Outsmart Financial Temptation
In a few weeks I’m doing a segment with Pat Evans during KARE 11’s 4 pm news. One thing I’ll be talking about is outsmarting financial temptation. The thoughts in our head that encourage us to spend money we don’t have or to spend what we do have on things we don’t need. I will share some creative and practical ways to overcome financial temptations, but in the meantime I wanted to hear from you.
A key step toward financial freedom is identifying your points of temptation and then outsmarting them. For instance, most of us have heard the advice to pay with cash. That way you quit spending when you run out of money. See, the temptation is to spend more than what you have budgeted and the outsmarting is only carrying cash so you eliminate that as a possibility. Very clever.
When my husband and I were first married we learned about the importance of setting aside money every month for non-routine expenses like car repair, vacation, and gifts. We attempted to do it, but experienced two years of constant setbacks. What would happen? We would move money into our savings account only to find ourselves withdrawing it a few days or weeks later for something that seemed more pressing. Finally, enough was enough. We had to outsmart the temptation.
One Saturday morning we went to a small credit union that has just a few branches. We opened a checking account, but did not initially get checks. We did not get a debit card. We could not electronically transfer money out of this account back into our primary checking. All we got was one lone ATM card so we could make a cash withdrawal at a very inconveniently located branch. We set up an automatic deposit into this new account from our primary checking, but set up all kinds of barriers to getting the money out.
Guess what happened? It worked. It has been nearly three years since we opened that second checking account and we have paid cash for international trips, new furniture, car repairs, household maintenance, Christmas gifts, and everything else that’s come our way. And, we have developed a habit of saving and no longer deal with the temptation that once limited us.
What are your financial temptations? How have you outsmarted them? I may include some of the comments left here during my the upcoming segment. And no, I am not saying when I’ll be on because it’s a few weeks out and could potentially change. As we get a little closer I’ll share the details so you can see me live on TV.