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Lasting Financial Change

This article was written by in Saving. 4 comments.

So you want to change your saving and spending habits? MP Dunleavey shares her seven stages of lasting financial change.

Sometimes I feel like I’m not making enough progress in changing my habits, particularly when I splurge on a $400 camcorder for myself, like I did last month. (To be fair, I’ve held off on this purchase for ten years, since my family’s last camcorder bit the dust.)

In the article, MP mentions five stages that one must pass through to make any change successful:
* precontemplation (“There’s a problem. Things could be worse.”)
* contemplation (“There’s a problem. Maybe I’ll do something about it someday.”)
* preparation (“There’s a problem and I’m going to do something about it.”)
* action (“I am doing something about this problem.”)
* maintenance (“I fixed the problem, now I don’t want to go back into the old habits.”)

In addition to these five phases, the seven steps are interesting as well: panic, determination, cluelessness, confidence, despair, renewed faith, and success.

Some of those steps may need to be repeated, but with this knowledge, attaining lasting financial change should be easier.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published June 13, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .


avatar Luke Landes

Once you add in denial, it starts to sounds like AA’s 12 Steps. Now all that’s missing is making amends and acceptance of God, or something like that.

avatar Terry

I’ve got the same problem Flexo. I just spent a nice chunk of change on Playstation Portable, a game, and an extended warranty. This is my first gaming platform since Xbox (that I sold years ago). I still feel guilty making the purchase, but it helps to get thru some of the free time.

avatar nickel

Looks like he left out stage zero… Denial. I think even making it to ‘precontemplation’ is a big step for a lot of people.


avatar Darren R. Sussman

In all fairness, though, Terry, every once in a while you need to do things to keep yourself happy. What’s the point of having money if you never spend it? If all you are doing is working so that you can make enough money to pay your bills and put the rest away for “later”, when do you actually enjoy yourself? That’s not really living. Like all things in life, moderation is the key.