Addiction Part 2 #addiction #Impulse #Debt #BuyItNow

How do you handle people telling you what to do? Do you cave into peer pressure? Me… I don’t take people telling me what to do very well, I usually tell them where to go – politely. 😉

When it comes to peer pressure, I don’t usually listen, except to the commercials on tv, radio and that voice in my head. But that is the problem. Why do I listen to that voice in my head, when I would tell another person to get lost? Is it because I am talking to myself? Or am I?

I have never been big on talking about the devil, demons or spiritual attacks, but when it comes to addiction, I find it very helpful to externalize that voice inside. Pretend that the voice is not in your head, but a person who is talking to you. Why if that voice wasn’t in my head I would…

There it goes again, it is telling me that I need a new smartwatch. Do I hear half of you laughing at me, and the other half asking what a smartwatch is?

A smartwatch is a watch that connects to your phone, and relays notifications to you. You may be laughing and not see this as a need, but once you have one, you have a hard time living without. And I don’t just need any smartwatch, I already have an Android Wear that just does the basics, but it turns itself off after a few hours. No, I need the latest Samsung Gear S3 (I haven’t been an Apple fan since they ditched the Apple IIe for the Mac and didn’t have any way to convert).

I need one, I will feel better when I have one… Wait… what? That is one of my catchphrases from my last post. Hey voice… How am I going to feel better when I have one? <silence> That $400 is reserved for emergencies, is this an emergency? <silence> What if I spend it, and then an emergency comes up (and you know it will) and now I have to go into debt, am I going to feel better then? <silence> Do you remember how stressed I was the last time I was in debt? <silence> I had to sell my house to get out of debt! Hey voice, where are you now?!?!?!

Hmmm…. Wouldn’t you know it… The need to buy that smartwatch just disappeared… I guess that voice doesn’t like it when I stand up to it, or ask it questions. 😉

Advertisements

How to get out of debt: Part 2

Setting priorities for a Budget!

Setting priorities for a Budget!

A budget is not going to work as long as you are impulse buying, so if you haven’t already, please read Part 1: Stop Impulse Buying.

As I was learning when I was making up my budget, everyone is different.  If you are really far in debt as we were, your budget will probably not work right away, and will need to be refined.  When I did our first budget, I found that we were overspending big time, and couldn’t find anywhere to cut back.  Several things that I thought were a need, were actually wants, and it took us a lot of time to figure out what was a need and what was a want.

To make up the budget, you have to seriously think, “What is the one thing that I can’t live without?”  Could you live without a home?  It is hard to picture yourself there, but yes, there are lot of homeless people out there.  So, what do you need more than anything else?  Food!

Food is your #1 priority!  If you are not eating properly, you can’t work, earn money, and be able to pay for everything.  You may end up homeless if you don’t eat properly, and fast food is not the answer.  I used to love my fast food, but the chemicals, GMO, and processing gave me more food intolerances than you would believe.  Basically I am now allergic to almost anything that comes from a factory.  You need to eat healthy home cooked meals to get out of debt.  So you need to budget not more than 1/3 your net income for it!

Actually, you will probably find that home cooked meals cost less than what you are spending on junk food now.  If you need to, get a cook book on quick and easy meals.  Cooking is much easier than you think.  For example, put some meat in a hot frying pan for 3 minutes, flip it over for another 3, and then put it on a cookie sheet in the toaster oven for 10 minutes.  Most toaster ovens have a timer, this way I don’t burn things.  If you poke the meat and it bleeds, put it on another 10 or so minutes depending on the size.  Put some rice in a rice maker with some water, cut up some lettuce, tomatoes & cucumbers, and add salad dressing.  Dinner is done and wasn’t that easy?

So, what is the next thing you need?  You guessed it before – a home.  You need a home to get ready for work to earn money to pay for everything, but you need to make sure that it is within your budget.  Again, you should not be spending more than 1/3 of your net income on your home.  That 1/3 of your income includes your mortgage payment, strata fees or rent; plus electricity, telephones, cable, and other utilities.  If you are spending more than 1/3, then you really need to look at where you can cut down on this.  You really need to ask yourself, do I need cable TV?  Do I need all these options on my telephone line?  Do I need high speed internet?

What’s the next thing that you need?  Transportation to work, stores, etc.  You probably want to limit your transportation costs to less than 10% of your net income.  That 10% should cover your bus fare, or car payments, auto insurance, maintenance and fuel.

Oh, and you obviously need clothing…  However, you can usually find free stores, thrift stores, etc. so I didn’t list this as a priority, you can probably find something cheap to wear if you need.  I think social assistance will even fund some clothing to go to an interview to get a job.  Remember, they want you to get a job and get off assistance, so they will do what they can to help you.

One more thing….  You do need some form of recreation & entertainment, but you can usually find a lot of this free or cheap at a community center as well.  For my wife and myself, walking the dog, and a TV with basic cable, and Netflix satisfies most of our recreation & entertainment needs.

Almost everything else that you might think is a need is probably not a need but a want, and you can probably do without.  Think about it, and I will be back with some more tips next time.

Next:  Who are you making this budget for?