As a single mom, or any mom in today’s economy, living on a tight budget is the norm. But sometimes you may struggle with the idea of “living within your means.” Many have been getting into debt over the years because of habits that are keeping them from getting back to the basics and into a better position financially.
If this is you, reminding yourself that it is possible to change these habits because others have done so successfully, will be your second step. But the first is accepting the fact you need to change how you are spending those dollars.
This list below was in a blog titled, How to Simplify When You Love Your Stuff. The article covered many other areas of simple living, but this list was especially intriguing as a means to evaluate your spending habits:
When you think about your things or want to purchase something new, consider these parameters:
• It brings beauty into your life and stirs your soul.
• It supports a passion or hobby.
• It helps bring family and friends together in a creative, meaningful way.
• It educates and enlightens.
• It makes life profoundly simpler so that you can pursue more meaningful things.
• It helps someone who is sick or incapacitated.
• It is useful and necessary for day-to-day life.
• It’s part of a meaningful tradition or a reminder of a special event.
If your spending habits don’t measure up to this list, perhaps you should reconsider what you’re buying. If what you are about to buy is not indeed a “need” but something to add affluence or the feeling of aspiring a new level among your peers, for example, then you may want to put it back on the shelf or take it out of your virtual shopping cart online.
This is especially true if your current desire is a large dollar item. Give it time and make sure this is not on a whim or spontaneous passing fancy.
To keep it simple, ask yourself, “How will my life be different if I don’t buy this item?” Is that reason enough to move forward?
You may be saying, “I understand these steps to stop buying unnecessary items, but what about the credit cards that have already piled up?”
In most areas there are Consumer Credit Counseling Services which are free to the public with an open door ready and willing to talk to you about combining some past-due accounts or getting a better interest rate on your maxed credit cards. Check this website for regional office in the Southwest Virginia area. If you just want to get some counseling over the phone, free of charge, call 1-866-260-5994 to speak with one of their professional, certified counselors today.
Bad spending habits aren’t easily broken. You may not even think your spending is out of control. But taking a closer look at where your hard earned dollars are going is worth the time it takes and is necessary to get your spending to a level where you aren’t burdened with credit card debt.
With control over the checkbook, and how much you have for monthly needs, like housing, utilities, and food, you can start making a budget and designate any “extra” funds as an allowance for some of these “wants” that still linger with the new way of thinking. Part two in this series will cover more about the specifics of making a budget.
For more information about getting control over your credit card debt or past due bills in the Southwest Virginia area, see this link to contact the Consumer Credit Counseling Services
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