What I learned by getting help with my finances

I’ve never been horrible with finances. I’m not in loads of debt or opening credit cards with every retail purchases. But I have been a mid-twenties shopaholic every now and then, and saving was more of a thing I did only when I was done spending. So imagine the transition from being the sole onlooker of my credit card statements, to married and sharing each spending decision with someone who was focused on mortgage payments and making sure I wasn’t treating all my friends to drinks at the bar every time we went out. Life is changing, but even if it was unexpected, for my finances, it was changing for the better.

I don’t need two of everything

I don’t know why I do this, but I really do. I go to Gap for a new sweater, and have to get the sweater in two different colors, and maybe even two different styles. Because if I love the one, obviously I’m going to need two of them. No! I can’t believe it took my husband’s observance over my shopping habits for myself to even notice this, but put down the additional items! Whether it’s buying two sweaters, or letting loose and buying the whole store when you came for one pair of jeans, self control really is amazing. And most of the time, once you get home, you’ll forget the extra items you didn’t really need to begin with. So next time, get in and get out, and put the credit card back in your wallet.

Shop for longevity, not for occasion

Holy cow, is this not the hardest lesson of them all? How easy is it to immediately head to the mall when you learn of a big night out coming this weekend, because God forbid you wear something that’s already in your closet. But also, how many times do you shop for that one awesome night out outfit, and then it remains untouched in your closet for the weeks, months, or years going forward? Too many times. I also did not realize this about myself until my husband pointed out, ever so cautiously, that it seemed like I may have been embarking on one too many shopping excursions for an occasion, and not for wardrobe upkeep. Boy, was he right. When I was shopping for occasion, the items tended to be less likely to be things I could have as closet staples, and I’d end up needing to shop for those separately, causing more money being spent than needed. So lesson learned? Take a step back and unless you absolutely need something new for this special party, jazz up an old top, throw on a fun necklace and rock it like you know you can!

Set savings goals, then YOLO without the guilt

The biggest and best lessons learned from having another set of eyes on my spending was that the more I focused on saving, the more fun we really are able to have! Sounds like a no-brainer, but when you’re convinced saving is boring and you’re just really going to die if you don’t have a new dress for the weekend, it can seem kind of draining. But after a few good weeks or months setting a goal, say X amount of dollars to put away and not eating out more than twice a week, you can treat yourself to something new, or even better, a night of YOLO’ing with your husband or BFF because you can do so without feeling guilty. And when you’re a couple that loves to YOLO, you realize saving for those times is worth every purchase not made.

[Image via Comedy Central]

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