Living in a society where we are urged to spend from every quarter we end up buying stuff we don’t really need. The impact of having too much stuff not only affects our well-being in the long term, it is also detrimental to the environment.
The following tips may remedy this ailment:
- Before you buy something ask yourself:
- Do I really need it?
- Can I make do without it?
- How many hours will I have to work to pay for it?
- How long will the buzz last after buying it and is it worth it?
- How long did I feel good for the last time I bought something like this?
- Do I want to clean and maintain it?
- Can I get it without buying it? Can I rent or borrow it?
- Be very critical of advertising, don’t get sucked in by any emotional tugs on your heart-strings. Ask yourself what type of fear or insecurity the advertisement is playing on. Rather than buying whatever-it-is, which won’t help you in the long run, try and do something about the insecurity.
- A good rule for avoiding impulse buying is to sleep on it. You are likely to find that you do not feel so strongly about buying something the next day.
- Don’t go shopping!
- Instead of shopping go hiking, swimming, picnicking or play sport with the kids. Go on a micro-adventure.
- Or give your time: volunteer for a charity, school or community group. Giving feels better for longer than shopping.
- Or stay at home – invite friends around, play a game, bake bread, write a letter, cuddle a loved one.
- If you really want to spend money buy an experience: movie, theatre, concert, dinner, zoo, show or sports event.
- Instead of buying stuff try selling some stuff.
- Always pay with cash. This should help curb your spending and it will also keep you out of debt.
- Savour. One or two special things can be savoured and enjoyed much more than a whole pile of junk.
- Make a budget – know how much you are earning and limit your spending. Each dollar you spend represents precious time in your life that you worked?
- Instead of buying it try making it or fix the old one you have.
PS: The Joneses are the thriftiest, least wasteful people. Try to keep up with them.