4 Places Women Should Avoid When Getting Out of Debt

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The following is a post by MPFJ staff writer, SK. SK writes about the reasons we get into debt, changing the patterns that get us into debt, and examines small business ownership and real estate investing at her blog, American Debt Project. 

When you’re on the path to getting out of debt, it seems like there is always an easy detour back into more debt. While men have plenty of obstacles in conquering their spending habits (we all know men love to spend more at marked-up convenience stores), there are simply more landmines in the way of women to unwittingly walk into. 

Let’s take a look at a few easy ones to avoid and save yourself several hundred dollars per month.

4. Day Spas: 

By now, we’ve all seen Anjelah Johnson in the nail salon, but there is one stereotype you can’t deny: the salon upsell. Just because manicures are only $13 means that you will probably walk out of the salon with a pedicure ($18), the extra foot-scrubbing action ($5), dead skin peel ($5), and a flower decoration on two toes for another $10. 

And, if you’re in a day spa, forget it! I tend to get very gullible when anyone gets close to my hair, and I will end up buying a keratin hair treatment and root touch up for $80 when I could have done both at home for less than $15. Just because you’re in debt doesn’t mean you should stop trying to look good, but you’ll save a lot of money if you steer clear of nail salons, fancy hair salons, and day spas for a while.

3. Upscale Restaurants:

Going to restaurants is probably the easiest way to go over budget and mindlessly spend a wad of cash. There are a few words on menus that make me order way more than I can eat, keywords like: 

  • Parmesan crisp

  • Prosciutto-wrapped ___________ (fill in the blank)

  • Warm fig and balsamic reduction

  • Quattro formaggio

  • Chowder (especially preceded by ‘clam’)

Everything on the menu sounds good once I see a few of my favorite keywords. But there’s no rule that says if you are hanging out friends and looking for a fun night you need to hit up an SBE restaurant and try every dish that is smothered in truffle oil or burrata. Nope. You can do plenty of other fun activities or hit up Trader Joe’s for some cheap appetizers to pop in the oven.

2. Discount Retailers (Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross, Nordstrom Rack): 

So many hours…so many days…where did they all go?  That’s right, they went to browsing aisles, racks, containers marked 50% off, or aisles marked Clearance in bold, bright red, looking for the last pair in size 7.5 of the marked-down too good to be true black heels. It’s easy to shop at Ross or Marshall’s because they have something for everyone in the family and stuff for your home and plenty of cool items in the $9.99 to $24.99 realm. 

But, making shopping a regular habit, and one that you become accustomed to and feel lonely when it is gone, can lead to serious overspending in the shopping department. Avoid going shopping unless you know what you want or have a set amount you are willing to spend.

1. To Visit Your Friend Who Has a Compulsive Shopping Problem: 

OK, I am totally guilty of this one. This is a terrible habit of comparing yourself to someone and thinking, “Well at least I don’t buy as much crap as she does!” Even if you think you are consciously aware of your friend’s spending habits and think you are learning by non-example, it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of time with people who don’t have the same values as you. There might be nothing wrong with her values, but if you don’t share anything in common and you are actively looking to change your own spending habits, why spend a ton of time with someone who is on a completely different path?

Did I miss one ladies? Are there other spots that make it easier to spend money than not? 

Guys, where are your weak spots? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    ***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/spcbrass/4557822128/sizes/l/in/photostream/


    1. M@BarbaraFriedbergPF says:

      My husband should be proud of me that I rarely go to salons and spas for manicure, pedicure, or hair treatment. Whenever I feel doing manicure and pedicure, I pay my cousin a visit or invite her to drop by and ask her to do it for me. It is our bonding ativity and she loves doing manicure and pedicure for herself and other people!
      My recent post HOW TO START A BUSINESS; Reader Question

    2. Canadianbudgetbinder says:

      Oh, I'm sure there are many more that the ladies can come up with but I'm guessing hey are formulating their own list for us men. What places should men avoid when paying down debt lol… I say stick to the budget and that's it. Once people stray from set budget that's when they start potentially can start building debt, and making excuses. Mr.CBB
      My recent post September 2012 Net Worth Update Canadian Budget Binder

    3. M@BarbaraFriedbergPF says:

      I guess my husband is fortunate enough that I know how to do my own manicure and pedicure and I shopping is not one of my hobbies. I hate walking around malls and department stores. I would rather stay at home and bond with my sisters and girl cousins. Our favorite activities are manicure, pedicure, and hair treatment.
      My recent post HOW TO START A BUSINESS; Reader Question

      • That's awesome! Shopping is an old hobby of mine and I have slowly been getting rid of it, although sometimes it seems like the only thing to do is go walk around the mall, but I know that's my old mentality talking.
        My recent post To Get Out of Debt, Just Get Started

    4. genyfinancejourney says:

      I saw a woman in CVS yesterday questioning the cashier as to whether she had given her the discounted price on an item (she had), and then deciding that her total of something like $6 was far too much and asked the cashier to remove one of the items she had just scanned. I looked down at her feet and saw perfectly manicured nails with intricate designs on two of her toes. I wanted to shake her. “You don't think you can afford a $2 bag of candy for Halloween, but you get fancy pedicures!?!”

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