” After last weeks article on spendaholics many people did write in to me admitting that they felt that the article had been written for them. So if you identified with it or you know someone who should have let’s try and work on the solutions now. “
What can we actually do to curb this spending? This is now coming after understanding that there will always be something to buy. We will never really have the latest of anything. You cannot have enough things. Last week we understood addiction as inability to control. So we do need then to look at the ways in which we can put controls.
I have learnt that one of the best ways is to move money out of where you don’t want to see it. Money in your bank account is not a good thing. So if you have money lying around in your account that you would like to see saved or invested please remove it. Put it in places where you don’t have easy access to i.e. you don’t have an ATM card or mobile withdrawal or physical branches in your favorite malls.
Options like money market funds work because they keep money safe, you will get to earn an interest and to remove the money you actually need to have sent through instructions to withdraw the funds.
This means there is no room for impulse. By the time you do actually send through these instructions and receive the funds it means you have thought through it. You can even set up a standing order from your normal account into another account or vehicle that you use to save.
So immediately your money comes in the money that you don’t want to spend immediately goes out. Another control you can put in is to always pay bills before you start spending. Pay immediately even if they are only due in the middle of the month. Pay your electricity, rent, water, top up your phone, buy food etc.
That way your necessities are covered before any temptation comes in. Do not take a stroll to the mall before you have done this. Within a couple of days of being paid, all your necessities should have been taken care off and any money that you want to save should have left your account. This leaves limited funds available and even if you do spend on other things it will not be to the detriment of essential things.
Don’t put yourself in the line of fire. Window-shopping is not a good idea because you keep adding more and more stuff to your “wants” list and keep seeing more things that make you think you will be happy when you have them. Remember a sale is not a sale if you did not need the item in the first place.
If you really needed a sweater and happened to see one on sale, good for you. However if you were going to buy bread and happened to see a sweater you had never considered on sale and you bought it, then don’t fool yourself that it is a bargain. Now you may need to go buy groceries in a place that there is a lot of temptation e.g. a supermarket in a mall.
Don’t carry any money that you had not planned to spend. I have a client who did this successfully. She would only go with cash and leave behind debit and credit cards. Because of mobile money these days, if you need to leave your phone in the car as you shop for groceries then do that. So that you also completely do not feel you are denying yourself all the niceties of life, reward yourself for good behavior.
You can set boundaries on what and when you will buy for yourself. You can do something every two month or three months.
As humans we need these incentives to keep us going. In addition you will really enjoy it because you will know what you have done. This is preferable to the empty spending we talked about last week, which in many instances leaves you feeling worse off.
Find things to do with your time that make you feel better about yourself. Remember we spoke of the spendaholic need to spend to feel better. Replace that with constructive things. We seriously need to look at how we are spending our time. Don’t leave yourself with nothing to do. If you cannot manage time you usually cannot manage money. Usually when we are spending time badly we are also spending money badly. Take up sports even if it’s just jogging on the road. Take a course. Read a book. Spend time not with fellow shopaholics but with other people who you can learn something from or who can learn something from you.
Make sure some of your new activities do not become your new addiction. It is very easy to transfer the shopping addiction to something like TV. Spend more time with your family. Connect with the things that you value and do those things.
Lastly choose someone you can be accountable to. This should not be someone who will judge you but at the same time someone who is not afraid to correct you. Let them know what you want to achieve in the next three months or so and ask them to hold you accountable. When we know we have someone to sort of report to we may think twice about resuming spendaholic behaviours. “
Visit the Centonomy website www.centonomy.com to find more resources and courses you can attend to empower and equip yourself to attain financial literacy and independence.
About Centonomy Founder: Waceke Nduati Omanga is the founder and director of Centonomy Ltd where she is also the Lead Trainer. She is driven by her passion for teaching people how to create wealth and manage money to achieve financial freedom. Waceke has over 10 years’ experience in the investment industry internationally as well as locally. She holds Masters Degrees in Banking & Finance, Professional Accounting. Her work experience has covered diverse areas such as IPO Transaction Advisory, Unit Trust Fund Management, Retirement Fund Management, Stock Brokerage and, Investment Research Analysis. Some of the institutions she has worked for include Balmain NB (Australia), Dyer and Blair Investment Bank, African Alliance Investment Bank and CFC Stanbic. Waceke is renowned for her ability to break down and demystify money & investments in a way that is relevant for all. This has made her one of the go to leading experts in matters of personal finance for most media outlets. Waceke is the personal financial columnist for the Saturday Nation and has published over 500 articles for the publication. She has also published various articles in the Business Daily Sunday Nation, Money Magazine and True Love Magazine. She is often called upon by various media to give expert opinion on Personal Finance matters and has appeared on Kiss FM, Capital FM, NTV, K24, KBC, KTN, BBC, and CNBC Africa. She has been a panelist for UN Women on “Economic Empowerment for Women”. She is also a board member at Old Mutual Securities. She was nominated as amongst the top 50 Women Entrepreneurs in November 2007 by the Business Daily. Centonomy Ltd, under her leadership, has been able to train up to 10,000 people in different aspects of personal financial management. This has been done through the various training channels that Centonomy offers i.e. Centonomy Corporate trainings, Centonomy 101, Centonomy Campus Edition and the soon to be launched Centonomy Entrepreneur. Waceke believes that the journey to financial freedom starts with living intentionally.