Dear Mom in Need: The good news is that you see that you have a problem. Loving shoes is one thing. Budgeting for your family’s life is quite another. The fact that you allow this impulse buying even as you recognize that the bigger picture calls for you to make other choices says that you need help.
You may also want to establish a college fund for your daughter where money is taken out of your check before you see it. A 529 plan is one option: savingforcollege.com/intro_to_529s/what-is-a-529-plan.php.
(Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)