poll topic-debt/money management

on Aug 26, 2009 @ 06:01 am

I thought the poll question would be a good 'thread starter'...

So I myself tend to be a bit of a shopper...at one point, so much so that I was almost ignoring all my bills or putting them off as long as I could. I tend to be of the mindset that if I really want something, I am going to buy it-instant gratification. My husband on the other hand, is the 'financial' one....always looking at the bills, budgeting...Our friends say that we 'balance' eachother out....

What about all of you ladies? Are you the 'shopper' or the 'saver' or a little bit of both? Have any tips for an impulse buyer such as myself? I have restrained myself quite a bit (even when I went on the ShopCrawl and that was hard), but its still tough.....

12 Replies

Ali de Bold
I'm a planner on Aug 26, 2009 @ 09:25 am

I love budgeting and paying things off. Putting money into savings is a huge thrill. HOWEVER. I have been known to splurge - especially if the item will greatly improve my/our lives. Like our new car that replaced my old dented '97 Chevy Cavalier this spring, or the BCBG dress I ordered online last week.

My favourite thing to spend money on is traveling. It's amazing how much can be spent on a two week holiday once you add flight, hotel and food. I have never regretted spending trip money. But then again, it was budgeted for, so no surprises!

I did carry a lot of debt in my early 20s when I was being horribly underpaid, but didn't let that stop me from enjoying my life.

I recommend if at all possible, to live slightly below your means, putting any excess at the end of the month to top up your savings. You never know when you'll have a major expense (car breaks down), or lose your job.

definitely the 'saver' on Aug 26, 2009 @ 10:06 am

I am such a bad penny pincher, I embarrass myself sometimes. But it saves our family a boat load of money. My husband is a spender, but we do talk about most purchasing decisions together. Between the two of us, I think we really are quite responsible with our money.

We are more likely to blow big bucks on a vacation than on "things". We're all about experiences and seeing the world, rather than cramming our house and wardrobes full of stuff. My kids on the other hand... not so much ;) Actually, we're going on a mini vaca this weekend!

I agree.... on Aug 26, 2009 @ 06:43 pm

misschickie...I am horribly underpaid right now!!!

I agree about the traveling...I love spending money in places I may never be again!

My husband saw my topic and thinks I need to spend more time with both of you...since he 'claims' I am such a big spender.....

a bit of both on Aug 26, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

I'm underpaid and a spender as well. But at the same time, I'm also a
saver; it's a habit I developed as a student. I had this horrible
image of myself graduating without a penny in my pocket, unable to find
a job, have to go on welfare and live on the streets with the bums.
For a girl who has to have a hot shower everyday and a warm cozy bed to
sleep in every night, that image is pretty terrifying. Also, I hate
asking people for money. So I know the only way I will never have to
stick my hand out and ask my family/friends for money is that I save
whatever I can.

As a grad student, I managed to save quite a bit of money even though I
was making less than peanuts. The way I balance my spending and my
(pass/current) peanut salary is compromising. I only bought clothes
when they were on sale (at least 30% off but usually only at 50%). I
do trade-offs with my coffee: I can buy 2 coffee per day at the school
cafeteria (cheap but effective), 1 coffee per day at Timmy's and if I
decide to splurge my coffee money on Starbucks latte, then I'm only
allowed 1 coffee per week. I guess my biggest savings was rent and
transportation. I rented a room instead of an apartment; living
condition was crap but whatever, I was at school most of the time
anyway. I didn't own a car and bused everywhere. Some of my friends
at school had absolutely no money left at the end of each month and
they often complained about how expensive rent and car payments were.

I'm lucky now because my husband and I share the household expenses, so
that I can treat myself once in awhile. But I still follow the same
saving practices: whatever I don't spend at the end of the month, it
goes straight into the savings account and I don't touch that money
unless I absolutely have to. Also, buy things on sale, same deal with
coffees and eating out, etc.

Spontaneous spending is my worst enemy (ah...the thrill!!). So I came
up with a system that I will allow myself to buy that one thing I
really want. I always look at my spoils from each shopping trip when I
get home, but more often than not, those bags just sits on the floor
until my husband makes me clean up my mess. So if the item I bought
has been sitting on the floor for a week and I haven't looked at it
more than once, then it goes back to the store b/c I obviously don't
want it that badly; it was just spontaneous spending. If it's
something I really want, I'd keep going back to the bag and look at it
everyday, several times a day. Usually after awhile, my husband would
get frustrated and tell me to keep it. :P

^^ on Aug 27, 2009 @ 08:39 am

Bubbly - that story made me laugh! Sooo true! I used to leave the bag unpacked in my closet to "mull it over" and then return it. Now that my inner cheapskate has come out in full force, I usually leave the store without the purchase, risking that it won't be in stock if I should return. I generally know within 24 hours if I really regretted not buying it and then I race back like a maniac praying it's not gone. This practice lost me a beautiful bathing suit this summer (it was over $100, which I would never in a million years spend on a swimsuit) becuase it was out of stock by the time I went back, but in most cases this new habit of mine has saved me the gas money to return the item. Now, I only buy what I absolutely love and leave the 'maybes' on the rack.

Meredith - sounds good to me! Next time I'm in town we should get together ;)

There is so much that could be said on the subject. MissChickie nailed it on the head though - planning is key. A budget is the best way to control your money, but a budget needs a master plan, right?

mamaluv I am cursed with that too! on Aug 27, 2009 @ 10:21 am

I need to be utterly in love with something before I buy. If not, I leave it and if I can't stop thinking about it then I go back. I have lost countless items this way. This summer I lost a faux leather jacket that was exactly what I have been looking for for ages but technically don't need (considering my closet stuffed with my fave item, blazers). When I went back they were all gone, and I even called a bunch of other stores to see if they had it but no luck.

I struggle with this most at Winners -- I LOVE winners but even if I fall in love with something I tend to leave it in fear of their terrible return policy. I think with Winners the rule is to buy then return, but I'm always afraid.

bubblybunny -- I do the same thing with buying coffee! I am allowed to buy only one expensive coffee a week or only two cheaper coffees. Also during the summer I work downtown and its REALLY hard not to spend money on lunches. I have limited myself to one lunch out a week. This works quite well for me, and actually forces me to pack healthier lunches in the process -- if I pack things that are healthy and will keep me full for longer, I will be less temped to buy snacks. I kill two birds with one stone!

My favourite saving tip is to stock up on items you know you will buy again. Lotions, cleansers, hair products .. whenever they're on sale buy a bunch and then you will not have to buy them full price when you run out.

I find its hard to for me to stick to a budget but when I have a few small rules for me to follow its easier for me to keep myself in check.

I sometimes monitor how much cash I had in my wallet and how much is left and fret about it but then I realize that if I have followed my preset rules, there are no pruchases that I should regret.

Rules on Aug 27, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

CurlySue, I totally agree. If you establish some set rules and know that 95% of the time you are obeying them in the spirit for which they were intended (ie. no bending the rules), then generally speaking you should be okay overall in terms of your spending.

I think a lot of people are scared of budgets because it's always in the back of their minds: Only $75/week for groceries, only $50/week for eating out...

It's easier to think of it the way some of you have mentioned. If you spoil yourself on Monday, you'd better cut back a little somewhere else the rest of the week. This is also a budget - you're just looking at it differently :)

We don't have a set budget either, but I do keep track mentally (ok, I bought the fancy cheese and the nice steaks at the grocery store this week, so no eating out until next week or later).

i'm lovin' it! on Aug 27, 2009 @ 09:32 pm

I am writing this down...what great tips! I love the coffee tip....awesome.

I too, am also frightened of the word 'budget'. I agree that the key is to PLAN.....

awesome ladies!

I'm a huge spender on Aug 31, 2009 @ 12:02 am

and so is my boyfriend. He always has to have the biggest and best computers and cell phones and clothes etc. I just seem to want to get everything. I impulse spend on lattes, shoes, purses, makeup...and so on. The thing about the bf and I is that he always feels better about himself and loves to feel pretentious and satisfied with his items and when I shop I always feel like it's not enough. That it isn't really what I want and so I want to go and get better.

It's not that I am underpaid, it's that I have a habit where I spend more than I make. Even though I have a tax-free savings account for security, a savings acct for vacations, stocks and rrsp's, I still feel like I don't have anything. That all my clothes are not good enough, stylish..etc. I think I have major spending insecurities. I try super hard to budget and even though I am not in debt I hate the feeling of living paycheque to paycheque and not feeling good about what I have (which is a lot). I, like my bf, am always looking for something bigger and better. How does one feel good with what they have?

Ali de Bold
Think about someone else on Aug 31, 2009 @ 05:33 pm

This is in response to misslissa. I think you might feel like you don't have enough because your focus is on acquiring things, which can never truly add meaning to your life.

Have you considered using your resources to help others? Maybe you already do, but if not, what about sponsoring a child or donating to a local charity or volunteering your time somewhere? Your money would go so much further helping someone else out and you'd feel a lot better than the rush you get from any purchase.

If you find you are living month to month, can you live more simply? Are there some things in your day to day expenses you can cut out or cut down on? Might be worth considering. :)

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