Monday, November 17, 2008

Cheapskate Principle #5: No Compulsive Buying

I usually do not have a problem with compulsive buying. However, it is the holiday season and I know I will want to buy more for my family and friends than what I can really afford. The first goal I am making for this season is a list. Actually, I'm making two lists. One of those I want to get gifts for and one of the items I want to buy. Making lists is one way to cut down on compulsive buying. Trent at The Simple Dollar has created a list of ten ways to cut down on compulsive buying.

1. Keep Reminders of Your Dreams Next to Your Cash and Credit Cards
You may want to keep pictures of your kids or dream house in your wallet. If you do a lot of spending online, keep pictures or post its near your screen. The important thing is keeping the "main thing" the main thing and not losing sight of it.

2. Use Ten Second Rule
Whenever you go to purchase something, count to ten and consider how it fits in the bigger scheme of things. Don't just do this with major things. Our lattes and candy bars add up quickly. If you can save $10.00 a day, that adds up to $300.00 in a month. If you can save 10.00 a month, that becomes 120.00 a year. The key is to consider all purchases if they work towards your goals.

3. Keep Clean and Confident
Many times we stop striving for a goal because we loose confidence in ourselves. If we maintain our health and hygiene, then we will maintain our confidence. As parents, the first thing we take from the budget is our haircuts, dental appointments, and routine check ups. If we do not exhibit confidence in ourselves, who will?

4. Don't Take Your Credit Cards or Cash With You
This is great advice went you hit the malls. If you take more cash than you plan to spend, then you will probably spend. It may be as simple as stopping in at the food court to get a soda or a cheap jewelery store to get matching earrings, but you are still spending more than you budget for the trip. Don't take the extra cash nor the credit cards and you will build in the extra waiting period.

5. Avoid Situations Where It's Easy To Spend.
For me, it's an electronic store. Right now, Best Buy and Gamestop are offlimits to my son and me. We just want everything in the store and everything is "on sale". I know I can rationalize any purchase in my head, just not in the budget. So, I stay away from the electronic stores. For you it can be a drug store or an antique shop. Just stay away from where you are vulnerable.

We will continue the next five later today.

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