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I read an article in the local newspaper [Gouda] thismorning that prompted this blog post.

I think money is a significant topic for people withchronic pain. They are sometimes hampered by not being able to work full timeor not be able to work at all. So some of you are going to run into the problemof having to cut the expenses.

Debt? Doesn’t it frighten us all, to not have enough moneyto make it to the end of the month? More and more people get into troublebecause of the current economic situation. But is that all?

I think not. Whole generations grew up in a land ofplenty. For almost twenty years you could switch jobs when it suited you andemployers wanted to have you. During this time the world we lived in changeddrastically as well. Older generations were happy with so much less. They had atv, a landline phone and a car, that was pretty much it. Nowadays we want andexpect so much more from life. At least one computer in the house, a mobilephone for every family member[smartphone of course] I-pods, e-readers the listgoes on.
At the same time many of us were not taught to reallyhandle money well. Another difference with olden days is that we all have bankpasses and credit cards. Isn’t it easy to spend that money and completelyforgot we did so, only to come in for a nasty shock at the end of themonth.  How many people would know whatthey spend each month if you ask them on the street?

There are a few key points to sticking to a budget:

  • ·        Know how much you have coming in each month

  • ·        Calculate how much you need to spend each month onessentials, so you know how much you have left over to indulge yourself with ormaybe put it away for emergencies

  • ·        Keep a record on everything you spend.

  • ·        Try to use cash and not your cards when you spendmoney. For example give yourself a weekly budget, if the cash is gone, you knowyou need to stop.

  • ·        Do not go over the limit on your bank cards or creditcards. Being overdrawn on those cards is one of the most expensive things thereis.

  • ·        Do not buy anything on a credit card if you know youwill not be able to pay for it.

Another tip:
Every year at the end of the year I print out my bank statementsof the previous year and go through them item for item. You would be amazed howmany things creep up that you don’t really use or are not interested in anymore.

I then spend some time cancelling my subscriptions toall such items earning myself a little more pocket cash each year.
Emotional shopping:
This is where it gets really hard. Some people reactto hard times by rewarding themselves with goods or food. This helps for ashort while but in the end it only makes matters worse when they realise howmuch they have spend. Money they did not have in the first place.

So helping people stick to a budget should involvemore than just learning how to handle the figures. It should also involvelooking at the reasons behind the spending. Helping them find healthier methodsof coping with hard times besides spending the money.

 If you have anyother tips on how to save money, please share them by leaving comments. I loveto hear back from you.

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