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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Sep 24, 2013.

Question

Hello. My question is I am addicted to television/Home Shopping Network. I order from HSN, ShopHQ/ShopNBC & QVC. I want to save but it is very hard. How do I save money and curb my TV shopping Addiction? Please help. Thanks.

Answer

Hi, thank you for the question, and I think this is a very common problem. The simple answer is to turn the TV off and don''t watch those shows. I'm sure that is like telling someone who smokes to just quit though. It isn''t that easy. You may hear the word "discipline" used for financial decisions - something like, "You have to be disciplined enough to save money." The problem with discipline is that none of us have enough all of the time especially when we need it. Rather than telling someone to have financial discipline, I recommend forming good habits. It will take discipline at first, but over time, it just becomes part of your life. Studies show that doing something for around 30 days creates a habit. Maybe for you that is trying not to watch the Home Shopping Network for 30 days, or checking your bank account every morning for 30 days...some way to change your current actions.

I am also a fan of "forced discipline" when it comes to personal finance. For example, rather than using a credit card to make purchases, use your debit card. Then you can see you bank account balance going down throughout the month. That may make you think twice before buying something you don''t need. Of course, the first step is to pay off the credit cards if you have a balance. Another way to force discipline is to have an automatic draft set up from your checking account into a savings account or somewhere else. That will get the funds out the the account that you have to spend.

Hopefully these suggestions will help. If your addiction is serious though, you may need to seek counseling from a qualified professional. Good luck.


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