No one is perfect. I make spending mistakes all the time. Here are 5 poor ones I continue to make:
- Fast Food: I get lazy and go pick up lunch from any number of fast food restaurants. On a good day it’s Panera or Chipotle (I’m addicted). On a bad one it’s McDonald’s. I am WELL aware of the crap that is in their food but it doesn’t stop me. Also, I’m very aware that I’m wasting my money when I should eat healthier at home… but that doesn’t stop me either.
- Retail Therapy: If I’m feeling particularly sad or lonely, sometimes I’ll just go wander through a store and inevitably I always end up finding something I NEED. This is my trap. About 75% of the time I figure out it’s not a NEED before I check out but there’s still that 25% of the time that I end up buying it and bringing it home. A month later I realize it was a waste. Bye Bye Money!
- Luxury Items: I love shiny, new things. My particular weaknesses are with beauty products, handbags and shoes. Occasionally I will get obsessed with some other type of fashion item, but it is far less often. If I have a weak moment, then I might bring said item home in hopes that it will be the miracle. The one fabulous bag I will carry for the next 10 years. The lotion I will swear I can’t live without. These realities have never come to fruition but it doesn’t stop me.
- Buying Quantity: Costco memberships are evil. I have one. I never get out of that place for less than $100. We will never eat 64oz of RiceChips!! It doesn’t matter. I will bring one home to verify.
- Buying on Sale: This is probably my biggest weakness. I’m a sucker for perceived value. I love a good deal. I can’t resist it. I will buy something that I don’t necessarily even know I’ll use, but if it is a 70% off clearance item? Fuhgeddaboutit.
Like I said, no one is perfect. I am very honest with myself and the Mr. about my weaknesses. Admitting you have the problem is the first step, right? I find that our split finance arrangement helps combat this. I’m less likely to spend my own money and most of these things can’t come from the joint account because they aren’t in the budget. However, I still make these mistakes. The only thing I can say to defend myself is that I’ve progressed from making them every day to making them rarely. I keep myself in check by reviewing my personal account statement now and then. The worst feeling is adding up all the money I’ve spent on fast food each month. But, it does remind me and then I make that mistake less the following month. Another thing that helps is setting a goal. If I set a personal goal to save up and purchase something big, like the latest gadget, then I will remind myself every time I step foot into a store.
A few tips for you:
- Be honest with yourself
- Figure out what your weaknesses are and share them with your partner
- Use a debit card so you can review your purchases easily each month and see exactly where your money is going
- Set a goal for your money
- Buy only things you have on a list
- Plan your splurges
Allow yourself a little slack when you slip up but remember that discipline is the key to saving.
Leave a comment with mistakes you make too so I won’t feel like such a heel.