|Simple Savings best members' blogs|
|Tuesday, 03 July 2012 00:00|
As a working carer, with money most likely being tight, how do you face your ‘spending demons’
Visit www.simplesavings.com.au to read some really engaging blogs about how other people are facing their spending demons.
Lots of members are sharing their experiences via blogs (Simple Savings offers a monthly prize of $100 for the best blog of the month).
Starting your own blog on the site is easy. All you have to do is log into the Vault, click on 'My Desk' at the top left, then 'Your Blog'. Then get writing! You can share your own money saving trials and tribulations while learning from everybody else’s.
It is fun and informative and destined to arm you with all the know-how needed to become a super saver and to stretch every dollar to the maximum.
Simple Savings members put a great deal of effort into their blogs and you can’t help but change your spending habits once you have been inspired by other people’s tips and strategies.
Here is an example of a winning blog all about being addicted to shopping – which we feel sure many people will relate to in some way.
Simple Savings member Grace writes: I'm pretty horrified about how much money I've spent. I don't really need or want any comments expressing disgust or shock about it, please keep it nice. I'm feeling very ashamed, especially as I know how tough some people are doing it. I'm a bit fragile and writing this at 2am because I can't sleep for worry and won't have the guts to admit any of it in the morning!
I think I have a shopping addiction. A genuine 'need to seek help' kind of addiction.
I can't stop spending money on clothing. Sometimes accessories and shoes, but mainly clothing. Over the last two weeks I've spent (deep ashamed breath) over $1000 on three skirts, a belt, a jacket, a top and a dress. This is not uncommon for me and the reality is that I can't go through a week without buying at least one or two items of clothing, often three or four... I am here to try and figure out why I do it and stop feeling so sick about how much money I've spent.
I think there are a few reasons why I do this:
For much of my early adult life I was extremely overweight and couldn't buy 'nice things'. I lost almost 40kg about three years ago and suddenly a whole new world of ‘vanity’ opened up to me. I can fit into all of the straight sized clothing lines and designer lines that I used to dream about. For someone who couldn't buy a year 12 school ball dress and had to buy a horrid, satin peach 'mother of the bride' ensemble, being able to fit into a designer size 12 is like a dream come true. Suddenly I started to develop my own sense of style and received positive attention from others. I regularly get random compliments from strangers in the street over what I am wearing and I get so much happiness and satisfaction out of that...
The happiness and satisfaction only seems to last for such a short while. I will buy a new skirt or dress and by the time I've worn it twice I am sick of it. I am embarrassed to wear something twice in front of friends or my boyfriend. Every time a social event comes up I feel like I have to have something new to wear to it. I guess I am trying to say that it's not just a feeling of vaguely wanting some new clothes but an overpowering need to have something new so that people will think I look nice and I will feel confident enough to actually go to a party. I have actually avoided going on a date with my boyfriend before because I felt that I didn't have anything nice enough to wear, even though my wardrobes (I have three, plus a full sized dressing room) are bulging with clothes.
I think my sense of self-esteem and confidence is irrevocably wound up in what stuff I buy and wear. I am known as the 'stylish' one of my group of friends and sometimes I feel so trapped by that expectation. Every time I have a job interview I have to buy a new outfit otherwise I am incredibly nervous.
I grew up in a relatively wealthy family and I have seen my mother shop like this all my life. My first memory of us spending time together was her buying me designer T-shirts at the age of three. My mother was very disappointed that these shopping trips ended when I started to put on weight as a young teen. Unfortunately, I don't have the income of my parents and my attempts to recreate their lifestyle just means I have nothing else to show for it.
I NEED and WANT to do something else with myself. I have tried to:
Tell myself savings in the bank feel better than a new dress (well for me they simply don't).
Direct debit 10 per cent of my weekly income into a savings account (I have been known to transfer money from this account to my regular account with my smartphone in the change room at David Jones so I can buy stuff).
Establish an emergency fund of $500 (ditto with the transferring).
Cut up my credit card (done and I only owe a minimum of $500 on it nowadays).
Unsubscribe from fashion retailers' emails so I don't have to know about the lovely new things they are selling.
Only go out with enough cash to tide me over (unfortunately I know my CC pin off by heart).
Give myself savings goals (goals that quickly die when I see something new and pretty).
I earn $740 per week after tax and I have nothing to show for it. This time last month I had a $500 savings fund and $600 in savings. I have spent it all. The only way I can pay for this amount of shopping is by living at home with my parents still and neglecting other areas of my life (boring necessities like car servicing).
Does anyone have any ideas about what I can do to help myself? So far I have decided upon:
Establishing my main savings account with another bank so I can't transfer money instantaneously to my everyday account. Any transfers will take three days not three seconds in a change room!
Putting a small amount of money away in an account I like to call 'fripperies' every week. When I have enough money in that account, I can buy something nice with it. If there is no money in that account then NO fripperies.
Stop shopping as a 'hobby'. I love to go to a shopping centre on a Saturday and just wander and spend money. No more - I need other hobbies!
Actually getting some help from a psychologist for my self-esteem and self-confidence issues. I think I have a real problem and I won't be able to get through it on my own.
So for my own records, to keep me accountable and to try and keep me on the straight and narrow, I want to start this blog. I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts about other ways to help myself through this.
You can see how other members responded to this blog at the Simple Savings website, as well as reading lots of other equally informative, enlightening and challenging blogs on all kinds of savings-related topics.