Yes, You Can Spend Money While Still Working Toward Your Financial Goals—Here’s How
In this week’s episode of Money Confidential, host Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez helps an overspender balance her urge to splurge with her long-term financial goals.
On Real Simple's Money Confidential, host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez talks to real people (with fake names, to protect their identity) about their real-life money questions and concerns. With the help of a slate of experts, she offers practical tips about the practical and emotional aspects of managing money. On this week's episode, our guest is a self-described overspender who makes a good salary—but wants the financial foundation to leave her current job to follow her passion.
We'll call our guest Chloe. She's 28 years old, living in Massachusetts, and recently got married. Though she earns good money at her job, she's not passionate about her work, and she wants to leave her job and make her passion her focus. That kind of leap takes some savings, though, and Chloe has a two-fold problem. She'd never really had a savings account as an adult until after her recent marriage, when she realized she and her husband needed a place to save money for their shared goals. Chloe is also a chronic overspender: "As long as I've been making money, I've been spending it on clothes," she says.
Chloe uses shopping and spending as an emotional crutch, she says, and as a way to cheer herself up—particularly after the challenges of the last year. Her high spending makes it difficult for her to understand her own cost of living, she says, which makes it hard to budget and save money for future financial goals (including quitting her job).
To help Chloe manage her spending, O'Connell Rodriguez turns to Bola Sokunbi, a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and founder of Clever Girl Finance, a financial education platform. Sokunbi is a former overspender herself. Her old vice? Luxury handbags.
Sokunbi got her own spending under control, and to help Chloe do the same, she suggests creating barriers to physically spending money, such as carrying a predetermined amount of cash and moving credit cards out of reach, among other tricks—but more importantly, she recommends creating a budget that allows for responsible spending.
"It's important to recognize that spending money is not bad," Sokunbi says.
Listen to this week's episode of Money Confidential—"My shopping addiction has ruined my savings. Help!"—for all of O'Connell Rodriguez and Sokunbi's tips for conquering overspending in favor of saving for a brighter financial future. Money Confidential is available on Apple podcasts, Amazon, Spotify, PlayerFM, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.