While I'm away I'll be posting some questions that readers have sent to me along with the answers. (Names have been changed to protect privacy.)
I saw you on The Nate Show and was immediately obsessed! I have been looking for help for my spending disease for SO long. Thank you for being there for us. I am exciting to start but terrified of failing. I wake in the morning and go buy coffee for 64 cents. I justify it by saying that if I bought coffee and cream at the market, more than likely the cream would spoil and then it would be a waste.
This is just a little example of what I mean. I have a MUCH bigger problem at the thrift stores (which I adore) since shoes are only $3-5. Can I change this attitude? I am not really in debt, as much as I am underwater in my income vs. living expenses. I am retired and on disability with a fixed income (SS). I am $150 a month short on just bare living. Is there ANYTHING I can do? It seems so helpless most of the time.
Thank you for reading this and any help would be great!
Thank you for your email. There is definitely something you can do. Take your power back!
1. Determine what you want out of life. What are you goals? Think about it this way: what do you truly want out of life? What do you want your life to feel like everyday?
2. Evaluate where your money is really going. Look through the last 3 months of your bank statements to see it all on paper. If you use cash more than your debit card then start to track all of your spending for the next month.
3. Then, make your Wants and Needs.
4. Next, (this is what I did) cut out your Wants.
5. Set a time frame. 6 months, a year, etc. The beginning is the hardest part so I recommend a year.
6. Know that it is going to be hard.
7. It will be hard. Look back at what you wrote in your #1.
8. Keep going. Everyday look back at what you wrote in #1.
9. The end of the month comes. You'll see that there is money left when there used to not be any money left.
10. Start the new month.
Remember that if you mess up, and you will mess up (I messed up a lot) keep going. Choose to change your life and your financial situation the next time you're faced with a choice to spend money or not. I used to overspend every month by $200-$300 every month. I was hopeless too. I cut the spending cycle cold turkey.
It's what worked for me. Be committed to the process.
Also, a great resource is the Community section on my blog. Connect with like-minded people and get support.
Hang in there Kathleen and stay strong.