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Temptations to avoid

Impulse shopping
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Some temptations are almost impossible to walk away from. For me, it's technology. I can't wander around Dick Smith without wanting to buy at least 10 tech toys. Don't even get me started on digital voice recorders, my latest obsession.

For many women, it's clothing. And for both sexes it's books. This one always throws me — you can get books for free from the library or by the bag load at school fairs.

So what's the problem? The answer may be that spending money makes us feel good about ourselves — although, like an alcoholic, that initial buzz can turn into self-loathing. Quitting the temptation treadmill means burrowing into the deepest depths of your subconscious mind.

Here are some tips on how to sit on your credit cards and say "no":

Memorise some mantras that stop you in your tracks
Repeat mantras to yourself (yourself) every time you find yourself ogling stuff you don't need: "Do I really need this?", "Is this sensible spending?", "What is the underlying reason I'm buying this?", "Do I need this or want it?", and "Get real!".

Delay gratification
Set yourself rules — such as waiting one week for everything you want to spend more than $50 and one month for the $500 items. Sometimes the urge to buy wanes. It helps if you go out on comparison shopping trips without your credit cards.

Analyse purchases that were just plain stupid
Walk around your house today and analyse which purchases were illogical impulse buys and what weren't. If your house is packed full of junk — and that means anything you don't use — then what does this tell you about your attachment to shopping?

Don't treat shopping as a pastime
You're better off doing targeted raids of the shops when you really need something. Get into the shop and out without being distracted by other unrelated retail outlets. Stop looking and you'll find more time to enjoy your life. Take a walk on the beach. It's priceless!

Remember the big picture
Eking out your old age on less than $20,000 a year National Superannuation is a pretty sobering thought. If you keep succumbing to your personal temptations that's what you'll have to live on for the short-lived rubbish you've bought in your life. And retirement age creeps up pretty fast on all of us.

How long do you need to work to pay for items?
Think about how much time you put into earning each dollar. Next time you want to spend money, do the maths and translate that into the hours you need to work to pay for it. Do you love your job that much? This is a great way to sweat the big stuff. Don't just do this for items bought with money from your day job. If you inherit or win money, don't treat it differently. It's also worth remembering that human beings have a tendency to devalue anything bought using our credit cards or on hire purchase (HP). It's not $34 per week over three years. It's $5304 plus interest.

Budgets are boring
However they're a great tool to separate essential spending from temptations. Once you know how much money you have to spend on the latter you might be more discerning about how you spend your hard-earned cash.

Finally, it's no shame to get help if you have spending demons. See a counsellor or, even better, a psychotherapist, who is trained to delve much deeper.

Let's be honest, what are your temptations? Have your say below.

User comments
My big spend is on household items, I always need that pretty vase and that new duvet, some cushions and maybe some new kitchen appliance, "oh a new cork board would make it easier to remember bills" the spare bedroom definately need some side tables. My house is fine the way it is but I always seem to want more pretty things to furnish it with or a new appliance to make dinner so much easier. My new saying is "if my Mum didn't need it to feed me then why do I need it now?" Haha, it kinda works!
I'm a stay home mom, and since becoming one, I have developed a little obsession with spending money everyday. We don't have a lot of money, but I always find excuses every day to go out and buy something, even if it's something small like going to the $2 shop to buy a pair of tongs for the BBQ, or going to the dairy to get my son an ice block. I don't know whether I spend money coz it makes me feel good, or whether I like the excuse to get out of the house and do something "productive" that makes me feel better about myself. I wonder if other mom's do this too?
Cut up your credit card. Buy only what you need. Stick to your shopping list and never shop when you are hungry! Go to Garage sales or your local market to get a retail therapy fix if you really must. Keep your eye simple-read the Bible-Mathew 6.19-22
wine to cellar, don't need but really want it........
Clothes are my downfall - I love to buy 'label' clothes at sales - trouble is there is usually a reason they have not sold in the season. Finally after years of chucking clothes that don't suit me out of my wardrobe I am now REALLY STRICT on myself and ask myself do I need it? Where will I wear it? I have paid off my credit card after owing $6000 on it mainly for clothes! I have made a rule NOT to use credit for clothes EVER!
Most of us that do have any kind of an addiction don't actually see it as an addiction. Take myself for example, my latest addiction is trademe, I have just recently purchased over $300 worth of clothes. My reasoning is that winter is nearly upon us and I need some new clothes, that all this spending is a treat as the last time I purchased new clothes was . . . I think nearly 2 years ago. The thing that I realise is that I don't actually need all these clothes, I WANT them. Buying 1 item turned into 2, then 3 then . . . ( I'm not acually sure how much stuff I've got now) My original reason ( Buy a new mobile phone as I lost my old 1) had been forgotten, now I look back and think damn i could have used that amount on getting me a new phone. To help me stop myself spending more money that I don't need to I've been telling myslef I have enough of what I want, and I am happy wIth what I have. In the last few days I haven't bought anything else.
What great and sensible advice !
Since there are no comments I can only assume we are all in denial or the recession really has hit bigtime

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