You looked didn’t you?
That’s okay; I did too.
The World Is Full of Shiny Things
We all know the world is full of shiny, new things. There are malls that exist that are multiple stories tall. There are luxury stores where t-shirts cost $200.00. Window shopping makes us only want to buy more products. Commercials convince us that we want things we never knew existed.
It’s extremely difficult to take a step back and simply stop wanting to shop. Advertisements are all around us, and it’s impossible to drive down the street without seeing a billboard or hearing an ad on the radio.
How To Resist
We can’t give in to these temptations, especially if we are tying to stick to a budget, be responsible about our spending, and establish a solid financial plan for our future. Yet, I acknowledge that it’s not easy, especially if your friends are more comfortable parting with their hard earned cash.
1. Turn Off the TV
About two years ago, I decided to give up my TV and cable for good. It’s made such a huge difference, and I’ve noticed that I want things so much less. I occasionally watch a show on Hulu on my computer, but other than that, the TV is off in my house. Even if you skip through commercials, just being exposed to the celebrity lifestyle and watching unrealistic relationships on TV can make you feel depressed about your own life. There’s no reason for that! Turn it off, and watch the temptation to buy more things melt away.
2. Ask Yourself, “How Often Will I Use This?”
Let’s say you see a pair of fabulous, sparkly shoes or a really nice watch. It’s on sale. It’s a great brand, and you know that you are getting a fantastic price. The only issue is that the item is too nice to use regularly. The shoes are more for an evening party, and the watch should only be used on special occasions. Ask yourself if the cost-per-wear makes sense. If it’s a quality pair of boots that will last you 10 years, and you have no other boots, then it’s fine. However, if you currently have three nice watches at home, and you just like to have them, perhaps your money could be invested in something else instead.
3. Remember Your Goal
You might have friends who drive very nice cars and seem to have it all. However, they might not have as much invested in their retirement as you have, and they might not have a solid envelope system to manage their spending. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others, especially if they seem like they have it all, but remember your goal.
If your goal is financial security, remind yourself that resisting shiny things means more money to save towards financial freedom. If your goal is to pay for your children’s college education, remember that passing up that great deal on season tickets means you can put a few hundred dollars extra in their college fund. It’s all a give and take, but I find that our goals are some of the most powerful motivators when it comes to resisting shiny things and pursuing the ones that last.
How do you rein in your spending?- Catherine Alford