Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tip-ful Thursdays!!

Its Thursday again & its time to give you some tips.  This month is focused on financial tips now that I know I need the help as I'm sure you do too! 


What I've learned this week is helpful to be sure.  Here are some tips for the shop-aholic prone homemakers out there (you know, those of us who have found shopping as a bad hobby)...  I've discovered some tips to help you.

1.  Credit cards...if you have more than three, choose all but three to cut up.  Choose only one store you purchase frequently from & save card for point earning.   Then put them in your husbands wallet.  The wallet will be with him at work & so you can't shop when he's not home....you have to ask for it!  Also, make sure to pay more than the minimum balance on card so they actually get paid off!!

2. Bills...know what you have coming in & what is going out!!  That will help you not want to shop!  Know what should be in your savings accounts as well.

3. Online shopping...DO NOT shop online without someone else there!  Its dangerous because you don't always pay attention to shipping costs.  Plus, admit it to us all:  eBay & amazon are addicting with their great deals! (stay away from etsy without a friend as well--and not a shoppy friend).  In fact, my hubby has the password to both my eBay & paypal so I don't use it & I'm thinking about having him change the amazon one too if I can't curb the shopping by next week! 
    Always ask yourself?  Do I need this?  I also like to say daily:  "I have enough clothes for all seasons.  I have everything I want.  If I need something, I shoudl tell my hubby." "NO, I don't need this!!" I repeat this whenever I get the urge now to get something new for the sake of newness.

4. Store shopping...if you have trouble at stores, don't go in alone!!  Stay out & only "window shop" after the store is closed (and if they don't have a store online!!)  Ask yourself (again): Do I need this?  Wuld I be ashamed if my husband knew I was purchasing these items?  I also like to say:  "What will I use this for?"

5. Grocery shopping...GET A MEAL PLAN!!  Its the best way to not over-buy with food.  Go to www.mealsmatter.com  &set up your free account.  You can create printable calendars & even put in recipes so you have them at your fingertips!!  Plan any special meals ahead of time & don't go out to eat unless you plan for it in your budget & meal plan...no spontaneous I want a restaurant meal!!

6.Finances...track your spenditures.  I know, it could be painful to see how much you spend on yourself, but it is a must to stop the cycle.  Also, don't let yourself be the finance manager...let your hubby do it so there is some automatic accountability.  He will know when money leaves the bank account.  Also, give him access to your credit cards by issuing him one (as long as he's not a shopaholic too!!)  If both of you have problems, go to your local college/university and find someone with a finance degree to help you for an internship or job experience.  Its cheaper & helps his/her career!!

7.Set goals...all that big stuff you want or need, its not going to happen if you burn through all the free cash left over every month!  So, set some goals after you've got your finances in order!  Find out what you want, how much it costs & when you need/want it.  Also, make sure you let the family know about it & have a meeting so everyone can join in & make desicions about the big purchases!  It helps give you perscpective!

8.Hobby...FIND ONE!  No, shopping cannot be your hobby!  Find something you enjoy.  You will be less likely to shop if you have other things that cause excitement & joy! Here are some choices:  blogging, writing, poetry, songwriting, online games, classic movie-watching, piano playing, painting, photography, scrapbooking, reading, drawing, Do-It-Yourself projects, sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, clockworks, woodworking, graphic desig, website building, musical instrument, gardening, pet walking, audio production, playwriting, etc.  You can also join some local clubs to get out & feel more active & fulfilled.   There are tons of groups & clubs.  Ask around & find out what you can do!

Those are some basics for now...as I find more I will give more tips!  Until then,  have a great Thursday & remember--you don't need to shop to be happy!