Understanding and Changing Spending Habits…

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We believe that God created man and that He created them male and female. As such He created them different so as to complement and complete each other. God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. Therefore, we perform and mentor marriages in accordance with Biblical guidelines. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; John 4:16-18; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 5:11, 6:9-11. 6:18-20, 7:1-3 and 7:8-9; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3-7; 1 Timothy 1:9-11)

Ever
have problems talking about money with your spouse?  You’re not alone.
Often we use the same words with completely different meanings attached. 
Cathie and I are certified with Money Habitudes and offer 
an
assessment to help you and your spouse better understand your attitudes toward
money.  The assessment outcomes are available to the individuals, and we
only get involved should you choose.  Contact us should you be interested
in learning 
more searcy101@cox.net.

Understanding and Changing Spending Habits

Everyone wants to cultivate
better money habits, but people often forget that spending habits are just
that: spending habits
. A habit is an acquired behavior pattern that is
followed so regularly it’s almost involuntary.

Examples of spending habits might
include spending a lot of money right after you get paid—like taking your
family out to dinner every payday. These habits could even include things like
always waiting until the last minute to buy a plane ticket or buying a souvenir
t-shirt every time you go on vacation. Better money habits could also include
positive things like saving 10% of your paycheck and donating to a charity.

How
do spending habits form?

We are largely influenced by
what’s around us. This includes:

  • Parents or other significant people around
    us:
    If your mother always brought flowers when visiting a relative, you
    might find yourself doing that, too without questioning if it is always
    necessary or even appropriate.
  • Culture and society: Different cultural
    norms dictate what’s normal. One culture might spend lavishly on weddings while
    another doesn’t spend much at all. Someone who was raised in an Asian culture
    might see spending differently than someone raised in a Latino culture. Someone
    raised in great wealth might have spending habits that are very different from
    someone raised in poverty.
  • Religion and spiritual beliefs: Religion
    can have a strong impact on spending habits, such as tithing, donating to
    charity and participating in traditional celebrations that require significant
    expenses.
  • Unique personalities and experiences: Two
    siblings raised in the same environment might have very different spending habits.
    One might be a saver while the other might be a free-spirited spender. This
    uniqueness also encompasses other forces such as gender and gender roles.
  • The media: Think about the spending
    habits of the characters you saw on TV when you were growing up. Did those
    characters eat out often? Did they often go shopping? Did they forgo what they
    wanted in order to save for retirement? We see hundreds to thousands of ads
    every day. How may those affect what we want and what we perceive is a need?

Why
is it hard to break spending habits?

Over time, it becomes more and
more difficult to change a habit because that habit has become more and more
natural to who we are and how we act. And research shows that we automatically
favor what is familiar to us—even if we know it’s not to our benefit. The
challenge is creating a new normal, which involves behavior change. Think about
dieting: If you’ve spent years and years eating the same way, it’s obviously
very tough to change that pattern. That’s true even if you want to change, know
you should and understand what the new pattern would look like.

How
to understand your spending habits better with Money Habitudes

An important part of forging
better money habits is not just understanding what you spend but why you spend
the way you do. After all, you can’t change what you don’t understand. Money
Habitudes helps people understand their money habits and attitudes by making it
fun and easy to understand how we spend, save, invest, go into debt, give to
others and so on. It’s also nonjudgmental; many people are reluctant to
confront their money history because they’re worried about being judged—or
judging themselves. With Money Habitudes, there is no right or wrong answer.