Money management

Credit Cards

Credit Cards (Photo credit: 401K)

I’ve got Suze Orman’s show on in the background, halfway listening to her scolding people for their lack of money management skills.  To give her credit, she also tells them what they need to do to work their way out of whatever mess they’ve made for themselves.   Anyhow, it reminded me of my money mismanagement (lack of) skills when I was younger.

I was on my own, had decent credit, credit cards, my own small business…for someone without knowledge of how to manage your money this was a recipe for disaster.  I bought whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it.  Ended up with some serious credit card debt…yikes!

Over the past decade or so, I’ve paid off bills, managed to save money for emergencies as well as retirement, and most importantly, learned to question myself before making purchases.  Do I really need this?  Is this something that I love?  Will I use this?  Most of the time, the answer to all of those questions is “no”. Oh yeah, and one of the most important questions I now ask myself is, “Can I afford this?”.

I think one of the things that really helped me find my way out of recreational shopping was when I finally realized that I often bought things that I never used, that I ended up giving away a few months later.  Wow…what an eye-opener.  I bought things because they were on sale, I got a good deal, or whatever other excuse there was.  Once I stopped doing that, I was able to easily save money.

You know what?  It feels good to have my finances under control, to watch my savings grow, and to realize that I’m not a slave to consumerism.  Does this mean I’ve finally grown up?