Smart Spending Habits from #TheSmartMoneyGal

More than 1 in 10 Americans consider themselves to be shopaholics! A new survey shows spending habits are landing many people in debt, often racking up between $1,000 and $5,000 in charges!

Shop ’till you drop!

Shopaholic Help

Many of us joke around about shopping until we drop, but for some this is real problem. Being a shopaholic can not only put you in a debt, it can take an emotional toll on you as well as your loved ones. The new survey said many shopaholics admitted to hiding purchases from loved ones and say their shopping addiction negatively impacted their relationships with friends and family. Like with many other addictions, the first step is to admit you have a problem.

You are not alone.

There are organizations available to help with the psychological aspects of shopping addiction such as Debtors Anonymous. According to the Debtors Anonymous website:

Shop 'till you drop“Debtors Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from compulsive debting.”

You can search for your nearest meeting through the link above. After you admit you have a problem, then you can focus on finding a solution! You can even search for your nearest meeting online.

Here are a few tips to help you prevent overspending:

  1. Set a Spending Limit
    The dreaded b-word.. BUDGET. It sounds simple, but if you don’t have a budget, you can easily lose track of where your money is going. Make a list before you go shopping of what you can afford. After you make your list, stick to it!
  2. Implement the Wait Rule
    When you want to make a big purchase for yourself, give yourself a mandatory 48-hour waiting period to prevent impulse buys. A lot of times, 48 hours is enough time to realize you don’t really need whatever you want to buy.
  3. Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts
    This new survey shows the Internet may be feeding the shopping obsession since 63% of adults think online shopping makes it easier to be a shopaholic. It is really easy to click and spend money if your payment information is already stored online. Remove your stored credit cards from the websites to reduce the temptation.
  4. Go Green
    Leave your credit card at home when you go shopping and only take a little more than you think you will need for the items on your list (see #1 above). By using cash, you are more likely to stick to your budget. Another reason cash is better than using plastic is that cash doesn’t carry the high interest rates many credit cards do! A $20 purchase with a high interest credit card will actually cost you $40 if it takes you a few months to pay the balance.
  5. Prioritize Your Payments
    Once you’ve stopped adding to the problem you can now focus on getting rid of the debt you’ve accumulated. The first step I recommend to my clients is to look at your credit card balances. Some advisors would tell you to pay off the highest interest rate first, but I recommend starting with the card that has the smallest balance. Once you see what a great motivator it is to be able to cut up a credit card, you’ll want to move on to the next one. Paying off credit cards from smallest to largest creates a snowball effect and will help you stay on-task to keep paying off your remaining cards.


What’s the real cost of paying with plastic?

Use this calculator to find out how much interest you will pay on your debt.
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It makes an impact when you see for yourself how much more your purchase costs if you pay with plastic!

Even if you are paying off balances, don’t forget to spend money on your future. It’s never too early or too late to think about retirement. Many of our clients are able to spend their golden years thinking about having fun and spending time with family rather than worrying about money. If this type of retirement is something you are intrested in, contact the Senior Financial Security, Inc. office to schedule an appointment!