Spenders want to change their ways

November 20, 2011 

Dear Dave,

My husband and I are both spenders. We want to get on a plan and handle our money better, but is there anything that will help us learn to give up stuff now so that we'll have more in the future?

- Beth

Dear Beth,

I know what you're talking about. Old habits are really hard to break, especially when they're fun old habits. Even when you wake up and feel the pain and realize you shouldn't have done something, it's easy to slip right back into the same old stuff, isn't it?

The only way I've ever been able to achieve anything like that is to find something specific I want bad enough out there in the future to give up something in the present. You may have heard me say, "Live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else." Well, this is more a case of you have to want to live like no one else later, so that today you'll live like no one else.

I saw a bumper sticker once that read "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." I've got to agree with the idea behind that. No discipline is pleasant, but it's the pain of changing something in your life that eventually leads to a positive result.

Think about it this way. A great definition of maturity is learning to delay pleasure. Ouch.

- Dave

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