Developing good spending habits is something that, alas, many people have to learn the hard way. In our credit-crazy society where instant gratification and delayed consequences rule the day, it is all-too-easy to blow our hard-earned dough on empty purchases. The best way to develop better spending habits is first to just say, "No!"
Say no to zero-percent financing for the first six months. Say no to buy now, pay later deals. Say no to paying with credit cards at the burger joint's drive through. If you don't have the cash on hand to make the purchase, don't make it—at that particular moment. Instead, set a short-term goal and set up a household budget to meet that goal.
Budgets are not about denial. They are about achieving the goals we set--getting the things we want without putting our family finances in jeopardy. For a cheap, easy-to-read, easier-to-use guide to setting up a simple household budgeting, check out "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Living on a Budget" by Peter J. Sander and Jennifer Basye Sander.
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