Do you love to shop but also want to experience the taste of financial freedom? The key is to love yourself and to avoid getting into debt. Here are eight ways for avoiding debt while shopping, according to financial industry expert Roseland Associates. These tips will ensure that your money is working for you instead of against you.
Living Within Your Means
One of the best ways to avoid falling into debt when shopping is to live well within your means. That means you shouldn’t try to keep up with your family, friends, or neighbors. If you can’t afford it, then you shouldn’t buy it. This can be difficult since society has become a target of instant gratification.
Everyone wants something, and they want it now; they don’t like the idea of buying it later. What happens if you still want it? If you can’t buy it right now, then save up for it. It might not be as fun to buy something you really want or need, but it’ll make you appreciate the things you do have. This helps to put things into perspective.
Create a Budget – And Stick to It
Knowing how much you make and how much you spend will help you proactively avoid getting into debt. You can track your spending through the use of Excel spreadsheets, Personal Capital, or Tiller. Many banks also offer detailed spending analysis tools. Check out each of these options and read the reviews. This can help you determine which option is best suited for you and your needs.
Some people see the word “budget,” and it makes them nervous. It doesn’t mean you’re limiting or restricting yourself. A budget allows you to spend the money that you have in a way that suits your needs and lifestyle. You’re probably wasting money on things that don’t make you happy or don’t even remember signing up for.
With a budget, you can learn what you can afford and use that to spend it on the things that make you truly happy. If you don’t want a budget, then you still need to track your spending. Find out which expenses are unnecessary and land you in trouble with your bank or creditors.
Shop Only When You’re Happy
One of the biggest ways to avoid debt is to shop when you’re happy. If you’re anxious, depressed, or bored, then you’re likely to spend more money on the things you don’t need. You should take this time to figure out which things make you the happiest.
You should look back at your budget to help you remember what you can afford. When looking at your expenses, think about the ones that made you the happiest, not just at the time, but at the present moment too. You should only spend money on the items that will bring long-term happiness.
Don’t Buy Anyone’s Love
You shouldn’t buy anyone’s love, including your own. You need to value yourself and take care of yourself. Some people think they need to buy other’s affection to feel loved back. A person who is truly worth loving won’t require you to buy them things for them to love you back. They will love you the way you are.
This step entails learning to fall in love with yourself. While it can take some time, it’ll help improve your self-esteem and self-confidence. There are many books on the subject. Some of the most popular include “Launch Your Life,” “The Law of Attraction,” “The Magic of Thinking Big,” and “The Secret.”
Don’t Fall for the Comparison Trap
Trying to keep up with everyone else and comparing yourself to them is pointless. If you learn how to fall in love with yourself, then you won’t fall into the comparison trap. Those people who have all the latest and greatest things are most likely to fall into debt. Some of them may look like they have glamorous lifestyles, but they probably have a growing mountain of debt.
Rich people are just like regular people except they have exposure to even bigger money problems. Consider the famous celebrities who have gone bankrupt like MC Hammer. Don’t compare yourself to the rich people that you see on Instagram, in movies, and on television. By comparing yourself to others, you’re more likely to get into debt. You should make purchase decisions for yourself.
Credit Cards Aren’t for Everyone
Having a credit card doesn’t mean you’re a responsible adult. As you enter college and the workforce, you’re going to run into financial difficulties. You may want to apply for a credit card to avoid some of them. You’ll receive a plethora of credit card offers in the mail that offers bonus rewards, cash back offers, and travel perks, all of which sound enticing.
Don’t apply for all of them, or you’ll suddenly find yourself in a pile of debt in addition to the immediate ding on your credit score. Your spending habits will get out of control. Choose one card that’s the most useful and appealing and look into canceling the remainder. Choose your credit card wisely and limit the number of cards that you use.
Use Cash Instead of Credit
Avoiding the temptation of credit cards can easily be solved with using cash instead. Paying with credit may be convenient, but it can quickly increase your debt. With cash, you only spend what you have on you. This can save you from dealing with high-interest rates and fees on your credit card statements if you choose not to pay off the balance by the end of the month.
To avoid getting into debt, use your credit card for large purchases. Consider getting additional protection for those purchases. Then, use cash for everything else.
Treat Your Credit Card Like a Debit Card
What’s the difference between credit cards and debit cards? A credit card gives you 30 days to make a payment or to pay off your balance. A debit card is money spent from your checking account. When you use a debit card for shopping, you avoid getting into debt. While some credit cards offer cash back, some debit cards are offering the same.
This free service allows you to use your debit card to earn cash back or rewards at certain locations. By using your debit card when shopping, you avoid debt and earn more money. It’s a win-win situation.
The best way to avoid debt is to fall in love with yourself. Don’t ever compare yourself to others and avoid credit cards as much as possible. If you do one or all of these things, then you can avoid getting into debt. Roseland Associates also recommends using debt consolidation services as a type of loan designed to help you lower your payments and pay off your debt faster.