$40,000.00 in secret debt is how Lauren Greutman‘s story begins in her new book, The Recovering Spender.
It isn’t pretty but her journey to become a ‘recovering spender’ is an inspiration and I for one am glad that she had the courage to share the ugly details, explain how she dug her way out of debt and how she has moved towards financial security.
Here’s what Lauren has to say about her book, The Recovering Spender:
“What you’ll find in this book is my story of how I found us buried in $40,000 of debt, and how I managed to dig us back out. I’ll walk you through what it takes for a Spender to go into “recovery” with her spending, climb her way out of debt, and live a life of financial freedom….Through trial and error (okay, mostly error) I’ve found what works to keep me from spending money….I am a Recovering Spender, and I hope to help you get into recovery as well.”
Seeing My Triggers
The entire book is full of great information, but one part – two pages actually, really stood out to me and made me reevaluate the way I think about spending money in a specific area.
It’s all the way back in Chapter 10, “Triggers and Your Money Personality”.
Lauren explains that it’s important to know your spending triggers and how to stop them in order to stop spending money. That makes sense to me, but to be honest, I’m more of a saver.
She goes on to talk about different types of shoppers. You know, the type of people who are emotional shoppers or a bargain shopper who can never pass up a good deal. Lauren admits that she is several of these types of spenders and even though she considers herself in recovery now she is still tempted to overspend just because something is a good deal.
In learning what her triggers are she set up some ground rules for herself in order to avoid them. These boundaries described in The Recovering Spender have helped her stop the spending:
*No home-based parties. This one is really hard for me because I want to help my friends out who are trying to build a business! The truth is that I don’t have money budgeted for these types of purchases so I need to avoid going as well.
*No shopping at the mall alone. Very good tip for those of us who love to spend and need accountability!
*Cash only. Lauren only uses cash for personal expenses.
*Shop at thrift stores and online consignment websites.
*Do not buy from anyone selling something as a fund raiser. This one is tough for me as well. I sold cookies as a girl scout and I like to support the girls by getting at least one box every year. Again though, the truth is that I don’t need to eat a box of cookies and I don’t have money budgeted to support fund raisers, even when it’s a good cause.
*No expensive birthday parties for your children. Just think of all the stress and spending that will be reduced by having family parties only!
*Avoid home decorating stores. This is a huge trigger for Lauren so she stays away as much as possible.
Takeaways from The Recovering Spender
As a saver my tendency is probably to overspend at the grocery store because I always want to have a full pantry and fridge. Sometimes this is just not helpful especially when we end up throwing away outdated food because I have overspent at the grocery store.
One way I try to counteract this is to make a menu list and stick to it very carefully. Sometimes I take advantage of BOGO sales but only if it’s something we use regularly.
If you have trouble controlling your spending I recommend you get a copy of Lauren’s book. The stories she tells are deeply authentic and you will be able to relate to so much of what Lauren has gone through. By the end of the book you will have a solid plan on how to stop the spending, pay off debt, and get your life back.