How to Be a Smarter Spender
Money is the oil that powers the global machine we all live in. This massive truth can seem daunting, but perhaps thinking about it from a smaller, more personal perspective can be helpful. You probably spend money all the time: rent, car payments, groceries--the list goes on. Have you ever taken a moment to think about your spending, though? Often times we willfully ignore our credit card statements and pay the balance dutifully. By taking a few steps back, you can really get to the bottom of what your needs are and budget better. This way, financial hardship will have a much more difficult time making an entrance in your affairs. We’re here to help you along the way!
Three concepts rule the world of conscious consumerism:
Questioning: Ask yourself “Do I really want to do this?” A great way to start looking at your finances is through a “necessity filter.” This filter is driven by one primary factor: Time. The phrase “time is money” doesn’t exist just for movie scenes with businessmen, it is a beaming truth. Each time you spend money, you are also spending time. That $500 4K TV? That’s a huge chunk of your bi-weekly paycheck, especially if you’re between the ages of 20 and 25. Moreover, by spending massive amounts on loan through a credit card, you become indebted to that sum and by extension, your time at work will be spent trying to pay it off. How much of your clocked-in hours are you willing to use towards that TV?
Deciding: Wait before you buy It usually takes about 20 minutes to gage how committed you are to buying something you saw at the store. We live in a very materialistic society--you are expected to want new products that will replace your old ones. Is what you’re eyeing more than $100? Give it a day. Oftentimes the excitement of owning something new is more palpable than the logic of buying it in the first place. Also think about when you’ll use the item you want to purchase; if it isn’t in the immediate future, set it down and add it to your mental wish list.
Planning: Shop when you need to, not when there’s a sale Waiting to go shopping at Black Friday or other holiday-themed shopping events where companies “slash” prices is a major risk if you’re trying to spend smart. While a discount may seem obviously rational, the impetus to spend more during a time that’s heavily branded towards excessive purchasing is real. It is much more efficient to take inventory of your belongings and buy when it’s needed. This goes hand in hand with the first and second concepts: buy something if you know you absolutely need and will use it and that you are willing to spend time in order to pay the lenders back.
We know this is intimidating and can feel disappointing, especially with the holidays right around the corner. Thankfully, we can help you with the “Planning” portion. If you have goals to meet, we’ll help you accomplish that and can offer guidance in the process. Being financially stable doesn’t need to be boring--you can spend in a way that’s both smart AND sexy!