Stop Spending and Start Saving

How to Stop Being a Spendaholic

Updated on March 22, 2020 Updated on March 22, 2020
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Woman carrying shopping bags
Table of Contents  
  1. Show Notes

Do you love buying all the things?  You might have a problem.  We all love buying stuff but it can become a real problem.  Let’s tackle it together.

“It’s ok, I deserve it.”  Is that something you find yourself saying a lot?  Whether or not you deserve it is not the question.  I’m sure you do, you work hard, take care of a family.  Of course you deserve it!  But can you afford it?  That’s the question that needs to be answered.

Shopping becomes a habit.  It’s a way to entertain yourself, to reward yourself, to blow off stress.  If spending money has become these things to you, it’s time to break the habit before you are crushed under a pile of your own debt (and detritus).

The first step is to set up a budget.  Use a spread sheet, use YNAB, use Mint, use the back of an envelope, anything.  Just start tracking where your money is going.  Even if this doesn’t make you stop what you’re doing, at least at first, this gives you vital information.  Where is your money going?

If this behavior is sinking you, you need to make a shift.  Now that you know where you’re spending, examine it.  Does what you’re spending on make you happy, improve your life?  Or is it keeping you up at night, trapping you in a job you hate?

Matt had a bad breakup and got layed off.  He took the opportunity to go all in on starting his own business.  In order to survive, he had to cut all spending to only the essentials.  No more filling the voids with cars and houses, and stuff.  If he was going to make this work, there could be no more of that kind of gap filling spending.  His only priority now was making this business work.

The BMW doesn't fill the void.

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So how can you tackle this without getting dumped and fired?  Make a list of all the things that make you happy that cannot be purchased.  A run in the park, a walk on the beach, time with friends, walking your puppy (I’d like a puppy please).  Next time you want to blow off steam or you’re bored, do one of the things on your list instead.  Eventually you will begin to associate these behaviors rather than shopping, with entertainment or stress relief, or whatever feeling you were trying to achieve by shopping.

It’s easier to replace a habit than to break a habit.  By replacing the destructive habit with a positive behavior, your life with improve and so will your fiances.

Show Notes

Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale:  A Belgian style farmhouse ale.

Mint:  Budgeting software.

YNAB:  We talked to the founder of this budgeting software in Episdode 154.

Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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