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Almost everyone spends a lot of money on things they don’t need. If you are like most people, this does not mean that you will face financial problems, or even this possibility. You can cut your spending for several days and, if necessary, for several weeks to offset your wasted money and balance everything. But if you really have problems and develop the habit of extravagance, your future financial situation will be in jeopardy.
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First, let’s make a financial diagnosis to see if you really have a problem. Does the amount in your credit card now exceed all your cash? In other words, can you pay off all the debts at once today? If you can’t, you may have a problem. Now, think again: Have you bought anything that you haven’t used in the past 60 days? If there are only one or two, it’s not a big problem. If you walk around the room, open the wardrobe and cupboard, and find a jacket that you have never worn, shoes that you have never worn out of the room, kitchen supplies that have never been put into the dishwasher, labels on your blouse or shirt, camping equipment that has never been stained with dust, household decorations that have been stuffed in the closet but have never decorated the room, and applications on your mobile phone that have never been used, you have a problem. Then look down!
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Now, think about it: Why do you buy things you don’t need? I’m not a psychologist; I love spending money. The purpose of shopping is to meet needs, perhaps to gain power or a sense of control. These needs should come from other aspects of life. Instead of spending money, think about your biggest problem. In particular, think about what you want to shop for. Maybe it’s because of the feeling your boss gives you. Anything that makes you feel weak, anxious, and unappreciated can cause problems. Find the crux of the problem, and perhaps find a solution to replace shopping.
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Perhaps it is the frequent bills that make you anxious because of lack of money, so you will use your card to shop and (in vain) want to regain control of the financial situation. Maybe because the boss in the office despises you and makes fun of your contributions, you spend money to get a sense of control to compensate. Maybe your spouse or child thinks that you should do whatever you want, and you feel that you have not been appreciated, so they comfort your injured feelings with extravagance.
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If we can find out the incentives and the biggest driving force behind the desire to buy something, we may know how to reduce the impact of the incentives. Just knowing that you want to buy something because your boss yells at you, you can resist the temptation of shopping. You can even take a step forward and talk to your boss about it. If it doesn’t work, you can even find a new job. Solving problems from the root causes may help you to regain control of your life.
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This may take some time, but every time you feel the urge to splurge, ask yourself, “Why?” Once you find the answer, you may be able to solve two problems at once: you can change or get rid of unhealthy conditions, and you can stop spending money indiscriminately.