Changing spending habits

If you are taking on your own challenges with spending too much, there are three things it is helpful to know.

  1. Changing any habit or behaviour pattern tends to be difficult and there are no “magic solutions”.  Yes, I know you have a friend (or usually have heard of a friend of a friend of a friend) who woke up one day and gave up shopping (heroin, gambling, smoking etc.) just like that.  Some of those stories are true, but a) they are very rare in real life as distinct from stories, b) you usually find that the person who gave up so quickly goes back to it just as quickly and c) the “overnight” cure (like overnight success) was often contemplated for years in advance before it finally resulted in an “overnight” cure.

  2. Changing any habit or behaviour is not impossible.  Yes, I know you tried before and it didn’t work.  It is difficult, and because there are lots of people peddling “miracle cures” (like diet pills, sure fire investments, quit smoking schemes etc.) that make it sound easy, you get confused and disheartened when you haven’t lost 5 stone, gained £1 million in two weeks or whatever you were promised.  However, it is possible, and you can do it, but you will have to work at it.

  3. People are different, and need to do different things in order to change.  The same person may also need to do different things at different times in order to change.  Yes, I know it would be easier if there was a magic formula to be sensible with money (or lose weight, stop smoking, banish social anxiety etc.) that everybody could use.  It would also be easier if one application of one method helped you whatever sort of problem you had (buying shoes from stores, buying gadgets on the internet, buying junk generally etc.) or wherever you were with the problem (concerned about spending, contemplating the bill you can’t pay, considering bankruptcy etc.).  It would also be nice to end world hunger and get everybody to love one another, but that’s another one that has no simple solution, is very difficult but not impossible, and that we have to look on as a work in progress!

Think about what it is you get from shopping and what is driving your spending.  Write these things down.

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