Hiding in my house does not prevent me from spending money -- just check my QVC account. Here's a confession I probably should not make: I spend too much on the extras like clothing, apps and electronics and let the important things like rent, power and groceries fend for themselves. After a lifetime of missing my budget goals, I recently made the decision to get serious about overspending. I want to move ahead and overcome my financial challenges. I found out I had to face the past, recognize where I went wrong and change my behavior. (Or in my case, behaviors!)
I grew up poor; having three meals a day or eating out occasionally was a treat for me and my family. When I got older and began earning a paycheck, it was nice to buy what I wanted, when I wanted. Unfortunately, like many people who grow up in poverty, I had no money skills. Having never had it, I didn't know even how to balance a checkbook or keep one in order. Every payday seemed like the lottery, not something I earned. Here is a truth I learned: I had a windfall attitude about money.
Finances did not improve after I married; I carried my money problems with me. I had bad credit, no savings and no way to get ahead. For many years, it was a real source of controversy in my home. Finally, he gave up! Another truth I learned: my financial failures affect my whole family, even the children.
One last truth I learned about my overspending; my problem is not earning money. You see, like many people in my family, I had gotten into a habit of attributing my financial shortcomings to how much money I made. I am (or was until recently) always broke no matter the take home pay. No matter how many promotions or raises I got, it was never enough to make up for my poor money habits.
Sure, I think the economy stinks right now but in my particular case, the recession only accentuated a problem that I already had. I do not have all the answers, or even a few, for that matter but I believe that I am on my way to finding some. Today, I keep a spending journal. I use online and mobile banking to stay on top of my checking account. I do not write checks unless I have to. I hope to have the overspending habit broken by the end of 2013. That's my goal anyway.
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