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Spending Money is NOT Therapy

Posted by : Mala Lal | Posted on : Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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Let’s get something out of the way up front: I have no tolerance for the typical stereotypes of women as shoppers who have no concept of a budget. That is just plain ludicrous, obnoxious, and offensive! More often than not, women are the backbone of household budgets. They are the ones who have a clue about the finances, and are the ones who are most likely to object to out-of-control spending by the “man of the house”.

Spending money, however, is a necessity. So is food, shelter, and a certain amount of entertainment. There are some things you have to buy no matter how tight money gets. It is during those times of financial challenge when the art of spending wisely can be the difference between life and death. You don’t have to completely stop everything that is fun and frivolous in your life. You do have to know when and where the corners can be cut. Here are a few suggestions:

Entertainment on a Budget

Some people think of a robust cable package as an extra we can live without. When reviewing a budget, it is often the first thing to go. If you have a premium channel like HBO or Showtime, that is considered $20 you can easily save for something more important.

I contend that a robust cable package with a premium channel might well be the best way to save a ton of money. First of all, finding good TV deals has never been easier. It is amazing what you can get for as little as $34.99 a month. Second, if you go to the movies regularly, you will save a ton by skipping the theater, and picking up a premium channel so you can watch the latest movies at home. By shifting just a few things, you can keep your entertainment and your budget.

Buy Apps That Help You Manage Your Money

How much do you spend on apps every month. That iTunes bill can come as quite a shock when you look at your statement. That is because those 99¢ apps are not charged at the time of purchase, they are added up and billed all at once. Cutting back on those app purchases might be a good idea just on general principals.

But not all apps are wasteful. You can spend some of your resources on apps that actually help you manage your money. One of the best apps you can have on your Home screen is a banking app that allows you to see the balance of all of your accounts at once.

It can help you get into the habit of checking your balance more often. Just the act of checking your balance and being aware of what is going on with your finances will keep you from making spending errors that would normally result in those pesky overdraft fees. Knowledge is power. And apps that provide knowledge are quite powerful indeed.

Sell the Old Thing Before Buying the New One

There is nothing wrong with wanting something new from time to time. The iPad Pro will be on the store shelves in just a few weeks. Before thinking about buying it, sell your current iPad and put that money towards the new one. By doing this with everything you buy, you can save hundreds.

If you don’t know how to sell your used items, you can just use a service like Gazelle to unload your preowned wares at a reasonable price from a reputable company. They even send you a postage-paid box so you don’t have to worry about the details. They tell you how much they are willing to pay for your item. And that is exactly how much they pay you. Better still, try selling it on Craigslist. You can post your items for free, and sell them locally for cash.

Saving money is more of an art than a science. The line between necessity and extravagance is thinner than you might have imagined. Getting the balance just right can keep you off the credit counselor’s couch.

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