Curbing Addictions to Save Money

Many of us have our guilty pleasures to deal with stress as a parent. Some of us may overeat or escape too often in entertainment. For me, I like my sugar, books, and TV shows. These cost me extra money, so it would be a good idea for me to practice moderation more often.

So how can you and I curb our addictions and save money in the process?

Be Honest and Identify the Addiction

Be honest as you work to identify any addiction. An addiction is a compulsion to have or do something that is sometimes harmful or done in excess. Almost anything can become an addiction. You can recognize an addiction if it negatively impacts your relationships, finances, or mental and physical health. Ask family and friends to help you identify any addictions.

As an example, I have identified that I indulge in entertainment too often. There are many other addictions including overeating, dieting, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, playing video games, and so on.

Calculate the Cost

We need to know what the emotional, physical, social, and financial costs of an addiction are before we will see the need to give it up. List the costs and ask others affected to make a list for you.

When I read or watch TV too much, it affects me socially, financially, physically, and mentally. The physical cost is that I lose sleep reading late into the night and I limit my physical activity. The emotional cost is that I’m moody the next day. The social cost is that I ignore my family and have less energy to interact with others. The financial cost is using electricity late into the night, eating midnight snacks, and lost productivity the next day.

Stay Positive

It’s hard work overcoming any addiction, so we focus on our successes. When you focus on the positive, you feel more motivation and create a sense of pleasure. Otherwise, you may fall into the vicious cycle of guilt and pleasure. Excess guilt leads you to seek the pleasure of the addiction. Instead, focus on other pleasures.

After staying up too late reading a book, I sometimes figure I might as well stay up later. But I remind myself that going to bed then is better than later. Every minute of extra sleep helps. I can also focus doing better the next night.

Replacing a Bad Habit with a Good Habit and Moderation

Replacing habits is much more effective than focusing on resisting temptation. This way your focus is on something to do instead of “do not.” Curbing an addiction can be a long process because we may have developed a physical or emotional dependency to a habit or substance. Accept that you are human and it takes time to overcome an addiction. We may need to seek professional or spiritual help during the process.

For some addictions, you can focus on enjoying in moderation. For example, I can read for a set number of hours and then replace the other time with sleep. This way I can sate my appetite without overindulging.

Track Your Progress and Endorse Yourself

Essentially, you tell yourself you’ve done a good job for whatever improvement you’ve made. Then you can mark your progress, however small. For example, if a smoker had one cigarette instead of two one day, the smoker can pat herself on the back for that day.  For myself, I’ve been putting a star on the calendar for the days I’ve put down my book or turned off the TV before bedtime. Now I can visually see my progress.

As we overcome our addictions, we will save our money, health, and relationships. Our self-confidence will increase for every small step we make. So just keep swimming!

Resources

http://www.recoveryinternational.org/

http://12step.org/

 

Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

I'm a crazy redhead. I have three hyperactive boys and a wonderful husband. I earned my BA in English Language from BYU. I grew up in Southeastern Utah in the middle of nowhere. I now reside by a big lake in Utah.
Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

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