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Avoiding Impulse Spending

Jan 4, 2008
If you are planning on some personal financial planning in 2008 then the very first thing you should do is carry out a balance sheet check on yourself right now. What does your net worth really look like and what provisions are you making for the future. All too often in todays consumer driven retail environment we are making more interest payments on our credit cards than we are receiving on our investments. This is a crash course to disaster. Take this short test to see if you need to have a major overhaul on your personal finances this year.

Answer these questions truthfully:

1.) Does your spouse or partner complain that you spend too much money?

2.) Are you surprised each month when your credit card bill arrives at how much more you were charged than you thought you had spent?

3.) Do you have more shoes and clothes in your closet than you could ever possibly wear?

4.) Do you own every new gadget before it has time to collect dust on a retailers shelf?

5.) Do you buy things you did not know you wanted until you saw them on display in a store?

6.) Are you close to or over your credit card limits?

7.) Have you ever taken out a second mortgage to consolidate debts?

8.) Do you live pay day to pay day with no surplus money to save or invest?

If you answered yes to any three of the above questions, you are an impulse spender and indulge yourself in retail therapy.

This is not a good thing. It will prevent you from saving for the important things like a house, a new car, a vacation or retirement. You must set some financial goals and resist spending money on items that really does not matter in the long run.

Impulse spending will not only put a strain on your finances but your relationships, as well. To overcome the problem, the first thing to do is learn to separate your needs from your wants.

Advertisers blitz us hawking their products at us 24/7. The trick is to give yourself a cooling-off period before you buy anything that you have not planned for.

When advertisers have finished sending TV commercials our way, we drive past bill boards, read magazines full of adverts and then we see shop windows bursting with sale signs and buy now pay later offers. It can be difficult to understand that this is all done deliberately to make it all too easy to part with even more money that you should not be spending.

When you go shopping, make a list and take only enough cash to pay for what you have planned to buy. Leave your credit cards at home. Better still cut up all your credit cards except one to keep for emergencies only.

If you see something you think you really want, give yourself two weeks to decide if it is really something you need or something you can easily do without. By following this simple solution, you will mend your financial fences and your relationships.

Remember the definition on insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting a different outcome.
About the Author
Diane Cossie has creatively brought together some of the best information for expenditure control in a 30 page manual. Use Control Freak a Recipe for Debt Freedom as your plan to regain control permanently http://www.controlfreakltd.co.uk
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