Changing your approach to debt.

Saying no to wants and yes to needs.

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I am a planner of epic proportion. I make lists and add items to my lists just so that I can cross them off. This benefits our family MOST of the time. However, it also gives me a sense of urgency when I see something on sale. I MUST BUY THE THING! The thing will save my family 6 months from now when we are about to run out of soap.

The problem is, there are always things on sale. I generally do think that stocking up is a good idea, however, putting something on a credit card, no matter how good the deal, is not going to help the issue at hand now, which is paying off said credit card. So I’m developing a system to help me determine how to say no to things even if they’re a “really good deal” and keep our wallets out of trouble and our debt pile from getting bigger.

  1. Is this a want or a need? Truly, is everyone in the family (including myself), going to be clothed, fed, and clean for at least a week if I don’t buy said item?
  2. Is this a stock up item that I know we’ll use (things like soap, paper towels, clearance clothes being purchased a year in advance), and  do I have the cash on hand to pay for it? If the answer is no, I should not be buying this item. Further, I have started including money in the budget for stock ups, otherwise it comes out of our everyday fund or not at all.
  3. Can I wait? Sometimes the excitement of seeing a great deal makes me feel pressured to take advantage of it right away. I’ve started walking away and seeing if I still feel the same way at a later time, most of the time I forget or it doesn’t seem worth it.
  4. I’ve stopped going to websites that list deals all the time, I know how to find them when I need them. No need to tempt me.
  5. Along that same line, have I had a thought that it would be necessary to purchase said item sometime soon? I’m trying to be more thoughtful and mindful of my purchases, it’s ok to splurge sometime, but splurge on something that you really want and that will make your life better. Don’t waste money on things that might make you feel a rush in the moment, but leave you with nothing you want in the end, like donuts 😉
  6. Finally, have you ever figured out how much your hourly wage is? I will sometimes ask myself if the item is worth however many hours I would need to work to pay for it.

How do you say no, when you want to say yes?

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