kassikoloSeptember 25, 2012

I dont have any debts other than home and car (dont have credit cards- i am scared of them)..But it seems like no matter how much we make (about $4000/per month sometime a little more household income)i spend it all and never save and its barely enough...I buy some expensive clothes and seems like all our money goes to that and just "stuff"..(we do have 2 little kids that eat like crazy and since i like healthy food my grocery bill is $1400/month)...I just dont know how to stop buy these new nice things and start saving for the future..

I need some criticism please:)

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Grocery bill of $1400 a month for 2 adults and two kids? You can cut that bill in half. Many families could eat out every meal for that much. That's $46 per day.

Start there. If you are buying junk food, stop. If you are buying prepared foods, learn to cook. Sodas? Fake "juice"?

Healthy does not equal expensive. Check in with the Cooking Forum for a lot of good ideas.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:28AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

(about $4000/per month sometime a little more household income)i spend it all and never save and its barely enough
So in other words you are living from paycheck to paycheck like many poor people, who have no financial security.

I buy some expensive clothes
Ok, I give up. Why? Why then are you complaining about not being able to save? Some people, regardless of their income, will always live from paycheck to paycheck, and never have any financial security. What would happen if for some unforeseeable reason you lost your job, or missed having your full paycheck for a few weeks, or a few months?
Chances are you would lose your home and your car, and maybe more than that.

I suggest you read numerous articles about Pay yourself first.
Even if you have no desire to want to be 'rich' you should, for your sake and the sake of your family, desire some financial security.

That Elusive Emergency Fund: Why You Need It

Really, it sounds like you could benefit by starting with the financial basics and I suggest the book below.

If you have never saved, or been able to save, just how were you able to buy a home? Buying on contract with no down payment? Borrowed the down payment? Was given the down payment? No down payment was required (sigh)?

Here is a link that might be useful: What you need-Personal finance for Dummies available at Walmart

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:03AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

.I just dont know how to stop buy these new nice things and start saving for the future..
So from the looks of your posts at the link below, it looks like you are in the planning stages of building a new home.

Is that wise? How is that 'going to happen'? I'd certainly suggest that your 'new' house payment not be any bigger than your existing payment. Might you just be in the dreaming stages of building a new home?

Here is a link that might be useful: So are you considering building a house?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:39PM
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Chemocurl - thank you for little reality check..yes we are on the planing stages of building a new home and the payment will be the same because even though i cant save from the monthly paychecks we have some bonuses and putting them away..and we will have 20% down on our new house with same monthly payments. Nevertheless i do spend too much monthly. We also have a little emergency fund to cover a month of expenses, but i plan on making it bigger once the house building is over.
I ordered that financial book you suggested..but i think its not that i dont know how to budget, its more that i cant say NO to myself. I am addicted to shopping online, mostly because i live in the middle of nowhere and i am bored to death... need to change my habits thats for sure..i just dont know how

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 1:57PM
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How do you shop online without credit cards? PayPal? If so, close your PayPal account, problem solved. I know for me personally, when I buy clothes/shoes online, I am much more likely to keep items I don't absolutely love, just because it would be a pain to ship them back. If you can't say no to yourself, maybe you could award yourself a smaller amount each month (i.e., buying 1 item instead of 5) for a treat?

If you've not already done so, you may want to log every single thing you spend for the month, which may give you a clearer picture of areas where you can cut. $1400/month sounds high to me for groceries, even assuming organic, pasture-raised, free-range, etc., which is what I buy as well. Are you buying a lot of the Whole Foods type prepared entrees, rather than buying the raw ingredients and making it yourself? Throwing out a lot of wasted food?

Also, with respect to your emergency fund, you "plan on making it bigger once the house building is over." That is a huge red flag to me - you should be focusing on that NOW and not going forward with the house until the emergency fund is built up. It sounds harsh, but you simply can't afford it. I bought my first house from a couple who were selling to build a house for which they stretched and were living paycheck to paycheck. I found out from neighbors that they lost it to foreclosure only two years after it was finished. The unexpected does and can happen, and you need savings to be prepared.

I also say this as someone who just went through a basement renovation that took about 18 months longer start to finish than I originally thought when planning (and cost about 20% more than initially thought). I am very happy with the end result, BUT I had the money set aside to do it in advance (even the overage, which I anticipated).

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 3:08PM
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OK, you have become addicted to instant gratification. A lot of us are, or have been. That's what advertising is all about. Like the man said, "There's a sucker born every minute."

Discipline isn't easy (or it wouldn't be another word for self-control, LOL). I'm a spender and so is my spouse. Wasn't easy to get ourselves into a more disciplined mode. Had to do those kind of "tricking myself" things, like signing up for savings bonds and opening an on-line savings account with automatic monthly deposits, where I couldn't just get the money immediately.

It's been proven that people spend more with debit, credit and other types of e-transactions, than if they only use cash. Have you ever tried this, even in a modified form? My spouse used to like fifty-dollar bills. He would carry one along with a five and some singles, because very few stores will cash anything more than a $20. So he'd carry around that fifty-dollar bill for months before breaking into it.

It's up to you whether it's easier to cut your spending off "cold turkey" or work it down gradually. You could, for example, agree with your spouse that every two dollars you spend on non-essentials, whether it's makeup or a candy bar or a movie, has to be matched by one dollar going into savings.

I have a friend who budgets once a year. She figures out how many birthdays, anniversaries, vacation, Xmas presents and such, that she has to buy during the year. She picks an amount and pays into a separate savings account for every gift. And she's got a big family, so it's a lot of accounts that must be funded. But she says it's the only way she can exercise self-discipline and not overspend on gifts. With little kids in the family, it's all too easy to fall into the "oh, just one more little thing," trap.

Think about what kind of example you're setting for your kids. Mom's never happy with what she has; there always has to be something new and shiny for her to play with for a few days before she gets bored, and needs yet another new shiny purchase...again and again.

Life is more than the sum total of all your shopping. If the world ended tomorrow, or you found out your child had an incurable disease, what would be important? Buying another blouse, or spending time together laughing and hugging?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 11:11PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I am addicted to shopping online, mostly because i live in the middle of nowhere and i am bored to death.
Are you by any chance a stay at home Mom?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 1:51AM
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Jkom51- thank you for your advise..yes i have tried cash and i would spend it before the month ended..I also found that shopping online for things that you actually need is a lot cheaper..every time we go to bday party i can buy a very nice $10 gift(including shipping) from amazon which do a lot..also because i live 1.5 hours away from nearest big grocery store i buy very few groceries online(again they are cheaper) , so i am not sure how to not use debit card.
CHEMOCURL-I work only twice a week(again because i live so far away form anything) and i would never see my kids if i would have to drive everyday to work that much and the rest of the time i am at home bored in front of computer..i know i need to change my lifestyle i just dont know how to get busy when there is nothing to do around..
I even tried asking my husband for help and he said that there isnt any problem and he is too busy farming and gone all the time to keep an eye on me.
I am hoping that building a new house which we plan to do in about 6 months will keep me very busy and help we start things over, thats about my only hope now

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I am hoping that building a new house which we plan to do in about 6 months will keep me very busy and help we start things over, thats about my only hope now
It will only make your uncontrollable desire to shop even worse.

-I work only twice a week(again because i live so far away form anything) and i would never see my kids if i would have to drive everyday to work that much and the rest of the time i am at home bored in front of computer
Well I certainly hope that you are not planning to build a new house out there in the boondocks where you are bored out of your mind! If you are bored being primarily a stay at home Mom, then it will probably be just a matter of time before you decide to make some changes. You will either stop the senseless bored shopping and find other ways to amuse yourself with your children, or you will get out of there and get a new life. I rather see the latter in your future, since you seem to like nice new stuff so well.

How far is it to the nearest small town? How big is it? It sounds like you could benefit from making some local friends, and finding some volunteer work might help you.

It sounds like on line shopping is fulfilling a 'need', ie something that is lacking in your life and the relationships with your husband and children. Could you be suffering from depression? Maybe 'explaining your addiction/problem' to a doctor could get you the help you need. Have you discussed your problem with other family members, ie siblings, parents?

Finding a Financial Planner and laying all your cards on the table would be a good thing for you and your husband to consider. I sincerely doubt if a planner would think that building a house at this time in your life, and relationship would be a wise thing to do. To proceed even in six months, unless a lot changes in your life, outlook, happiness, would just be setting the family up for complete and expensive failure.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 12:40PM
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I have to agree with chemocurl. Why are you BUYING gifts (even from amazon, which I love with a passion) when you have the time to MAKE gifts?

Using cash only works if you have the discipline to stop spending once it's gone! If you lack this self-control then I agree using cash won't help.

It appears you are looking for fulfillment in "things" which are never going to solve the problem of whatever it is you don't want to face.

You and your DH have some serious communication issues to solve. No planner in the world can fix that. Having worked for a very good ethical planner, I can tell you that 75% of the people who came in for that first free consultation, he didn't want as clients. Especially with couples, it is critical that both be "on the same page". I'm not sure you and your DH are even in the same book, at this point.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 2:30PM
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This showed up on MSN Money, one of the websites I use which has excellent Personal Finance advice. I think you might want to take a look at it, and check out some of these links. You definitely need help, and with a sincere commitment to change there are organizations that might be able to give you that hand you need. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: MSN Money/US News article: cure for shopping addicts

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 4:15PM
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I'm sorry, I'm having a difficult time feeling sorry for you. Your take home income is much more than my husband and I live on, and yes, I do understand you have children.

But really $1400/month for food - what the heck are you eating?!!

And honestly, you need to cultivate the joy of saving. You need to get that "kick" you now get from shopping from saving, instead.

Hold your own feet to the fire. Why are you this spoiled, needy, and self-destructive? Demand better of yourself. Hold yourself accountable.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 10:58PM
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Okay you live on a farm and have two kids. Where do you find the time to actually be on the computer? I grew up on a farm and the chores were never ending. There was always something that needed attention. And I was just the kid at the time. The adults put in a lot longer day. So my first question--Is this post for real?

Buy yourself a good finance program for your computer. Make sure it has a budget feature. Your new job is going to be to figure out where your money is going. The $1400 you are spending on groceries is probably a combination of food, pet supplies, cleaning supplies, etc. How much money are you spending on toys? Use your receipts to monitor your spending, don't put your head in the sand. Only you can get a handle on this. So make a budget.

There are various people, Dave Ramsey, Suzie Orman, etc. that will give you ideas on how to manage your money. If you have a library you may be able to borrow various books and not have to spend the money to purchase the information.

Seriously, you know what bills are constant and which expenses can be variable. No matter how much you do or don't make, you have to live within your means. Personally I think the cash jars and envelope ideas are silly. But apparently it works for some people, so it might be worthwhile to try.

As they say, It's time to put your big girl panties on. Either you will grow up and take control of this issue or it will consume your life and probably ruin your marriage.

Only you can decide.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 1:57AM
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You "live in the middle of nowhere" and you buy expensive clothes. Why? Who are you trying to impress?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 7:23AM
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Kassikolo, I think people are bashing you here because of your overspending. Kind of like kicking someone who is down. Not nice. I think you were very brave to post what you did. I posted about my overspending and credit card debt on a different thread and got roasted by other posters, who told me my behavior was low and I had wrecked my credit rating. Like an alcoholic, I had "hit bottom" and was posting from the heart about how easily I had slipped into debt. I blamed no one but myself. Kossikolo, I admire you for really looking inside yourself and posting honestly. Now that you've identified your triggers, you can work on controlling yourself and fixing the situation. For example, start a garden so you'll have healthy food for your family for next to nothing! Good Luck!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 2:30PM
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Okay, you have time to spend at your computer. At present, you're using that time to shop to ease your boredom.

Here are a few other things you might do with your computer time--that will help with the boredom and finances.

Work from home. I know a lot of people who use their computers to make money--at legitimate jobs, not the 'send money and you'll make a fortune schemes'. One woman I knew did stacks of forms on her home computer for a local title company--she was able to make money, and be there for her kids. I'm a newspaper columnist--I write from home and file my columns via the computer (and I got that job with absolutely NO journalism experience, I work for a newspaper in one of the larger newspaper chains, my columns run locally and sometimes get picked up by other newspapers, as well). People write books from home--it's so easy these days, since you can self-publish e-books. Use your time on the computer to research healthy low cost foods you can feed your family--yes, $1400 per month is really excessive and with a little education and planning, you should be able to cut that well under half what you're spending now. Take some online courses to give yourself some marketable skills that you'll be able to use down the road.

Take time off from the computer--make some crafts that you can either use for those gifts, or sell at the many craft fairs that crop up seasonally, no matter where you live.

Consider other ways you can make money from home--see if you can get the contract to call substitute teachers or nurses for the local schools and hospitals. Great work from home job. Childcare is something that is generally needed in any area. Or pet-sitting/walking.

I'd strongly advise what others have suggested--starting a logue, that lists all the income and outgo--perhaps seeing things in black and white? will help reinforce how important it is for you to make some changes.

Emergency fund? You have a month's reserve? Is that what I read above? That's just a month's expenses, right? Remember, if an emergency hits, it generally brings it's OWN expenses--if, God forbid, one of your children were stricken with a serious illness or injury, even with good health insurance, you're going to end up going thousands of $$$ into your reserve--for medical bills your insurance doesn't cover, or possibly adaptations to your home, etc. One month's household expenses isn't going to cover that kind of emergency.

Look, my husband just retired. The reason he was able to? Was that we've ALWAYS lived well below our means. Back in the early days of our marriage, when we were both working, we lived on DH's salary and banked mine--2 reasons--first, we were building up our savings. Second, we were looking ahead for the day when we had children and I wouldn't be working--we didn't want to become accustomed to living on 2 salaries then taking a major cut at that point. We have been lucky, I think, but putting that aside, we have always pinched pennies, even when we had lots of extra dollars to spare.

Now, I think the shopping thing's been well covered--you're going to decide to slow that down, or you're not. But what about other ways you can save? Do you hang wash? do you avoid using air-conditioning unless absolutely (and I mean 90's and above) necessary? Do you try to do many errands at once to save gasoline? Do you mend clothes to get a bit more wear out of them, and do you use the worn out ones for other uses (I make quilts, rugs, tableclothes, curtains, etc from bits of this and that, a woman I know makes fantastic denim purses out of jeans--and sells them for a good bit). Do you evaluate your phone, cable plans and cut back to the minimum necessary? Do you take the kids to the library for free books and entertainment? Do you scour the newspapers for free activities to enjoy? Do you clip coupons? Do you plan meals so that the leftovers will be part of the next meal you serve? (I keep a container in the freezer for those tiny bits of leftover veg-when it's full, I make veg. soup--it ends up being an almost free meal, if I have a bit of leftover meat to add in). Do you shop outlets? I found a great outlet that sells a name-brand of canned and frozen foods--their stuff is generally about 1/4 the cost of buying at the supermarket. They don't have everything, but anything I buy there saves significantly on my food bill and I PLAN meals to use their produces as much as possible.

If you put the time you're currently spending browsing and shopping online, into looking instead for creative ways to save, I think you'll find some ways to cut back

And then, what about volunteering at your children's school? or the library, or a baby AIDs hospice, or the Ronald McDonald house at your local hospital, walking dogs at the local shelter,--there are so many good ways to fill a little extra time that will take you away from Amazon--and in many cases, you can discuss this with your accountant--you can actually write off some of your volunteer work--so even though you won't be paid, you will be adding a little to the family finances.

Perhaps it will help if I explain my personal take on being a stay-at-home mom. I always felt that I DID add to the family income as a SAHM--because I was able to keep the grocery bill down by cooking from scratch, buying food on sale, picking many fruits/veg at local markts; by doing all the cleaning, much of the maintenance like painting, repairwork, etc around the house; lawnwork; growing a lot of vegetables for us; selling crafts that I made from home. We didn't have internet when my dd was little--and if we did, I certainly woudn't have had time to use it much--a parent of a child (even up through high school) has so many responsibilities---workign with them on schoolwork, getting them involved in (and too and from) afterschool activities, volunteering, keeping the house going, etc etc etc--as you know, there's always something that needs doing.

It is tough to break a long-standing habit. It won't be easy to make a turnaround for you. But think about your children. Think how you'd feel if one of them did become ill and you were unable to get them the help they needed. Living as you do, in the middle of nowhere (your words), just getting them to a specialist could involve expensive travel. Think how you would feel if they really needed to see a specialist a thousand miles away, but you couldn't afford the cost to get them there because you've got a closet full of expensive clothes? I'm not trying to be mean or harsh--just trying to help you see one possible outcome of overspending. Hope it helps. And the fact that you recognize you have a problem and are asking for help tells me you ARE going to make some changes and get a handle on things. Good luck

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 4:31PM
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I do think some were 'bashing', but I wasn't. I'm a spender myself - always have been, always will be. Watching my savings account grow never gave me any kind of thrill, LOL.

It IS all too easy to slip into debt, which means kassikolo is already far "ahead of the game" in at least having the discipline to avoid using credit cards.

What worried me is that she and her spouse are not discussing things. A lack of communication in marriage is NOT a good thing. My DH and I like to joke that we can't put an RTA bookcase together without arguing, but when it comes to money, we are on the same page in prioritizing our goals and how much to spend on things.

It takes effort, and achieving goals is much easier when two people are working together. I am the only member of my family who has successfully stayed in a relationship for almost 40 years - my mother had five husbands - and I have seen that when two people don't or WON'T talk about issues that are dividing them, it's a symptom of something far more serious than just making a budget or putting money into different envelopes.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 4:36PM
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Thank you everyone! Some people even made cry with their harsh comments, but its the truth and i know i needed to hear it...I felt really down but now i feel inspired. I did purchased the personal finance workbook and i am glad to say that our debt ratio (with building a new house) will still fit in the allowable categories. So i know we are not overspending on the house. Also i talked to my husband about this and as of this month we sat down together and figured out our budget for next month. Before we built our house we will be able to save about $25,000 which i plan to put toward paying off the vehicles leaving us with only house loan. and then i will build up the emergency fund to what it needs to be. (that according to Dave Ramsey).
Unlike some people we have a little security blanket of owning some land that in case we do have a disease or something unexpected will happen we can always sell and get about $3,000,000. But i hope this will be our retirement and kids inheritance.
Now the most important part that is my unhealthy shopping. I am 100% committed to do whatever i can to change a lifestyle... I know i will be a lot happier. It is probably not going to change overnight, but i am determined to learn every day how to make better choices. Getting my husband on board was the key.I feel good and inspired and you guys really helped a lot and thank you for that..I am going to print that thread and save it because i know that sometimes in the future if i will be slipping back into old habits i will read it and it will set me back on track. Thanks again

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Oh, excellent news! Good progress for you, and congrats for being able to take positive steps to deal with your problem. Keep up the good work, and remember: it isn't the number of possessions that make us happy - what gives the most pleasure to people are good experiences, whether solo or with others.

Some of the unhappiest people in the world are those with everything money can buy...because it can't buy love, health, laughter, and "joie de vivre".

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 4:05PM
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kassikolo, I also live in a very rural area and understand your need to do online shopping. Once you're on a list you are targeted as a potential customer by that store and other vendors who may purchase lists of online shoppers. I've learned to throw away catalogs, delete the emails and ignore the pop-up ads. The item will be there tomorrow if you need it. It's no different than targeting the elderly as a weak victim. Show them you are strong! Don't make a purchase unless it's budgeted for--something you have an intended purpose or event, or it's a replacement that you need. It's enticing to look at catalogs, browse online and dream....to buy that dress and get that buyers rush. But realistically you need a purpose/place for purchases, only buy things you need or occasional special planned items that fit your budget and bring you lasting pleasure. Your food budget is high. In a rural area it can be higher because small town stores have fewer customers to pass along their overhead costs. Traveling to bigger towns for more food variety brings higher transportation costs. Your food budget needs to be realistic and fit your means.

Others have commented about volunteering at school, church or community event. That's less time browsing/shopping and more time engaged in other people/projects which bring lasting happiness.

In farming there's a saying, "land rich, cash poor" and that can be very true. Most cash is tied up in assets such as land, livestock and equipment. If you spend too much you will start tapping into those items which are your livelihood and income producing assets. So sit down with your husband and write up a budget. Make it realistic. Involve your husband so he's in the loop on what things cost for personal needs. It also makes you each accountable for purchases.

As you begin your house-building project, you'll be tempted to follow that same path of wants vs. needs and costs can escalate so be aware.

In anything, it's one thing to know what you need to do and try, but it takes determination to actually DO it. Good luck. You sound like a bright and determined person.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Hilltop- thank you for nice message. I guess the problem really starts with the fact that i lived all my live in different country, in the big city apartment with millions of people and then fell in love with a farmer(we met in college) and now living with no people around me, on the field, all by myself,and no friends has led me to computer overuse. I also understand that the only way to be happy is to spend time with other people and volunteer/give. Giving is the only thing that genuinely makes me happy.The problem is that i am so different than people here that i have hard time connecting with people, i dont really understand how lot of things work and i have been living here for 10 years! ...but i just need to find a way:)
We did got a budget figured out with my husband and i am excited about seeing the results..
I dont worry about going overbudget on my new house because of my wants, because even though i spend everything i have i never spend more than i have (that why i never had a single credit card in my life)..
You are right -talking about changes is nothing, only DOING it matters and i pray to God that i will be able to do as i say
I am determined to climb Everest one day and live in Nepals monastery for a bit. This is my biggest dream for me (and i want to do it with my kids) and unless i start saving for it now it will never happen. But it is part of the budget now! I feel like i am getting out of this hole.
Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:46PM
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I can definitely see where a rural farming community would be a culture shock for you kassifolo! I can somewhat understand your situation. My DIL has Filipino ancestry and ties to major cities such as San Francisco, Manila, Boston, Mumbai, Beijing, etc. It's an adjustment when she comes to visit our farm near a small midwestern town of under 500. But, I bet you have a lot that you could share or even teach to others. You're a blessing to the community.

You have lofty dreams. Hold on to those dreams and make them happen. We always told our kids to collect experiences instead of things. Mount Everest and Nepal may need to wait for awhile, but you can set smaller ones along the way. I have a friend who plans virtual vacations. Her husband doesn't like to travel so she will pick a spot she wants to learn about and plan a virtual vacation - to get to know the city or country and places to stay, restaurants, tourist spots, etc. She'll internet search or get books from the library. It gives her something to think, dream and talk about without spending money. If someday they decide to go, she'll be ready! If you do that and teach your kids, look at the geography knowledge they'll accumulate. If geography isn't your thing, it could be learning a new craft like glass etching or playing an instrument. Or you could write stories of your childhood growing up in a different country. Your children will treasure those in the future. You have a lot of exciting opportunities.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:46PM
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I really respect that you do not spend more then you "have" to spend. That is so much more responsible then most people!

Something I find that helps me is that when I "shop" online or in person, I remind myself I CAN buy the thing if I want it, then I really think about if it will make me happy in a month or just in the moment of getting it. I look at a 1000 things for every one I buy. I look on craigslist just to virtually shop. (This is not a good idea if you will actually buy....but there are deals to be had out there!)

Every dollar you do not spend on things now can be used to upgrade the more permanent details on your new home. That would be a huge incentive for me to not spend on other things, to get the bigger thrill of a nicer house that you may have forever.

I read one time that if instead of buying toys parents bought their kids stock in Toys r Us or Disney, the kid would have quite a nest egg by adult hood. That has always struck me. Though, I have wasted plenty of money on lots of toys that were not played with more then a few hours ever. (I am not advocating those specific stocks by the way, just the idea of thinking more long term and how short lived toys are).

You said you were from another country. Perhaps there are other people from your country you can communicate with in person and on line. Even within the US there can be big regional cultural differences.

I love the idea of living on a farm......but would I love it if I actually did? It is really convenient to run to Target or Starbucks if I want to. It sounds like the place you live is predetermined by where the family farm is. But it also sounds like you were raised a city girl and are missing the more activity of a city and more people.

You said giving gives you real pleasure. Every time you are tempted to buy something, think about giving that money instead and how it could buy something that would really make a difference in someone elses' life. or put the amount away til it adds up to a more substantial gift.

Good luck with finding your happiness!!!!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 9:47PM
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If you can find the Dave Ramsey show on your radio, you would learn a lot by listening to him. He is on the radio every morning here and takes phone calls from people with financial troubles or questions. He has an online site and sells books and financial planning seminars too.

I strongly urge you to find a way to volunteer in your schools or community. I loved to help in my kids' classrooms and met the mothers of their classmates that way. Now my daughter is doing the same where she lives and that way she is getting to meet other moms that she would have never known.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 2:01AM
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Kissikolo, I too live on a farm. What do you grow? Anything you can eat? Learn how to help with that and include it in your meals. I don't help with the cattle but I started keeping chickens; now I have fresh eggs every day. And you could garden, grow food you like and learn to preserve it. This has turned into a really fun challenge. Learn to grow herbs and share these with others.
I grow a lot of flowers and it takes planning and time spent weeding, etc. Friends also get blessed with flowers, seeds, bulbs. Start a small orchard. It will be a real blessing for your future. And you'll have to learn how to take care of it, too. There are so many things you can do with land! I have learned it is a joy to watch things I planted grow!
I like to shop, too. But where am I going to wear it? Learn to yard sale. It's shopping, and if you only buy what you really want, you'll save money. When most of my time is spent at home or outside in the dirt, I don't need new clothes.
And, are you addicted to the computer? It's a growing concern. Try staying off for one full day, then increase. If you just can't stay off the computer , evaluate what that means.
Do you exercise? Walk the perimeter of your land every day. Or whatever part of it you can.
If you get busy with other things, you'll wean yourself from that computer and find pleasure in many things other than buying online.
Also, maybe someone nearby needs help with cooking, cleaning, raking, an elderly parent or an out of control child? Help your neighbors. Visit nursing homes. Put an ad up in the local area to say you will come into the home to teach them how to better use their computer. Some of us older folk really aren't very good at it. Just stay off that machine; take your life back!
Happiness is wanting what you have, not having what you want.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 8:41AM
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kassikolo - I am impressed with your honesty and ability to filter advice. It is a very mature person to put yourself out there for advice and appreciate the strong truths that come from the asking! You will be fine.

It seems to me that the spending addiction you are experiencing may be a deflection of underlying adjustments to the changes in your life - as you face them and adjust to your change in environment/circumstances and replace your losses with new loves and passions - you may see your spending habits improve. It sounds like you have passion for your family, ie the climb that will include them all - that will probably help you move into the adjustments you are seeking to make. You'll do it!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 11:54AM
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Punishing yourself will never work. Psychology has proven that punishment does not work, ever. First you need to totally accept yourself and love yourself before you will change. Look up "emotional freedom technique" and try it. I swear it worked for me.

I also used to overspend. What worked for me to change is EFT, staying out of stores and off amazon.com, spending cash and the "evenvelope method" where you put your grocery money for the week in an envelope. Take it to the store and write a running list of each thing you put in your cart, totaling after every item. Stop shy of the amount you have in your envelope so you have $ for tax. If you still haven't gotten to some staples or basics, take something out of the cart you really don't need.

It comes down to how you think before you do anything. GOOD LUcK!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 10:23AM
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