Getting Support When Spending Less
by Kimberly Danger
Spending less isn't easy, especially when you try to go it alone. Your friends may wonder why you don't want to go shopping with them. Your kids will undoubtedly protest your refusal to buy them that extra toy. Your spouse may foil your best-intentioned plans if he isn't on board with the program. That's why it's so important to get the support you need in making peace with your finances.
Explain to your friends just why living a less materialistic lifestyle is important to you. If you're in debt, be honest about your situation. Don't let fear or the thought of shame prevent you from doing this. You may discover that friends feel the same societal pressures to keep up, or are in debt themselves. You'd be surprised how much support you get.
Get Your Spouse Involved
Your spouse is supposed to be your rock: the person you lean on when times get tough. Unfortunately, when it comes to finances, partners don't always see eye to eye. Even the most financially compatible couples have arguments on how money is spent from time to time. You both need to be on the same page when it comes to your goals for the future and how you will accomplish them. Sit down and talk about your current financial situation, your goals for the future, and how you plan on accomplishing them.
Make New Friends
Take a look at your friends, people, and media you surround yourself with. It's inevitable that you compare yourself to them in some way, shape or form. Even while we all know we shouldn't do it, comparisons sometimes takes place on an unconscious level: through the ads you see on TV, the magazines you read, and just by being exposed to certain situations every day. If your entire social network makes more money than you do, drives fancier cars or lives in bigger houses, you're more likely to feel like a financial failure. If this describes your situation, your circle of friends may be a little out of whack. Seek out friends whose situations may be closer to your own.
Look for Online Support
If you can't find the support in your own circle of friends, there is help online. Mommysavers.com has their very own Spending Less Group, a network people to discuss the concern, struggles and challenges of ridding themselves of debt or trying to live a frugal lifestyle. Sometimes the anonymity of the Internet gives people the freedom to be more honest with their situations. You'll find it at http://mommysavers.com/boards/spending-less-saving-more/.
Kimberly Danger is the owner and publisher of MommySavers.com - a site for moms living well for less. Portions of this article first appeared in her blog, Forget the Joneses, which also appears on her website at MommySavers.com
Take the Next Step
- Be honest and decide whether you need a support group to help you become debt-free
- Take control of your finances. Subscribe to our weekly "Surviving Tough Times" newsletter. This free html newsletter will provide ways to survive in this challenging economy. Each issue features nine articles to help you stretch your dollar!
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