When it comes to money, people have less than they need for two reasons.
1. Not earning enough. This can be due to the inability to obtain a job that pays high enough wages, or by living above your means.
2. Buying on impulse, which is the focus of this post.
An impulse buy is any purchase you make that you had no plans of making. You know how it goes. You make a quick trip to the mall for one shirt, but then you find out its buy one get one half off and end up with two. You go to Foot Locker to grab a pack of socks but then a pair of sneakers catch your eye. Impulse buying depends on a - I see it, and I need it mentality.
Just this morning, I woke wanting to play Madden NFL 17 more than anything in the world, so what did I do? Immediately pulled out my phone and checked the price for a new Xbox one. I spent about 15 minutes justifying the purchase to myself before reason smacked me. This is not in the budget.
We make impulse buys because we are emotional beings. We work hard, we’ve obtained jobs that allow us to afford nice things, so what’s wrong with having them? Nothing. But if you want to achieve financial freedom, you have to remove emotion from the equation. You cannot build a rich life if you give all your money to retailers.
The first step to gaining control of your finances is realizing what money is. Money is a tool, it is a thing under your control, not vice versa. In life, stuff happens all the time you cant control. That is not the case with money, you are 100% in control of your finances.
Manage the "things" in your life. What do I mean by things? Your time and your treasure (money). It was once said don’t worry about things you can’t control, but the things you can control, control mercilessly. That’s not an exact quote but you get the metaphor.
We don't have to define our worth or wealth by material possessions. Let's bury the idea that we need to flex our wealth by being flashy. I know I own several things that I look at from time to time and ask "wtf was I thinking when I bought this?" It's time to R.I.P. those days. We have too much knowledge available to keep making these mistakes *exits pulpit*
Treat your money like what it is, an object, and a tool, something you use and have complete control over. Take the emotion out of it by shifting your outlook on finances to a long term perspective.
One method to employ is the 10 items list. The idea behind this list is it allows you to purchase items that are not necessities, but do so in a controlled manner that curbs impulse desires. This is how it works.
10 Items List
· Think of 10 items you wish to purchase and number them 1-10.
· You are allowed to change the order of the 10 items.
· You cannot add a new item until one of the current 10 has been purchased.
· All items on the list must be bought with cash - no buying on credit which you may or may not pay off.
With this list, and a little willpower, you can reduce impulse spending and save yourself a lot of money over time.