Recovery : the Former Shopaholics Thread
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
^You're welcome. I actually spent last night typing in EVERYTHING from the entire year and... Yikes
No wonder why this article, no. 1 in particular, rang a bell for me:
The Real Reason You're Broke
1. You spend good money on crap.
Are you craptastic? Cool, Iím sure the marketers love you since youíre spending your hard-earned money on crap. And you know the crap Iím squawking about. Crap is the stuff thatís cluttering your home and bursting out of your front door. Itís the disposable, upgradeable, and superfluous stuff you buy in a heart-beat because youíre worth it! But crap costs. Crap consumes your space, can initially make you feel good but can lead to feelings of guilt, and can make you broke. Please, learn to identify crap and end the spending spree Ė youíre worth it. Smile. See Just say NO to crap! for the craptastic details.
2. You donít have a budget.
Iím dropping the B-word ícause I know you donít have a budget, have little clue about your living costs, and donít track your spending. Yes, starting a budget can be scary and learning about your true financial situation can be a bummer. Get over it. Please. Do the mathy math for once and for all and find your net worth, add up all your debt, track your spending, and build a budget that reflects your real reality ó not the la-la land dream-world you prefer to live in. Only when you face the facts by spending the time to manage your money will you stop being broke.
3. You donít earn enough.
This is a hard one to swallow, so Iím ordering you a second drink. If you canít balance your budget after cutting the crap from your spending, then youíre probably not earning enough money. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Take a sip.
There was a time in my life when I had three jobs ó THREE JOBS ó to make ends meet. I worked my tail off to earn enough cash to cover the rent, buy better quality food, and pay off my student debt. You want to know How I Paid Off My Student Debt in Six Months? I worked my arse off with a full-time job plus two oddball gigs evenings and weekends! I didnít own a car, I didnít wear fancy clothing, and I didnít wine and dine on the weekends. I was broke, after all. And I worked most minutes of every day to bring home enough dough to dig myself out. The answer here isnít easy ó youíll have to find a way to make more money. Check out How To Find a Job for some pavement pounding ideas. Love is tough, I know. Smile.
4. You donít pay off your debt.
If you donít have a plan to conquer your debt, then youíre going to be broke forever. Do yourself a solid by downloading the Debt Reduction Spreadsheet to dig yourself out, starting today. While youíre at it, set your financial goals and make your Needs and Wants List ó only then can you really tackle that mess you put yourself in.
Once youíre in the know, itís time to look at ways to increase your minimum payments. Paying just the minimum balance is a sure-fire way to keep the debt hanging around your neck like a noose forever, so dig into that debt by paying it off sooner. Donít believe me? My handy dandy Credit Card Calculator shows you how many years it will take and how much interest youíll pay by just paying the minimum. Yes, the results will probably make you cry. So deal with it, already.
5. You donít save.
If youíre up to your eyeballs in debt thereís no doubt that itís very very hard to save 10 percent of your take-home pay. I hear ya. But saving even a smidgen of your salary for a rainy day or in an emergency fund is a wise way to get started. Iím a big fan of savings and have tapped my own emergency fund when times got tough in Reasons to Build and Love an Emergency Fund. You may not need surgery like I did, but you never know when tough times happen.
Start a savings plan by taking a good hard look at your spending patterns, your subscriptions and services, and find ways to cut back. For example, downgrading your television package ó or canceling it completely ó adds up to money that could be put into a high interest savings account. The idea is to be consistent and set up automatic deposits into a specific account set aside for emergencies. Get some ideas in 50 Ways to Save $1,000 a Year. Itís not hard to save ó you just have to want to do it.
6. Youíre clueless about your investments.
Do you know what youíre invested in, or did you let your financial advisor pick a bunch of posh-sounding investments without asking a single question? Itís your money and you have every right to know your Return on Investment (a calculator), How Much Your Mutual Funds Really Cost (a calculator), and How Long Until Your Investments Recover (another calculator). Not asking these questions or knowing the answers is a smart way to loose your shirt in the market. Not fun.
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