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Credit Cards And (Over) Spending

It's so easy to slap down a credit card to pay for a meal, a gift, or an item of clothing you don't even need. Worse, this temptation to spend money can be financially dangerous and can lead to DEBT (with a capital D)!

To cut back on your spending, you've got to do more than cut up your credit cards. You have to change how you think about money.

Step #1 Catalogue everything you own. This means clothing, shoes, electronic necessities, toys, books, and etc. By recognizing that you more than likely have enough to be comfortable, you'll be able to stop yourself the next time you almost buy something you don't need and can't afford.

Step #2 Compare your lifetime earnings with your current net worth. Once you calculate what you've earned over your lifetime and compare that with your current net worth, you may be convinced to make changes in your lifestyle and spending habits.

To calculate your net worth, add all of your assets and then subtract your total debt. Shocked at the difference? Are you convinced yet to stop spending on nonessential luxuries that you will probably not even remember enjoying?

Step #3 Calculate your real wage. When you spend money, you have to spend energy go earn it back. Take your hourly wage and subtract expenses such as childcare, commuting and clothing. After these calculations, you may discover that your hourly wage is much less than you thought and that you're spending way over your head.

Step #4 Track your daily spending. It's easy to ignore the fact that you spend too much. On a notepad, write down everything you spend. Then calculate how much you must work to meet your expenses. To assess whether your expenses were worth it, ask yourself, "Did I get fulfillment? Was I happy to work that much time for each expense? Do my buying habits really reflect my values?"

Step #5 Consciously lower your expenses. As you become aware of the ways you spend your money (and energy) you can decrease your expenses. Cars are a prime way people spend too much. Ask yourself, "Is my car that gobbles money in high car payments and insurance necessary, or am I trying to impress others?"

When you're ready to give it a try, you'll find these steps really give you the proper tools to begin changing your lifestyle. It works!