Eventually, most shopaholics and spendthrifts deal with the emotional issues that drive them to spend almost every dollar they earn and sometimes more. Eventually.
Until then many shopaholics live in a seemingly never ending ending cycle of desperation and frustration. Triumph and regret. How do I know this?
Because, I too am a spendthrift. I know it and anyone who knows me, knows it.
Did you say SALE?
I’m not one of those flag waving discount shoppers that salivate at the mere mention of the word SALE but I do spend money like it’s desperately looking for a new home. Exactly how much you ask?
Good question and my response will ring true for anyone with a spending problem. It depends on how much is in my wallet at anytime. For anyone who isn’t inflicted with this bug, those of us who are can be exasperating.
You ask “How much money did you spend today?”. We sheepishly respond “I’m not sure, how much did I start with?”
Seriously! We have no idea how much money we spent, we only know that we needed to stop in time to pay for our journey home. A spendthrift will excitedly tell you about the money they saved for ‘the precious’ that was on special or the amazing bright and shiny object they’ve always wanted and is now on display in your home.
We also tend to be people who don’t like to receive gifts from others because, ‘if it was worth having I would have it already’. And if you buy something for us that we still don’t have but really want. Then we view your act as intruding, for you have taken away from us, the joy of purchasing the desired object.
Red Red Wine!
All the spenders I’ve met in my life, have had one or two things that are their weakness when it comes to spending but get upset if someone else buys it for them as a gift. I, for example, love red wine. Most people who know me, know it. What most people don’t know, is I actually enjoy the process of choosing the wine. I could quite literally get lost for hours in a good bottle shop even if I leave with only one bottle.
So when someone buys me a bottle as a gift, it feels to me like they took the joy away from the event and just assumed that I’m a drunk.I know of shoe shoppers who completely relate to this when presented with shoes as a gift from a loving but naive spouse.
Wealth for Spenders
So, then can a spender build wealth and retire comfortably? Absolutely.
The trick is to remove the temptation and make access to cash inconvenient. These are some of the ways I use for myself and other spenders to help them create wealth, reduce debt and calm the nerves of their spouse.
To reduce the chances of getting into trouble with credit card debts, I simply do not have one. I use Visa Debit so I can use facilities that require one, including internet shopping etc. If you’ve got one that gets paid off each month from your mortgage, you could be inviting even more trouble.
Look for a way to help you track your cashflow. Even one of those little 96 page Spirax note pads can be a great way to monitor just how much you spend each day. Once you’ve been tracking it for a little while, you’ll find ways to improve it without even asking for help.
I also find it easier to leave my keycard at home when I know I’m going to be somewhere that day that may influence me.
Increasing your fixed monthly payments by 10-20% or even more will ensure that your debts will be reduced as fast as possible. You need to get these extra payments formalised with your creditors so that you’re not tempted by the savings account that your spouse has been putting aside for this purpose.
Your employer is probably already talking to you about Superannuation as it’s a new Financial Year, so why not play it smart and protect yourself from your own bad habits. Making increased contributions to your Super from your income is a smart away to lock your income away from yourself as you generally, can’t get it out until you retire.
The amount you save and whether you do it as salary sacrifice or personal contribution will be a result of the conversation you have with your accountant or financial planner.
Please join the conversation by adding your thoughts below.