There are two questions that people should ask themselves before they go shopping: 1: Do you I need it? 2: Do I want it? There is a world of difference between the two. For instance, society today is based on more more more. The more we have the more we want, and so it continues.
Chronic debt is based solely on this philosophy of greed and want. It is precisely because of this philosophy alone that we find ourselves in the biggest financial crisis we have faced for many years. While banks continue to rake up huge profits [because of our overspending, and bank charges due to late payment of credit card bills] we continue to fall into the same financial trap.
We spend beyond our means, spending money that is not really ours in the first place. We [as the stores advertise] ‘buy now pay later’ and damn the consequences. But the consequences can often be heavy, and can lead to ruin and even suicide through the worry of chronic debt. Indeed,we spend beyond what we can really afford. We apply for credit cards, and when we get them we treat them as if it is ‘free money’, to spend as we wish.
Only when the bill hits us later, through the post, do we suddenly realize our stupidty, and try to ‘hide’ from our bills by placing them in the drawer [out of sight out of mind]. But they are not out of our minds – even though they may be out of sight. There are many ways in which we can avoid the heartache of a future ruined by debts.
To avoid impulse spending is something that takes quite a lot of getting used to to people who have been used to spending what they want. However, for those who have experienced debt, and do not wish to experience it again. then to live within your means is the best course of action you can take.
Cut out any and all unnecessary spending. Be strict with yourself, and shop in stores that give value for money. Begin to support your local stores, by purchasing what you need. And that is the point: do you need, or do you want? If you want an item, then you will always be in debt, no matter what.
However, if you need an item, then purchase only what you need. Cut out shopping in the more expensive stores, and begin to look around for bargains to be had. Frequent your local antique store too, as there may be a bargain or two to be had there – in the line of furniture.
Cut your electricity bill in half and then cut it again. Purchase a wireless electric monitor. This will measure how much electricity each electric appliance in your home is using. It will also display – in monetary terms – how much you will be spending every hour in electricity. Keep in mind that faulty electrical appliances waste more electricity [and therefore waste your money] then those that are in good working order. So purchase a wireless electronic meter as soon as you can.
Impulse buying involves so many things [do you really need two cars when one will do? Do you really need the latest television set, when the one you have is perfectly fine? In fact, do you really need two TVs or more in your home? This is unnecessary spending, and a waste of electricity and money – money that could be going into your pocket.
When you purchase food, why shop at the more expensive stores for items that are clearly overpriced? In fact, growing your own food will work out cheaper – and a lot healthier in the long run. Same with clothing – look for bargains in shoes, trousers, socks, jackets or whatever else you need. Why shop and waste your money at the more exclusive stores, when you really could be saving a lot of money?
Impulse buying is one of the sure signs of chronic debt, and it is hard to break that habit, but broken it must be if you are to survive finiancially, in the future. The words here are common sense and money sense. If you have both, then you will spend only what you can afford, and not beyond your means.
Get rid of all the catalogues you really do not need. Get rid of your credit cards [do you really need them]? Better still, purchase your goods in cash, that way, there is no APR [annual percentage rate] to pay, and you will always be in the ‘black’. It may take you longer to save up for the things you need, but the feeling is exhilarating knowing there is no bill to pay later for what you have bought with your own hard cash.
If you really cannot do without a card, then why not apply for a debit card? With a debit card you can only spend the amount of money that is in your bank [the debit card supplied by your bank is linked to your account]. Therefore, it is impossible to overspend on a debit card, because, as stated, you can only spend what is in your account -replicated on your card.
The same applies for a pre-paid card. Pre-paid cards work something like pay-as-you-go phones, in which you charge your phone, or card, by paying an x amount of money to the cashier. This amount the cashier then charges to your card – say 20 dollars. So, therefore you have 20 dollars to spend on your card. You cannot go over this amount. Many people find that debit cards and pre-paid cards help them immensely in controlling their own money.
When it comes to phones, do you really need a landline, when a pre-paid phone will do? Which one will save you money the most – and which one do you need the most? If you really do need a landline phone, look for the best deals you can get – as far as phone charges are concerned, and also the charge on the line.
Never be afraid to look around for bargains, where money can be saved, Be strict with yourself if you really want to cut out impulsive buying. Only purchase the things that you really need, [and not the things that you want]. You will soon find that you are saving money month after month. The money that you free up in the future by cutting out on all unnecessary purchases, could be put to better use.
So, when you are out shopping, always keep in mind whether you really need an item, or you merely want it? When you are sitting at home, look around you, where could money be saved -were it has been wasted in the past? By really cutting out on soft purchases, you will have a rosier financial future.