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What can you do if you are addicted to spending money, and you’re deeply in debt because of it?
Anyone who is caught in a cycle of spending and debt can attest to the fact that it is very difficult to break free. This is because the crushing depression from a mountain of debt only leads to more spending as an emotional crutch. This is the nature of spending addiction.
So the first thing that you need to do is to stop spending money as an emotional crutch. We have all done this to at least some extent before–but some of us do it much more than others, and it can eventually lead to financial ruin if we continue to behave this way.
Some of us don’t even realize when we are doing this. The idea of spending money as an emotional salve just comes naturally. We feel bad, we go spend money. We feel bored, we go shopping. Indeed, some people make regular trips to the mall–on a regular, consistent, basis–even if they don’t particularly need anything.
If you have spending addiction, then this has to stop. Period.
First things first – Curtail your spending ability:
1) Cut up your credit cards. Period. Has to be done. Because debit cards are accepted everywhere now, they fall into the same category. If you can’t control yourself, then limit yourself. Get rid of the cards.
2) Do not ever carry your checkbook with you. Ever. Anywhere. It’s not necessary. You pay your bills from home, by check, right? So leave your checkbook at home. Period.
3) Don’t carry large amounts of cash around with you. Not only does this limit impulse buying, but it makes sense for security reasons as well.
The reward mindset
Do you reward yourself with impulse purchases, simply because you decide “that you deserve it?” If so, then this mindset has to change. You need to find other ways to reward yourself, because spending frivolous money on stuff that you do not need is slowly destroying you.
When you understand what you are really giving away when you make that impulse purchase, you start to understand that you are actually punishing yourself rather than rewarding yourself. Every dollar you spend is more time and energy you have to spend working in the future to pay for that expense. Every dollar spent on junk is more work you have to do. Debt is slavery. If you can tighten up your budget and become debt free then you will enjoy a whole new freedom.
Imagine having plenty of money in the bank and not feeling the intense pressure to keep grinding out a living. This is the freedom you are pursuing by cutting your spending.
Action Items – What you can do
1) Realize that you can be happy without “reward purchases” for yourself. These are not necessary for your happiness…you just think they are, because you are addicted to spending. If you go a few weeks without making a reward purchase you will realize that you are just as happy overall without them.
3) Read this book – It is called “Your Money or Your Life” and it offers a fresh perspective on how to view your own relationship with money….you start to see money as being “life energy” because you have to work for your money, right? So the book teaches you to see each purchase in terms of how hard you have to work for it. Very enlightening.