It occured to me, in the run-up to the festive season, and with all the current financial crisis that we’re all having, that it might be a good time to mention how I got myself out of trouble and managed to stay on the straight and narrow when it comes to money. First I should say that I used to be a terror for shopping (and still can be sometimes); perversely, the less money I had the more I wanted to spend because being poor made me depressed and my way of dealing with that was to buy myself something nice, preferably something shiny and beautiful. But over the years of debt repayments and high interest on my credit cards this sort of thing only ending up making my troubles worse.
The change came when a paper, probably The Times, gave away a free CD by Paul McKenna called ‘Overcome Emotional Spending’. I have listened to this CD only once but it changed me forever. That man is a genius! Because now when I go into shops I think ‘do I really need this or do I just want it?’ The answer is invariably the latter so if I don’t need it I don’t buy it. This means that I no longer pay crippling interest on my credit card, I no longer dread the run-up to Christmas, I don’t have to crawl shame-faced to my husband asking him to bail me out of my latest financial disaster and twice this month I have logged on to my online bank and found (joy of joys!) that there was more money in there than I thought.
Realising that I was buying a load of stuff I didn’t need and looked at for about two seconds really set me free; now I hardly ever buy stuff and feel guilty if I waste money. My bank balance and my soul are both a lot healthier.