Buying new stuff is fun. What makes it fun is the new stuff you get. What makes it less fun is the money you have to spend on it. I’m going to be honest up front. Spending is a necessity. You have to have food, gas, clothes, cars, and a place to live. BUT … there are lots of times we spend for other reasons that aren’t as necessary. Here are three reasons we spend and what we can do about it…
Because it makes us happy: When you buy something new, it feels good. New stuff is fun to have, fun to look at, and fun to smell (we all love that new car smell). But how long does that feeling last? A new car may feel new for a couple of months, but that wears off pretty fast, and then you just have a new car payment. So what should you do about it? Find something else that gives you a similar feeling of happiness. They say working up a sweat releases endorphins that make you happy, so that sounds like a good option. Maybe instead of buying that new car or tv, just get a new yoga mat. Your body will probably be happy about that too.
Because of that dadgum Jones family: None of us can afford to keep up with the Kardashians, but we still try our best to keep up with the Jones … Joneses … Jones’s. Whatever. Anyway, I suffer from this as much as anyone I know. A friend or family member gets something new that I like and suddenly I WANT ONE. My brother just got a new truck. Now I’m paying more attention when I pass by shiny trucks in car lots. You know what I’m going to do? Pray someone hits and totals my car in a parking lot while I’m inside a store? Well maybe, but that prayer probably won’t be answered, so instead I’m going to figure out what a payment would be, and move that much money from my checking account into my savings account for a few months. Now I can see how that loss of cash would affect me AND boost my savings at the same time. It’s a genius move, really.
Because we think we’re getting a deal: How many of you buy stuff just because it’s on sale? How big does the sale have to be for you to justify it in your head? Is it something you have to have? Buying things on sale at the grocery store is great, but spending just because something is on sale isn’t that smart. Think about it this way: If you don’t really need it, then you’re not saving money. All you’re really doing is spending less. And to me, spending less is still spending.