Sunday, July 17, 2011

But I need it!

It's as sad when your life revolves around the lack of money, as when its abundance is the focus. The trick is to learn to manage your finances, so you have enough to meet your needs, and be free of worry.  There are two ways to accomplish having enough money, earn it or save it.

Ah, but where's the fun in that?

The enjoyment comes when you can easily pay cash for your purchases. When you pay off your credit cards, your car, have money in the bank and your house is free and clear.

"But that will take forever," you groan. "I need stuff now. I'm lonely, depressed, and shopping makes me feel better."


It may distract you for a time, but soon enough the fix wears off and you look for your next hit. Too many of us use money as a drug. The truth, money is a tool, only a tool. Something to be utilized to your benefit like a hammer. Do you take it in hand and build your life or tear holes in it?

Buying more of what you don't need won't fill up what you do need.

I know a woman that shops compulsively. Her marriage is a bust, her relationships with her children are strained. So she shops. And when she returns home with her bags of merchandise, she hides them under the stairs and cries.

How are you using money? This week, list your purchases in three categories.

1. Necessity:  Pay the electric bill
2. Discretionary:  Buying coffee on sale now rather than when you'll need it, but pay full price.
3. Totally not worth it:  The bag of chocolate bars that ruined your diet.

At weeks end, tally where your purchases fall.

Are you using your money responsibly until a fight with your lover has you storming to the mall, credit card in hand?  It happens, but it doesn't have to. Who is in control here? It's not the money. Only you hold the reins of power.

Write how you feel in your journal rather than spend. Notice how you feel when you want to buy something and why. How do you feel when you say no? What self talk haunts you? What positive phrase could you use to replace that lie? Put it all in your journal.
Is the price worth the momentary rush?

You're worth more than a quick fix. Rely on the knowledge that you rule your actions. You're strong,  and deserve the freedom and peace of having enough.



  1. Oh, you are mean.
    Can't you add a category? For "when I deserve something special and chocolate for not driving off a cliff or needing to dispose of a body because I lost my temper?

    Come on. Give a little.

  2. GRRR! But I love the smell of new plastic! And this advice cannot possibly apply to "grandchildren's needs." I hate when you're right, Sandy. However, I agree with Lesli. Chocolate falls under "necessity." Thanks for your insight!

  3. I agree with Lesli and Joelene. There are certain things that are just plain necessities such as gifts for the grandchildren and those gifts I give myself for reaching my goals.

    In truth, you are spot on. Live within your means and save for a rainy day. Thank you for your great advice.

  4. I think my shopping falls into all three of the categories you listed here. :-) The necessities, of course, include bills, food, new books... ;-)

    But I have no doubt my 'totally not worth it' merchandise is stuff I'm still trying to get rid of at garage sales. lol

  5. Funny, that same topic was the sermon yesterday. Is the universe trying to tell me something?

  6. Sandy,
    Shopping's an interesting subject -- one I think about from time to time.
    Of course, I believe in moderation, but buying something new to wear gives one a sense of freshness. Of new beginnings.

  7. I don't charge things on a credit card but I do spend money sometimes as if there is no bottom to the well. I love to buy my kids the clothes that they say they just have to have NOW, or those extra special doggie treats that cost WAY too much. And sometimes I do this when I'm in a certain "mood". Mood shopping can be very expensive.
    Thanks for the post in which I think we can all recognize ourselves!

  8. This is great advice. We were poor--as in my husband's and my salary *together* was less than $25K a year--for a looong time. I picked up habits during that time I'll never shake. It's always good to know your financial limits and good to know how to make your pennies stretch.

  9. I am not a mall shopper and we don't have credit cards. We pay cash for our cars, but we buy restored vehicles and sell them after awhile before they start having problems. Utilities, house payment and food are our biggest expenses. Still we can't seem to save for a rainy day. We do eat pretty well though. :)

  10. It's fine to buy things if you have the money, can still pay your bills and save a little. Life shouldn't be misery. Again, balance is key.

    Thanks all for your comments and support.

  11. The message keeps going back to moderation. Most things done in moderation are fine, it's when you go beyond what is reasonable, healthy or smart that it becomes a problem.

    It is a great lesson that can go a long way in making life alot easier.

  12. I love journaling. And I love doing it by hand. I've never been one to go out and just spend willy nilly. I used to suffer panic attacks at the grocery. And I only bought the kids' clothes on clearance. Today I splurged at a consignment shop and not a single article was for me. Hopefully it won't cause me to be on the outs with hubs for a few minutes.

    Great post.