, did you know that the cashiers at Bed Bath & Beyond have a little binder of bar codes for competitor coupons? If you mention that you’re saving towards your kid’s education or paying off debt (or ask nicely, which my wife did once), maybe you get a discount on your purchase. (for those curious about the binder, cashiers scan a particular code to indicate a customer brought in a competitor’s 10% or 20% off coupon or something, I believe it’s a matter of convenience and tracking since they can’t actually scan the other store’s coupon).

    Indicates its importance to you. By virtue of it appearing, in Sharpie, on your credit cards, you’re essentially declaring that to be the single most important cash flow-related financial goal that you have. It also forces you to think about what you will write down and in what order. Is the television more important than the $10,000 debt? If so, why? If not, why not? Is saving for a Roth IRA important enough to put down on your credit card? Why or why not? These are all questions you are forced to ask if you’re willing to take this simple step of writing down your goals on the one thing you are likely to see each day.

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    Ah, a calming to the storm. 🙂
    I feel better, because eradicating the family’s massive debt is more important to me then blowing my intact budget.

    Now, its onto figuring out how to produce extra income to pay off debt and to drafting a budget to include house renovations?

    Any thoughts on this?

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    2 thoughts on “I want! I want! I want! Controlling the Urge to Spend

    1. Budget Mama

      I know what you mean! I really want so much stuff-omg! It gets very hard, and I have lots of weak momemnts. I like how you googled for urge curbing advice. I like how the article mentioned to stay out of the mall. That seems like the only way I can fight temptation.

      Reply
    2. jpkittie

      oh my – that is so me! when I am on a roll – I just think to myself ‘with so much debt, what is another couple hundred?!?!’ but we do need to stop that train of thought! it only leads to trouble!!!

      Reply

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