How to Control the Urge to Spend

1 Corinthians 9:24 [ The Need for Self-Discipline ] Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. BOGO's, Coupons, and Sales, Oh My! Retail marketing sure has a way of enticing us to spend money that we don't really have on things that we don't really need. You know how it is. You've gone to the mall or some store thinking that you were just going window shopping, keeping a friend company, or picking up only a few items but came home with more than you intended. Have you ever bought something, gotten it home and said, "Now I know I didn't really need this," but ended up keeping it anyway? This is an example of the on-going battle between temporary pleasure and long-term gains. At some point, the long-term gains have to speak louder than temporary pleasures and impulses. It can happen if you modify your shopping habits.

You have got to be so committed and dedicated to getting out of debt that something as little as a sale sign won't completely derail your plan. If it's on sale and you weren't planning on buying it, it's simply not a good deal! It's only a good deal for the store that now has your money instead of you being a payment closer to debt freedom. I know, I know, it would be a sin to let that 40% off coupon go to waste. After all it's like throwing away free money right? Wrong! The retailer wins and you lose. Now, I will say this...if you already had money allocated in your monthly budget to purchase a particular item and you just happen to get a coupon for it, then by all means take the deal. However, impulse buys are not good buys and can quickly diminish your progress towards debt freedom. It's just not worth it.

How can you control the urge to spend?

  1. Learn to say no. You will be OK if you don't buy that thing right this second or participate in every social outing.
  2. Keep your financial goals in mind. Before you spend the money, ask yourself if it's worth it. How will the purchase impact your progress?
  3. Allocate "play" money in your budget. You can still treat yourself while you're getting out of debt, just do it in moderation. Once the money is gone, it's gone.
  4. Use cash. It's very easy to overspend by swiping a debit card. Using cash will give you the reality check that you need when making buying decisions.
  5. Ignore marketing tactics. If you don't need it, no coupon or sale can change that. Your favorite store wants your money, but when's the last time they sent you a check?

Remember, the goal each month is to have as much money as possible left over to apply towards debts. Even if it's only $5 or $10, the impact on interest could be significant. Be intentional and smart about your purchases. Talk it over with yourself first. I may have eliminated my consumer debt, but I have a long way to go in the wealth building area. Every dollar matters as much today as it did when I was paying off my last student loan, and it will continue to matter until I have no need for money. As marketers chase after consumers' dollars every day, you be the one that gets away. Debt freedom awaits!

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

The Debt Devil

Simply put, debt keeps us from God and limits His work through us. Would any of you like to be in a position to give more or to really impact someone else's life? I think most of us would, but we can't because our money has already been directed away from us and God before our paychecks hit the bank. We have the same list of people waiting to be paid each month, and God is lucky if He's one of them. That ought not be. If God has richly blessed us, we should be able to take care of Him first, and have enough left over to settle our desires debt free. But instead, our debt has become a priority over God. We have to get back to putting God's needs first, and separate ourselves from the world.

We know that the borrower is slave to the lender, and that man cannot serve two masters. If we're all enslaved to the world's creditors, who's serving God? And I don't mean just nickel and diming each Sunday because that's all that we can spare. I'm referring to the people that are financially free to answer God's call. Do we want to be one of those people? Do we care if we're not one of them? If so, what are we going to do about it?

Debt not only takes our money, but it can take away our joy and happiness by the stress that it causes. That isn't God's will for our lives. He wants us to live free. He wants us to live in abundance. But we have to put ourselves in position to receive what God as for our lives. The same way that we protect our souls from evil, we must also guard our financial blessings from the debt devil. There should be a visible difference in the way that Christians handle money. Let's regain our financial souls. We can do it with God's help. He's able, and so are we.

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

Money = Power, Period.

Simply put, "The rich rule over the poor..." (Proverbs 22:7). The average person reading this will probably say, "but I'm not poor." My challenge to you then is this...what do you have to show for it? Just because you have things, like a house, a car, college degrees, or a closet full of name brand clothes, that doesn't mean that you're not poor. You can be categorized as middle or upper middle class by the amount of money that you make, and still be poor. I know this may be a harsh reality to accept, but in order to move forward, we have to face the facts. The definition of poor means having little to no wealth. So technically speaking, if you're in debt, you have little to no wealth, which means you're poor. I'm sure that if the other 99% were wealthy they probably wouldn't still be occupying Wall Street after all of these months.

Just think about all of the things that you would do if you had unlimited access to money.  You might buy a few things, take a few trips, help some people, and the list goes on. But, building wealth isn't just about having the freedom to buy what we want, but it's about having the freedom to make an impact and to change lives and communities. Foundations, scholarships, missions, and ministries require money. The reason why we haven't done many of those things yet is because we haven't had the power to do them. People can't quit their jobs because they need a paycheck. Others don't start businesses because they lack the necessary resources. Students can't afford higher education without borrowing. At the end of the day, having money gives you the power to live freely.

If we really want to advance the Kingdom, we have to change our hearts and minds. Every day that we stay in debt is another day that we remain powerless. How much longer will we choose to live like this? It's time for us to become rich; not only because we can, but because it's necessary. Commit to change today. The clock is ticking...

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

Tell Me Something Good!

As we continue on our journey towards debt freedom, we must begin to speak positively into our finances. Thoughts become words, words become actions, and actions become habits. Instead of using negative phrases such as "I can't afford" or "I'm broke," add some positive flare and say "I'm saving up for" or "I'm temporarily out of cash!"  Whether or not your money habits will help or hurt your progress towards financial freedom all depends on your initial thoughts. This is why I love to start the day off saying "Today, I choose to be wealthy!" It brings my financial goals to my conscious, and I'm more sensitive to the purchases that I make throughout the day. If you continue to do that on a consistent basis you will start to notice an "increase" in your finances. The money was there all along, but now you're in control over your impulses to spend, and creating better money management habits. Here are a few other quotes that you can use that I've adapted from the book "Secrets of a Millionaire Mind" by T. Harv Eker:

  • "I have a millionaire mind!"
  • "I focus on building my net worth!"
  • "I am an excellent money manager!"
  • "I commit to being rich!"
  • "I create the exact level of my financial success!"
  • "I choose to adapt new ways of thinking that support my happiness and success."

Now, you have to truly believe in the above statements. No matter how many times you say something positive, if a negative thought follows, they'll cancel each other out. You'll need to repeat the positive phrase again so that the positive action will follow. It may take some getting used to at first since we're attempting to change behavior, but keep at it and your actions will eventually follow.

Whether you choose one of the phrases above or come up with your own, pick something that will encourage you. For the next 21 days repeat it aloud at least once a day. Put it on a post-it note at home or at work, or set an appointment on your cell phone if you have to. Observe the actions that follow the words that you say. Did you save more, spend less, open a savings account, set new goals, stay on or below budget, etc? So go ahead and pick your money mantra, and speak your way into financial freedom!

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne

It's Not about the Money...

Wait, how is it possible that getting rich isn't about money? Simply because getting rich is about freedom, which has no monetary value. The money is just a by-product of your success. Whether you are making 5, 6, or 7 figures, if you're in debt, you're not living free.The Bible says that "the rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7). Most, if not all of us are repaying our debts under someone else's terms. They tell us when to pay, the amount to pay, how long to pay, and add on an interest rate to top it all off! Do you really want to spend the rest of your life in financial slavery? I know I don't; I'm way too controlling for that! Imagine if someone tried to buy your salvation from you. There isn't enough money in the world that could pay for it. Treat your financial freedom the same way. Don't let the media, your friends, name brands, or society buy that from you. Hence the reason why getting out of debt is our first step to freedom. Then, we continue to increase our net worth, pursue our dreams, and change lives. Having Kingdom wealth allows us to operate according to God's terms (abundantly) and not the world's (sparingly).

As you continue to prepare your budgets and set goals, focus on living free, even right now. Imagine what your world would look like if you paid for everything free and clear, no loans, and no interests rates. If you focus on the freedom, the money will come. Just look at our friends in Hollywood. I guarantee you, the ones that went bankrupt were focused on the money, and the ones that get richer by the day are focused on not only their freedom, but the freedom of generations to come. If you haven't done so already, shift your focus and remember, it's not about the money!

Change requires action!

Live free!

Arianne