Friday, February 24, 2012

My Shopping Addiction is Serious

I'm not going to say a whole lot about it, but I seriously can't go into a store without buying something. I lose all sense of logic, consequences and the misery the future will bring when the seriously overdrawn bank statement appears on my computer. I need help! So I'm logging some tips here to help me remember. Also so I can pin it!

  1. Identify Your Spending Needs

    Your spending plan should be based on needs, not wants. Write a list of everything you need for basic survivial for one month. This should include only basic necessities -- basic food, shelter (rent or mortgage costs plus property taxes), necessary utilities such as electricity, heating, and water, and basic travel expenses. It should not include luxuries such as restaurant food, fancy desserts, gourmet coffee, TV or internet.
    The list should identify what your spending needs are, but should not have a cost attached at this point.
  2. Calculate Your Income -- After Taxes

    Your income should include only money you are sure you will have. It includes money such as earned income, financial benefits, and any other real, reliable sources of income. It does not include imagined winning from gambling, imagined financial gifts or inheritances, or money from savings, unless you have substantial savings and no debt to clear.
  3. Identify and Subtract Non-Negotiable Expenses

    From the list you made in step 1, identify those expenses that are fixed at this time. This will probably include rent/mortgage/property taxes and essential utilities. Calculate the cost of these expenses per month, and subtract them from your income, as identified in step 2.
  4. Figure Out How Much You Will Spend on Each Negotiable Expense

    The amount of money you have left at the end of completing step 3 will give you the amount you have left to pay for negotiable expenses, i.e. food and travel expenses. Use receipts to figure out how much you can spend on each of these expenses. You will probably have to purchase food once per week, so divide your monthly food expenditure by 4. Travel may be covered with a monthly travel pass if you are unable to keep track of the cost of running a car. If you want to clear some debt, you could sell your car and switch to public transit, which is at least a fixed amount and is usually cheaper than running a car overall.
  5. Set Up Automatic Payments If Possible

    It may help you to stick to your spending plan to set up automatic payments for your non-negotiable expenses. Put a note in your day planner to buy your transit pass on the last day of the previous month.
  6. Plan Your Grocery Shopping Before Leaving For the Store

    Grocery shopping is a high risk time for impulse buying and slipping from following your spending plan. To reduce this risk, select one day a week to do your grocery shopping, and if possible, have a shopping buddy with you to keep you on track. Write out your shopping list ahead of time, based on essential, basic foods that you need. Use you old receipts to figure out how much each item will cost, and stay within your shopping budget.
  7. Buy Your Groceries With Cash, Not Credit or Debit Cards

    Before you go to the grocery store, go to the bank and withdraw the exact amount of cash needed to purchase your weekly food supplies. Do not use a credit or debit card to pay for your groceries. Using cash will remind you of the real cost of food, and will place a limit on what you can spend. If you take too much from the grocery shelves, you will have to give something back at the till.
  8. Find Out About Additional Resources in Your Community

    Your local library is a great place to find out about resources that may be available in your community. These vary a great deal from place to place, but you may be eligible for programs which help people with financial problems with the cost of food, or provide donated clothing, or even help with the cost of Christmas. Although no-one wants to use these services, they might make a significant difference to you while you get your spending plan underway.
  9. Get Professional Advice on Financial Planning

    The spending plan you have figured out will keep you in a holding pattern. It will keep you living within your means, but you won't be able to move out of survival mode until you have professional advice on financial plannning. Financial planning is very individual, depending on your circumstances, but you local bank should be able to give you some advice on paying off debts, building up savings, and making provision for the future. Make use of career services available in your community which can help with developing your career and improving your income.
  10. Get Professional Help for Shopping Addiction, Overspending or Problem Gambling

    Counseling will help you to uncover the emotional roots of your compulsive shopping, shopping addiction, or gambling problems. However, counseling is often expensive and traditional addiction services rarely provide services for shopping addicts, although counselling for gambling problems is readily available. Ask at your local library or social services office about counseling services for people with financial problems -- there may be help available.
  1. Stay Positive

    Although you may be at a low point in your life, taking the step to create a spending plan shows you are taking responsibility for your own life and future. Stay focused on the positive outcomes of what you are doing by following your spending plan -- freedom from money worries and debt.
  2. Avoid Peer Pressure

    All addicts find that sooner or later, they need to avoid those friends who reinforce their addiction. It's not a judgement of your friends to admit that you feel peer pressure to shop when you are around them. And anyone who makes you feel unworthy for not having or spending money is not helpful at this stage.
  3. Reward Yourself With Affirmations

    At the end of each day, remind yourself of what you have accomplished. Keep a notebook and write down five things that affirmed your life today. They could range from a positive interaction with someone, resisting the urge to spend, or something that made you feel happy that cost you nothing. These rewards cost nothing and will help develop your self esteem.
What You Need:
  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Calculator
  • Payslips and/ or payment slips for benefits
  • Utility bills
  • Grocery receipts
  • Scissors to cut up credit cards
  • Cashpoint card that won't work as a debit card

Monday, February 20, 2012

Writing Commandments from Henry Miller (I've Already Got Adding No More Material to Black Spring Down!)

1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to "Black Spring."
3. Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
5. When you can't create you can work.
6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
8. Don't be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
9. Discard the Program when you feel like it -- but go back to it the next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy. -- Max Ehrmann

White Light/White Heat: Writing Tips from Jack London

Jack London Was Hot!

You wrote your story at white heat. Hell is kept warm by unpublished manuscripts written at white heat. Develop your locality. Get in your local color. Develop your characters. Make your characters real to your readers. Get out of yourself and into your readers' minds and know what impression your readers are getting from your written words. Always remember that you are not writing for yourself but that you are writing for your readers.
 Don't quit your job in order to write unless there is none dependent upon you.
 Don't dash off a six-thousand word story before breakfast.
 Don't write too much. Concentrate your sweat on one story rather than dissipate it over a dozen.
 Don't loaf and invite inspiration: light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.
 Set yourself a 'stint,' and see that you do that 'stint' every day.
 Study the tricks of the writers who have arrived. They have mastered the tools with which you are cutting your fingers.
 Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.
 And work. Find out about this earth, this universe ...

The Darkness

"To reveal those hidden elements of the self that impact your life for better or for worse, you must often make your way through the darkest parts of your soul as if you yourself are the nocturnal hunter. There is indeed darkness both inside the self and outside the self, but like the owl you can transcend it by drawing nourishment from the insights you receive when you penetrate it." -- The Daily Om, 15 Feb 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


1 : a song or poem greeting the dawn
2 a : a morning love song b : a song or poem of lovers parting at dawn
3 : morning music


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