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5 Ways to Avoid Stupid Spending Decisions

While most people like to blame their financial troubles on a lack of money, more often than not the real issue is spending.

The vast majority of the things you own are wants, not needs. Beyond shelter, food and some items such as transportation to work so that you can earn money, almost everything is a want.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wants, and you might be able to afford many small luxuries. If, however, you find that you are currently carrying credit card debt, the cause is likely that you are spending too much on unnecessary items and need to come up with an easy-to-follow plan to help reduce the amount you purchase.

Most people don't want to hear that they need to curb their spending. They like spending money and don't want to be restricted. They will choose more credit card debt rather than the feeling that they can't spend money on what they want.

The solution is to learn to purchase only the things that you truly want and to cut out the spur-of-the-moment "impulse" buys. Many times, by simply eliminating impulse spending, you will find your budget on much sturdier ground -- and you can likely still get everything that you truly want.

Here are five simple steps you can take to address your impulse spending problem:

1. Make a list: Before you do any shopping, always make a list of the things that you are going to purchase on that trip. By making out your list before you go, you will greatly reduce the number of impulse purchases that you make.
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