How we Shop, Spend and Save – “I’ve realised you need a big compelling reason to change your spending habits” Caroline (2 minute read)

When my sister paid off her mortgage I was genuinely pleased for her but disappointed for myself. I had habits in place but I had been spending on the credit card. I wasn’t paying off my home loan as quickly as I could have. I’ve realised you need a big compelling reason to change your spending habits – a strong motive.

The negative words around spending used to grate me. Frugal was my picture of spending less. I didn’t want to be frugal. I like being generous.

There is an absence of stress about money in our household now because of the allocation of money. We all have an understanding of how much is allocated to each category and how much we can spend. It’s a great feeling to not worry, to be in control and make better decisions.

Now all purchases are planned. I changed my spending to ‘conscious’ or ‘thoughtful’ spending. I recognised that if I spend now I am taking from the future. If we make an ‘unplanned spend’ the money has to come from somewhere. My husband wanted to spend $300 on a gift. Rather than saying “That’s ridiculous” I said “Where should we take the money from?” Recently I bought an expensive jacket. It was a thoughtful considered purchase. I waited a week before I bought it.

We have a house budget. Previously we just bought what we needed. Now we have limits. We ask ourselves “How badly do we need this?” Our focus is repaying the home loan so now we fix things by finding the parts on e-Bay.

I’m astounded at the money we’ve spent over the years. We didn’t do things that were extraordinarily fabulous. We’d spent on renovations because we had the money. My attitude had been to build up money and spend it. I had no real consideration for the future because I always thought we would earn more.

I had to overcome the shame of having a budget at Aldi. I was confident and discussed my budget and my $300 cash hard limit with the checkout person because I didn’t want people to think I couldn’t afford something or to think less of me if I had to put things back. I sat with the Dentist and talked through the cost of treatment because I don’t want any surprises. I still enjoy treats and experiences. I used to have a cooked lunch and two wines by the river on a Saturday. I still do that. But, now I just have the two wines!

When you share your financial goal with people, they get excited for you. When you tell people you have a budget, they share their story. People want to have conversations about money rather than feeling shame and guilt. I’ve realised that rather than thinking people will judge you or think you are ‘poor’ its how you feel about yourself.

Thank you to Caroline for sharing openly and honestly.

What next?
– Please share with your family, friends, co-workers and people whom this story will inspire and help.
– Want to share how you shop, spend and save? Email to arrange an interview date and time.

Until next week…