Author Topic: Need a spending intervention - HELP  (Read 30726 times)

Daisyedwards800

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Need a spending intervention - HELP
« on: December 07, 2015, 12:47:45 PM »
Hi, I am REALLY GLAD I found this place.  I could really use some advice, as I seem to have gotten myself into a pickle where I cannot even save cash because I am in so much debt.  I need some point blank instructions to follow to become financially free.  I am sad about my situation, because I feel I am a pretty smart person who has been impulsive in my purchasing behavior.  I will spend up to the limit of what the credit cards will give me.  I make all the payments but once I have a little room I end up just spending them back up again.  It scares me to think about living on what I take home because sometimes buying something just really makes me happy.  I know it must be a bit of an addiction but its very pleasurable and I have trouble letting go.  My problem is mainly clothing and occasionally food.  I love new clothes and since I started buying new clothing I have felt more attractive, more competent and just overall way more confident than I did before when I was so frugal with my clothing budget.  I love having clothing options and following fashions.  I would not want to give this up entirely so need to work in a way to have some spending on that, or even come up with a situation where I earn money part-time/dog sitting whatever so that whatever I make in that side job I can freely spend on clothing and shoes.  Um, I got off track a bit.  Okay here goes my expenses:
-1350   Rent
-440     Credit Card Minimums
-485           Student Loan Minimums
-188           Extra Student Loan Pay Down
-1000   Food & Recreation
-340           Utilities
-3803   Total Expenses
-1188   Of Total: Discretionary
-2615   Of Total: Fixed
731    Leftover each Month

Yearly Savings:   
                    8,775    Cash Savings (731*12)
                 15,750    401k
                    3,150    Bonus to 401k
                    2,835    Bonus Cash Savings
                 30,510    Total Savings
62% of Savings to 401k
38% of Savings to  Cash Savings
27%    Savings Rate (not including principal paydown on debt)

Income:  Yearly Salary is 100,000
Bonus around $10k
401k % is 15% = $656
Taxes are about $1116 with 2 exemptions
Health Savings Account is $70 per paycheck
Cafeteria spending is $150-170 a paycheck (lunch, snacks, etc. every day).  It is heavily subsidized so I eat things like a huge breakfast and organic stuff.  Well worth it for me since I barely eat dinner at home.

In practice, I end up spending a lot more than $1000 on Food/Clothing/Recreation.  I live in NYC but do not go out often.  If I do its about $60 each time.  The real problem as I already mention is my online clothing shopping habit.  I have spent upwards of $1000-2000 per month on clothing.  Its CRAZY but I enjoy it so much.  Ah!

Help me figure out a way to tame this beast and to save the right amount.

My debts are this:
Student Loan #1 (Private, variable 3.2%):  $17,800
Student Loan #2 (federal fixed 6.7%): $8718
Student Loan $3 (federal fixed 2.75%): $13600

Credit Card #1:  $4750
Credit Card #2 : $8100
Credit Card #3:  $4900
Credit Card #4: $1025

I think the credit cards 1-4 are at 24.99% and the #2-3 are at around 13%

I tend to prefer to save in my 401k because whenever I pay down my debt I just spend whatever I have and max them out again so wondering if it might be better to just save in 401k and pay down student loans first because then I cant use up all my money and at least I get somewhere even if its not the most mathematically perfect place.

As of the end of this year I will have $116,000 in my 401k, $2500 in cash savings.  I am 33.

Am I vey screwed?  How long is it going to take to dig out of this hole and get myself under control??? Face punches needed.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 11:23:57 AM by Daisyedwards800 »

thingamabobs

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 12:55:39 PM »
wow, so basically you're saying that the only way you'll stop spending is if you max out your credit cards. But those cards are bleeding you dry at those interest rates!!! Cut the cards!! NOW! you need a cash only diet.

partgypsy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3485
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 01:03:19 PM »
105K year earnings
Have
Bonus is usually 7.5% of that so around $7,875

My debts are this:
Student Loan #1 (Private, variable 3.2%):  $17,800
Student Loan #2 (federal fixed 6.7%): $8718
Student Loan $3 (federal fixed 2.75%): $13600
40K student loans

Credit Card #1:  $4750
Credit Card #2 : $8100
Credit Card #3:  $4900
Credit Card #4: $1025
18775K (high interest) credit cards.

I am actually not a true mustachian (shooting for a regular retirement at age 62) and I would be very uncomfortable being in the situation that you are in. You are above average with your retirement savings, but if you lost your job tomorrow and had to pay off these debts, you would have no way to do so without liquidating all your retirement (with interest and penalties taken out).
I'm sorry if this is harsh but you know where your problem is (clothes shopping), though since you didn't post a detailed budget there may be other areas of spending as well.

If I were you I would seriously do  no (clothes) shopping for a year, and really hit both the credit cards and also the student loan payment as hard as you can. I normally would not say this, but you need to cut up your credit cards, and just keep one with a lower limit.
If you honestly feel you cannot do that without slipping, you need to put yourself on a hard budget. Sock your bonus in a checking account and that is your discretionary spending amount for the YEAR (365 days).

If shopping is your hobby, you need a new hobby! There will be withdrawal pains but you will grow as a person. Believe it or not, being an person with interests and hobbies and something on the inside makes one a attractive person, not wearing expensive clothes.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 01:06:50 PM by partgypsy »

2ndTimer

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4616
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 01:06:06 PM »
In practice, I end up spending a lot more than $1000 on Food/Clothing/Recreation.  I live in NYC but do not go out often.  If I do its about $60 each time.  The real problem as I already mention is my online clothing shopping habit.  I have spent upwards of $1000-2000 per month on clothing.  Its CRAZY but I enjoy it so much.    There are lots of places you could start so I am addressing the area where I feel most competent.  You say you enjoy it all so much but I will bet you don't enjoy it all equally.  Keep track of you spending for a while and you will see that some of it involves things that don't give you that much joy.  Cut these first.  You will hardly miss them.

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8200
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 01:07:49 PM »
Oh boy, I feel you on the clothes thing, in that I used to have a  bit of a compulsion here. Guess what--you don't need this to feel better. revolutionary! I know.

Suggestions:

Stop browsing in stores. Consider reading Your Money or Your Life. Think about why clothes are your gazingus pin.

Browse your closet. Are you buying stuff that you aren't wearing or isn't actually right for you? Can you arrange a clothing swap for your unwanted clothes with friends and thus get new clothes for free while socializing?

Also, read Overdressed: the High Cost of Low fashion, and think about if spending in this way aligns with your values.

If you do buy, create a list of essentials. You may only buy items on this list. Perhaps aim for a capsule wardrobe? Unfancy has a great overview and the outfits are very cute. http://www.un-fancy.com/category/capsule-wardrobe-101/

To save money (or just decrease spending), you absolutely have to reassess what you need. This can be a slow journey but it's very important. I found I was shopping as a habit, out of boredom, sometime to avoid facing certain feelings. It was a distraction and a reflex, not something purposeful. I also still have more than enough clothes even after a year where all I bought was basically necessities (some shoes--mainly practical, a coat, a bra) and after actively donating and re-selling clothes in my closet.

Also, it's important to really look at your spending when you go out. I have mostly stopped buying drinks out now and cut out brunching (mostly). But another thought--if you don't go out often, maybe go out to free things more and you'll realize you want to spend less (because hey, now your life is richer and fuller and the need for clothes is reduced commensurately).

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8200
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 01:10:45 PM »
More things--you do have great savings, but really, you can bring your lunch in. Do you work at Hearst or something? I can imagine they might have an unfriendly work culture for bringing lunch in, but it's such an easy win. Just start making food at home and bringing in leftovers (esp if you'e not going out much!). Or is your work very stressful with long hours and this is why shopping is your outlet?

Unsubscribe from any clothing/fashion emails you're on (Gilt, etc. ) which may be inducing you to impulse shop, too.

hunniebun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 491
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2015, 01:13:10 PM »
Have you read through many of MMM posts? I think there are some good ones that might help you focus your efforts...such as his post called Debt is an Emergency.  I think you should  focus on setting a realistic budget that focuses on repaying your credit card debt in a year or less.  Keep a clothing budget in there, since it sounds like you aren't ready to give that up and you would just be setting yourself up for failure to cut it out cold turkey.  Then you can shop (with in the budget) and focus on finding deals.  Once the debt is paid off, make a new budget with more rooms for fun, but with a healthy savings rate.  Maybe a different website with more practical tips on your situation, like Gail Vaz Oxlade or Dave Ramsay might be helpful? 

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8376
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2015, 01:14:21 PM »
You are here, so that tells me that the pain is greater than the pleasure. Try 2T's approach above. See if that works. Also read Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. They have a similar approach: spend money on what gives you the most pleasure. If that does not work, you may need Dave Ramsey, who is hard-core focused on debt.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Philociraptor

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 997
  • Age: 30
  • Location: DFW, TX
  • Eat. Sleep. Lift. Repeat.
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2015, 01:18:54 PM »
Read this MMM post.

Please go to your local library and pick up copies of Your Money or Your Life and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Read them cover to cover asap. This should help you with your clothing addiction.

Cut up your credit cards, they are toxic to you. Stop paying extra towards your student loans and stop saving money that isn't earning you a 401(k) match; throw all this money (except for an emergency fund) at paying off your credit cards. Credit cards are 3x-9x the interest rate of your student loans.

Once your credit card debt is gone you can go back to saving in your 401(k).

ohana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
    • An Ocean Lover in Maine
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2015, 01:21:10 PM »
Stop paying extra into your student loan.  Stop adding extra to your 401K.

Pay off your credit cards -- NOW.  Your credit card debt is an EMERGENCY.  Use the extra cash you get from above to pay these off immediately.

Also, consider refinancing these credit card loans via Lending Club or Prosper.  You can get a much lower rate I'm betting.

If you really love shopping, start going to Goodwill.  I get a kick out of finding the rare gem there -- it's as fun as going to the mall for me.

Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 909
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2015, 01:21:17 PM »
You need other sources of pleasure, reward, and support in your life.  You have gotten overfocused on one thing to the extent of getting underfocused on other things.  The other things are undercultivated, so no wonder they are not as rewarding in present circumstances.  You have also gotten to rely on clothes-buying for, as you say, confidence.  But it's also time to look at what clothes-buying is also doing for you:

making you fear and understand that you are not a person in control of your life
not giving you lasting confidence or else you wouldn't need to keep doing it to get the feeling.  It's only giving you a momentary burst of false confidence
putting you in danger of losing everything you have through debt and overspending
keeping you from having the sense of security, freedom, and pride that come along with leaving within your means

So you are paying a bigger penalty than you realize for the clothes-shopping.

I would suggest getting a lot of things in place to help with coping with the feelings that will come up (and not be numbed out ) when you cut down on the clothes shopping:

make a big chart or something satisfying, showing how your savings are mounting with your new non-spending
get a support group, ideally an in-person group, for camaraderie, accountability, and more social connectedness
what hobby have you always wanted to devote more time to?  Now's the time
a therapist with good practical experience helping with these issues (not just "When you were a kid..." but "Next time you're faced with the impulse, try...")
All the other comforts you can put in place without spending money: your favorite music, heart-warming pictures out, phone calls with old friends, good exercise, hot baths...

It might also help to add up how much you'd have saved if you'd been more careful with the shopping.  Say you'd spent $1500 less per month for the last five years, and invested it at 5%.  Want to guess how much extra you'd have?  The answer is $102,434.16.  That is one hell of a lot of money.  Tax-free, right?  Because that is after taxes.  How would you feel with a $102,000 cushion in your investment account, earning money for you every day without you having to do a thing?  All your debts would be wiped out instantly, and you'd still have a ton of money left over, sheltering you against job loss, health emergency, family emergency, poverty in retirement or against simply not having any money and feeling that desperate hamster-wheel never-can-catch-up anxiety.

Save that money and watch it mount up.  You can do it.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3055
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2015, 01:23:26 PM »
Sadly, there's no magic bullet.  You already know you are spending way too much, so there's not much anyone can say.  You either want to change badly enough that you'll do it, or you don't.  You either want to improve your situation, or you don't. Only you can make that call.

It's a bit like losing weight.  It's the simplest thing in the world, but that doesn't mean it is easy. It takes hard work to change habits. 

If you truly, truly want this change, you already know what you need to do.  In your [new, bought on credit] shoes, I would probably allow myself about $125 in monthly shopping money.  I'd load it on a pre-paid Visa card, and that would be the only card I was allowed to shop with. If you don't spend it, you can carry it over, but you aren't allowed to borrow from next month's money.   And as the carrot at the end of the stick, for every $2500 of the CC debt that I paid off (starting from today's total), I'd give myself another $20, if I truly needed that incentive.  (Better not to, of course.)

And give yourself a second allowance, on a different Visa gift card, for eating out and recreation.  Maybe $100/mo.  Your situation isn't horrible (yet!) because you have a very solid salary, even in NYC, and your debt is still not past the point of being manageable. But that doesn't mean it isn't an emergency, because you are out of control.  if you don't like those small numbers for shopping and recreation, good!  Let that be the incentive that gets you out of this mess.  Once you are, you can increase those allowances *slightly* if you feel you need to.  Maybe you get up to $500/mo, which is 1/2-1/4 of what you are spending now, but still a lot of money.  But you can't get there until you can actually afford it, which means having no CC debt at all.  Ever again.

Also, it is crazy you are paying extra on a student loan when you have cc debt at 25%.  Cut the student loans down to the minimum and put all extra money to the highest cc.  But the key is you need to not ever use the credit cards again for stuff you can't afford.

For how to replace the habit, try to find something else to fill that time.  Instead of sitting down in front of the computer, go for a walk, or read a book or learn to play chess, or some other free or low cots hobby. 

Also, you definitely should look in to dog walking or some other side hustle.  On top of that, you should sell some of your clothing on ebay, to a consignment store, or via ThredUp or similar.  And your rule from now on with clothes and shoes sould be one in, one out.  You are not allowed to buy anything (even using your $150 Visa gift card money) unless you get rid of something by either selling it, or throwing it away if it is no longer wearable.  (And no, you can't just donate wearable stuff.  You have to sell it.)

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5669
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2015, 01:27:40 PM »
As others have said, you've diagnosed the problem already.

If you were to review every article of clothing that you've purchased in the last year, how many of them have you worn more than twice?  Is it the feeling of shopping / buying new clothes what excites you, or is it the feeling of wearing something new?

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3201
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2015, 01:30:32 PM »
YOU NEED TO CANCEL YOUR CREDIT CARDS.  You can keep paying them down, but won't be able to keep spending on them.  If you want something, I think a cash envelope, preferably from a side hustle, is the way to go.  Then you can't shop online.  Try shopping secondhand.  There should be a plethora of fancy, barely worn cast-offs available in NYC that will work just as well for a fraction of the price.  Alternatively, learn to sew and focus your time and energy on recreating what you have (again using a cash system for any supplies purchased).

Track your spending.  $1,000 for "food and rec" is not adequate.  Break it down to groceries, cafeteria, fast food, restaurants, bars, etc. and then analyze what you can cut.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5669
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2015, 01:34:57 PM »
Also, check out things like this: http://www.meetup.com/fiveboroughsclothingswap/

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4636
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2015, 01:38:02 PM »
You need to find a way to enjoy wearing the clothes that YOU ALREADY OWN and stop buying new ones (at least so much).

I have never had this problem. I went to KonMari my wardrobe and found I owned just 62 tops (when "average" is 160 and I bet you have a lot more).

To get enthusiastic about less buying, maybe read something like Lessons from Madame Chic or some other Francophile book. French women always look great but they do NOT have giant wardrobes.

I do suggest taking a break from buying new clothes--say even just a month to start with. It might help you get better in touch with why you are buying so much.

Daisyedwards800

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2015, 01:39:04 PM »
My takeaways so far:

1) Create a more detailed budget/analysis of where my spending is
2) Cut up OR cancel my credit cards (which one?)
3) Use prepaid Visas for spending in each category for each month
4) Analyze which parts of my spending really do increase my happiness

To answer the clothing question, this is not one of those situations where I buy and don't wear the clothes.  I love all of them and have found a system where I actually buy items i like and wear.  That is what is so difficult here.  If I had spent $5000 and still felt I had nothing to wear, it would be one thing, but these online sites carry everything I like and I am finding myself so happy when I go to put an outfit on for the day.  It pleases me!  But now that I have a huge closet, I don't plan on whittling it down, since I like everything. Also a capsule wardrobe wouldn't really work for me, because I get bored of wearing the same things, I sweat a lot so I can't re-wear things every day, and I have a lot of different occasions (formal work, business casual days, nights out in the city, hiking days, lounging days, coffee dates, things like that so I really just like to have options).  I don't have a problem with having too many things right now.  My apartment is well organized and my closet is organized in a great way.  I think if I keep buying though that could get a bit out of control with having "too much stuff." and I wouldn't want to have to part with items I paid money for.

Now, would it be best to stop spending extra on 401k and student loans and to put it towards my credit cards?  I tried that a month ago and paid down $2500 in credit cards instead of loans and then I just ran it back up again.  It seems like I really do need to cancel my cards :(  I know that is bad for my credit.

Daisyedwards800

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2015, 01:43:18 PM »
I think this is not just a matter of willpower but a bit of a psychological issue.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2015, 01:45:43 PM »
are you really this dense.  you cant possibly be.  you dont spend money on a CC when its maxed out but then max it out when there is any money there.  this is absurd. 

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2015, 01:47:05 PM »
its all willpower... everything is will power

DONT PLAY THE ADDICITION CARD

you're just giving up and saying your powerless. 

cmon thats a lie and you know it.

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8200
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2015, 01:51:40 PM »
So, if you don't need to downsize, let's say you have the right sized wardrobe. Fine. Keep it right where it is. If you have outfits you love, you don;t need new outfits. Now please oh please get yourself off those online shopping email lists! As you say, there is a compulsion here, so the way to stop buying is to figure out what need the spending is fulfilling. Something emotional, something you're not getting, something you're afraid of? A good therapist would be useful here but the Your Money or Your Life book (or a book on buddhism--spending is one of those mindless habits we use to run away from the underlying reality of life) will help too as a starter.

Daisyedwards800

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2015, 01:51:55 PM »
To be more specific, my shopping problem is these online "subscription boxes" where you either get a mystery box of clothing or you choose 1-2 items and they surprise you with the rest.  Everything is on trend and fits.  It's part clothes shopping/part surprise/and part gift.  It's incredibly addictive.  If you want to invest in something invest in that!  I have an app idea for this industry percolating.

Daisyedwards800

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2015, 01:52:48 PM »
Okay will check out Your Money or Your Life.  What is it about?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2015, 01:53:47 PM »
You can't be trusted with credit. Skip every thread here about rewards cards, credit card hacking, etc. That's not where you are. Cancel all your cards so you can't spend more than you make.

I wouldn't reduce your 401k contribution. In fact, I imagine your tax rate is pretty high. I'd consider making sure it's maxed out yearly. It's the perfect savings vehicle for you - really hard to spend on clothes.

You need to order your debts by interest rate and pay into the highest-interest rate one until it goes away. Then move on to the next one.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8376
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2015, 01:56:29 PM »
Your Money or Your Life is about examining your relationship with money and STUFF.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

ohana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
    • An Ocean Lover in Maine
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2015, 01:57:33 PM »
It's incredibly addictive.

Not as addictive as watching your nest egg grow.

Now, let me FACEPUNCH you.  Stop spending on this stupid stuff, pay off your credit cards and cancel them, and start watching your net worth grow.

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8200
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2015, 02:07:46 PM »
The fact that it's a subscription service will make this (hopfeully easier). Styep 1: Cnacel. Step 2: do not rejoin, at least not until you control your wants.

Your Money or Your Life is a general personal finance book, but the part about 'gazingus pins'--their name for your weak spot on spending--was really helpful for me in seeing my shopping in a new, quite unattractive light. It helped me realize that I was never satisfied with my purchases because I was looking for the high of the purchase more than anything else. It was a bit of a hamster wheel way to go through life. I wasn't spending as much as you, but probably several hundred dollars a month, and certainly more than I needed.

Depending on your inclinations you could also look into 'Giving what you can'. It is hard to justify frivolous spending when you realize that it's not ethical in the big picture. Not to mention that the debt isn't sustainable. I had 10k and maxed out cards when I got serious about whittling it down and after two years it's gone, which is a nice feeling. Put all the money you can spare onto the highest interest card and stop new spending and it will piff almost on its own--once you learn how to control your spending.

I get loving that new feeling. I get being enticed by pretty, lovely, attractive things and how it makes you feel. But it's basically empty and you *can* change your mindset.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2015, 02:15:00 PM »
just stop it cold turkey... it wont take you one month and you wont even miss it. 

Daisyedwards800

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2015, 02:21:49 PM »
I just cut up 2 cards.  The other one I can't find (prob not a good thing!) And the 4th one is a Best Buy card and I almost never spend/go there.  It was for a computer.  This lovely computer auto-fills my credit card info into websites :/  Need to disable that.  And it autofills on another subscription box I use.

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8200
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2015, 02:23:06 PM »
That's great--now about cancelling those services....?

Also, make sure you get the books from the library!

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2015, 02:25:18 PM »
in 2 months you're gonna forget this day ever happened. in one year you'll be thanking yourself for the best xmas gift you ever gave yourself.  Freedom!

Daisyedwards800

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2015, 02:27:41 PM »
I cancelled one of them.  The other surprise boxes you need to order separately.  I am subscribed to all the emails with the sales and stuff.  Shouldn't I keep the sale emails so I only shop with sales or is that just a trigger? :/

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2015, 02:29:02 PM »
delete them ... thats just another trigger.  you already said your closet is full.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2015, 02:30:32 PM »
A great deal on a wasteful purchase is still 100% wasteful.

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8200
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2015, 02:35:27 PM »
Yeah, no shopping on sales either. If there are things you would really like, tis the season to ask for them as a gift. But I promise you don't need these things and if you replace the stimulus of buying with something else--something productive and healthy--you won't feel the lack.

Daisyedwards800

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2015, 02:36:28 PM »
What did you replace it with Norabird?

shotgunwilly

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 547
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2015, 02:41:36 PM »
I cancelled one of them.  The other surprise boxes you need to order separately.  I am subscribed to all the emails with the sales and stuff.  Shouldn't I keep the sale emails so I only shop with sales or is that just a trigger? :/

Ugh. -.-

Why do you think they send out sales emails to people like you?  Get rid of all of them.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3201
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2015, 02:45:26 PM »
I cancelled one of them.  The other surprise boxes you need to order separately.  I am subscribed to all the emails with the sales and stuff.  Shouldn't I keep the sale emails so I only shop with sales or is that just a trigger? :/

Whenever you get a new email, scroll right to the very bottom and click the "unsubscribe" because those sales emails are a total trigger to get you clicking around and buying stuff you didn't know you wanted when you woke up that morning.  Unsubscribe to everything.  If they don't have an unsubscribe, just block them.

On the 401(k) question, only contribute enough to get your match because you're paying 25% INSANE INTEREST on your credit cards.  Pick one of the 25% cards that you've cancelled/cut up and pay it down, then move on to the next one and kill that.  Your credit score will recover, don't worry about that.  Having maxed credit cards hurts your credit too but that isn't stopping you. 

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8200
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2015, 02:45:50 PM »
That's a good question! I used to go into stores on my lunch break or after work, then I stopped--that didn't need any replacing, but it still took a mindset shift. I think ultimately you need to figure out what feelings the shopping is allaying, and face them, and also to figure out what would make you happier in a deeper way (not that I was unhappy when I was shopping more, but it was a waste of life energy). What do you like and what matters to you? Focus on that. It's not just clothes, I'm sure. (By the way, down the line once you fix your own buying patterns maybe you could look into this as a side gig--personal shopping, or something. It's okay to value fashion, or even to budget for it, but it needs to be controlled and proportionate).

Daisyedwards800

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2015, 02:47:42 PM »
I don't know how I got onto all these email lists.  I have hundreds.  I just unsubscribed from about 20, it's going to take all day ha ha

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2015, 02:49:07 PM »
I cancelled one of them.  The other surprise boxes you need to order separately.  I am subscribed to all the emails with the sales and stuff.  Shouldn't I keep the sale emails so I only shop with sales or is that just a trigger? :/

Whenever you get a new email, scroll right to the very bottom and click the "unsubscribe" because those sales emails are a total trigger to get you clicking around and buying stuff you didn't know you wanted when you woke up that morning.  Unsubscribe to everything.  If they don't have an unsubscribe, just block them.

On the 401(k) question, only contribute enough to get your match because you're paying 25% INSANE INTEREST on your credit cards.  Pick one of the 25% cards that you've cancelled/cut up and pay it down, then move on to the next one and kill that.  Your credit score will recover, don't worry about that.  Having maxed credit cards hurts your credit too but that isn't stopping you.

She's paying 25% federal taxes on her last dollar earned.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3055
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2015, 02:51:57 PM »
You say you aren't wasting because you wear everything.  That's not really the definition of not wasting.  You wear every item in what--a 4 month rotation?  Cut that down to two months.  You'll still be well dressed.

As for what to replace it with, what are you interested in? I posted some suggestions up thread.  Walking, learning a skill, reading, learning about finances, or whatever interests you that you can do free or at very low cost.  Even better if you can find something that you can do that earns you money. 

And no, you shouldn't stay on the lists so you buy when there are sales.  You need to stop buying shit you don't need.  Just because you'd wear it doesn't mean you need it.  Those things are not even close to the same.  You've lost the right to buy something just because it is cute and on sale.  You spent away that right $20,000 ago.  If you don't like that truth, then remember how it feels and use it to motivate you to get rid of the debt and never get a single penny of it back.  Because once you do that, then you can allow the *occasional* splurge, but only if you keep it under control and within pre-set limits.  You aren't someone who can be successful with no budget.  You need to track every single penny you spend, and set limits for every category that are non-negotiable, even once you are out of debt. 

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8200
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #42 on: December 07, 2015, 02:55:04 PM »
I think 401k contribution to an extent is personal preference. I had lower interest credit cards but I liked seeing the investments tick up no matter what else I did. Obviously the higher interest is a factor, but here it might be okay to move overpayment of the student loans to CC debt and keep higher 401k contributions if that feels right. The first step is to stop the habit, and after that the approach for lowering the existing balances can be tinkered with. The behavioral patterns are the number one priority, and the rest, in my opinion, are details.

By the way, as your balances go down, you'll start qualifying for 0% cards (eventually). Transferring part of the balance is a great way to help cut back on the interest charges once you reach that point.

Exflyboy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6498
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Corvallis, Oregon
  • Expat Brit living in the New World..:)
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #43 on: December 07, 2015, 02:57:08 PM »
Addiction??.. Hmm my BIL just got caught with a DUI while driving his Class A CDL truck.

So now he has lost his job and about to lose his license.. "But he's an alcoholic, he can't help it" they all say.. Yeah I have a number of different adjectives to describe his situation.. None of them fit to print.

Same for you I'm afraid.. I took the interest you THINK you are paying on those Credit cards... You are paying $3133/ year or $261 a month.

In INTEREST alone!!!!.. That means you might as well be balling up $261 each month and BURNING it!

Can you see how STUPID this situation is?.. Like everyone else has said... Stop buying clothes, STOP paying off any other loan, STOP saving, get your spending under control and pay those damn CC's off.

Sorry this is blunt but seriously your in a world of hurt here.

ooeei

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1143
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2015, 03:00:07 PM »
Since you really like fashion, how about learning to sew/alter your own clothes?  That's a productive hobby that should cost far less than what you're spending on clothes.  I'm sure there's some classes in NY that aren't crazy expensive.

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8200
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2015, 03:00:50 PM »
On a happier note: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/04/get-rich-with-the-chaching-instinct/

I can vouch that this feeling exists.

Daisyedwards800

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #46 on: December 07, 2015, 03:01:51 PM »
$261 a month can be put towards clothes once I am out of debt.... sorry that is not the right way of thinking .... ahh

Daisyedwards800

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2015, 03:04:48 PM »
Since you really like fashion, how about learning to sew/alter your own clothes?  That's a productive hobby that should cost far less than what you're spending on clothes.  I'm sure there's some classes in NY that aren't crazy expensive.

I am hopeless with this kind of stuff.  I am more of a computer brain.

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8200
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2015, 03:08:54 PM »
Honestly if you need to pledge that interest towards clothes once the debt is gone, that's fine by me--because you never know how your priorities may change, and if they don't and you've learned how to spend *within your budget*, then that's absolutely your right. First you have to pay for the clothes you've bought in the past however!

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5669
Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2015, 03:09:28 PM »
$261 a month can be put towards clothes once I am out of debt.... sorry that is not the right way of thinking .... ahh

Go to your closet, take out half of the clothes, and put them in boxes.  In 6 months, open a box. New clothes!