Whether it’s a television, a new house, or those zebra cakes at the convenience store (O, that’s just me?), we all have a desire for more. Why is that? I think back to times before commercialism. Did farmers of the day always desire a new horse? A new…plowing thing? I’m not sure. I bet they did have some desire to have something better, but I think the commercialism of today has changed us.
Walking into any store, we’re bombarded by things we want. Those things we want taint our minds and we convince ourselves we need them. Whether it’s because it’s a good deal, or this newfangled contraption we cannot live without that we didn’t know existed five minutes earlier, it’s like a disease. One want or one indulgence leads to another, and quickly you wonder how you got all this junk.
How do we combat this desire for more? Just a few thoughts.
Wait, then purchase
This isn’t ground breaking. But the reality is your life won’t be much different if you wait. Do you really want that thing the next week or next month? In many cases, you don’t. When you do still want it, it might be worth purchasing. But read the next two points and make sure it passes that test too!
Examine want versus need
Our emotions trick us into thinking we need that new thing, when our old thing does just fine. Anything that removes emotion out of the decision helps. First, create a list of necessities. Those household purchases you have to have. Then, keep a note/list of things in your house that are broken or could possibly need replacement. Samantha and I have started going through our expenses and labeling every purchase. It’s amazing in the short time we’ve done this the things we’ll buy. I would have told you before looking at the list tonight that I haven’t bought any clothes this year. But I’ve bought between 5-10 items this year! It’s amazing how quickly we gloss over these things.
Limit your want purchases
Set a dollar amount, number, whatever works for you. If you’re trying to save money and know you go to five movies a month, tell yourself you’ll only go to two. This requires discipline, but we cannot get control of these desires if we don’t have it. This also requires us to track things. Similar to the tracking I’ve started doing of our own purchases, tracking of very specific purchases also means you’ll buy less.
I don’t think I’m reinventing the wheel here, but I do think it’s important to revisit. Without examining ourselves and our habits, it’s very easy for us/them to get out of control. What are some suggestions you have for keeping an eye on purchasing habits?