I am very passionate about motivating people to live the best lives for them. We all have a purpose, and life is too short to be dull.
It is no secret to anyone, but particularly in the west, we live in a highly consumeristic and commercial world. Everyday we are bombarded with advertisements on billboards, buildings, smartphones, you name it, it's everywhere. I originally wrote an article in 2019 revolved around the holiday season with Black Friday and Christmas in mind, and titled "Just Because It Is Cheap, Doesn't Mean You Have To Buy It," but I decided to revise this and take it a bit further because it seems like every few weeks we have a holiday and there is always an excuse for someone to sell you something any day of the year, and it spending is not just a problem for the Holidays.
Set A Budget For Yourself
This one might seem obvious, but a lot of people tend to neglect it. Some will set a budget, and have a hard time following through with it. What a budget intends to do is create a barrier as to how much money you have to use and work with.
Track Your Spending
In the age of credit cards, it can be very easy to overlook how much has been spent. We have all done it, go on a trip and use our card for most purchases, we get home and see the bill and are shocked, wondering how we spent that money. If we keep track of our spending in real-time, tracking it each time we spend money, it will help create an awareness about how much we spend. Being aware of how much we are spending can help make us question if everything we are buying is truly necessary, and help us think twice before whipping out the credit card for something we didn't really want or need a few minutes ago.
Ask Yourself, Do I Really Need This?
If you have a budget and track your spending, you might ask yourself before you buy something if you really need this? I know, it can be tempting at that moment, but are you in a position where you can afford it comfortably and is it something you have been thinking on for some time? Will you feel buyers remorse after buying it? Often times, we can be so fired up with going into the store to buy something, and as soon as we have it in hand, buy it, and take it home, we ask why we even bought this? You ask a question such as maybe I didn't really want this? As someone that has had these moments, I have became aware when I feel totally comfortable about buying something, and when I do not. Typically, when I buy something and I do not feel comfortable about walking into it, most of the time my instincts were right and I did not need it after all and feel buyer's remorse. When I feel totally comfortable buying something all the way from the beginning to the time I take it home, it typically works out to being a well worth purchase. So the point being, if you have to ask yourself if you really need it, and if you are not financially sound, you probably really do not need to buy it. A wise person once said, if you cannot buy 5 of it, you cannot afford 1 of it. Keep that in mind whenever you are shopping out and about.
Don't Buy the Hype
This especially applies to the holiday season, but many people make purchases based upon the bandwagon tactic. I myself have been down this road, and after awhile, I realize that this whole hype is artificial. Companies, and maybe other people give you this apocalyptic feeling that if you don't buy this product, you are missing out because all your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers will have one and you do not. No one likes to feel left out, so businesses cater to that emotion to make you buy something you probably would never consider to begin with. Businesses advertise that their merchandise is cheap at the moment and you need it now before it is too late. We have all been there, then as soon as the hype wears off, we completely forget about what we bought and it stays in storage for years, return it at some point, or it simply gets thrown away. Many of us invest our entire lives living this cycle. If you have been victim of this before, or are smiling and shaking your head realizing you have fallen for this yourself, now you are aware. Have a purpose in mind when making purchases and careful not to fall into the hype.
Use Cash Any Chance Possible
As the saying goes, cash is king. If you can pay for as much as possible with cash, you will most likely find yourself spending less since you can only spend what you actually have. If you have a budget in mind with your cash and are aware of your spending habits, you will go even further with controlling your spending and knowing where your money goes.
Many of us invest a majority of our lives buying things we do not need with money we do not have. Just because it is cheap, it does not mean we have to have it now. If we focused on becoming healthier and wealthier financially, then we could focus more on what matters to us and live with less stress knowing we are in control of our finances. Instead of using our money to strive for our purpose, or investing it into fulfilling our hopes and dreams, we use it to buy clutter and junk we never needed in the first place and might regret buying. The point isn't telling you to be a minimalist or to buy nothing ever again, but instead just think about what you are buying before you do it and be aware of your spending habits. Life is too short and precious to be worried about buying junk we do not need just because someone says it is cheap. Make the decision to be in control of your financial future and become aware of your spending habits. I hope you found this article helpful and wish you the best in your financial endeavors.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Jason