If you’ve seen the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, chances are you are one of us. In denial? We’ve all been there. Refusing to acknowledge that maybe you are already spending waaaaay too much within your means? Fear not! We’ve been there!
At some point, that tiny card has been in your family’s possession as long as you can remember. Having the luxury of having a supplementary card just makes it even more exciting but worse! You find yourself looking at items that you might not probably afford unless you work for it like, I don’t know, for the rest of your life.
I had been a part of one of those families who had almost at least two credit cards. As I was only a little kid then, of course I wasn’t allowed to have one. As the years go by, my parents allowed me to have a supplementary card with only like 10-15% of their credit limit and only that, no more no less. I was happy, ecstatic even. I never got to use it though, because I never found something worth buying (apparently, and shockingly). As soon as I got out of college, banks have started to advertise this idea of putting in your money for a time deposit account but in the form of a credit card and my parents encouraged me to get one. The horrors of my purchases started out with this tiny card and I would forever hate (and undeniably love) it.
I started looking at expensive items (not too designer for I am only at a young age of 20 that time and going to start working for and in the real world and it made me excited to swipe that magical card) that I realized I have finally fulfilled the dream I so kept hidden in my thoughts: to affix my signature on receipts while the cashier lady wraps up my recent purchase/s. At first it was all happy, exciting, heart-thumping joy of having new purchases, but then the realization kicks in as soon as you get your credit card bill statement with the total amount of purchases you’ve made this week. You get to feel the fear of being cut out from your material happiness if you fail to pay your dues and you suddenly thought of leaving that tiny card at the comforts of your home (and yes, if you are desperate enough like Rebecca Bloomwood, freeze it).
Fear grips you and makes you insane how much you have to work for you to be able to pay all your credit card debt. As I have first-handedly experience this crippling fear, I decided to give 3 tips on how to minimize your spending and or/even stop it altogether.
- If you found something you really like, look at it, memorize it, and then walk a few blocks away from the item. You will find yourself realizing whether you like a certain item or not if you do this tip. If you keep on thinking about the item after a few hours of walking away from it, then you really like it and it will be a waste to not buy it! If it completely slipped your mind, then yay! You saved yourself from a purchase that will probably end up in the back of your closet. It works wonders for me and I think it will do to you too!
- Follow the guy in Confessions of a Shopaholic: Do I need this? Learn it. Live it. Love it. Often times, we always get blinded by the sparkly items or the fact that we own something designer. We also often think that a rough PHP 5,000 (or USD 100) is nothing compared to the number of hours we work at the office or the effort we do to survive on a hell work week. Remember, you work hard to pay your rent (and other necessities) and not the other way around. Always ask yourself do I need this? to items that have successfully slipped tip #1. Sometimes, what you need is to ask yourself three times for it to be able to sink in whether you really need it or want it.
- Can I pay for this expensive bag? Another thing you can do is to ask yourself if you have the means to pay for the thing you want the most. Thinking of tomorrow will help you escape the fear of praying to all the gods up there to save your credit card bill from escalating higher than the Mt. Everest. You will be able to save a lot all while bringing out your inner fashionista. Sometimes, you really need the scarf that’s worth PHP 800 (or USD 17.79) for you to complete the look for your job interview or meeting with the bosses but then.. Crap! I bought the PHP 1,100 pencil skirt from H&M last week. I guess I could probably survive with a big cute printed handkerchief to wrap around my neck. It’ll be so vintage and nobody would think I just rummaged my old closet!
There are a lot of tips I could give you but I think if you follow these three, you’ll be good to go. Also, it doesn’t really matter how many tips I could give you, or surfing the web to find golden rules in maintaining your credit card bill to a minimum, if you don’t have the will, advices will get you nowhere. So, enjoy being insane and ask yourself away!