Give your self-control an assist
Living in a capitalistic society, particularly one with a culture of consumerism, you’re likely bombarded with opportunities to spend your money. Advertisements are unavoidable, omnipresent and invasive. Now, they’re even targeted, and thus are often more tempting and effective. Over the past several years, so much data has been accumulated on you and your interests, and habits, that these companies pretty much have you pegged. If you aren’t careful, you may find yourself spending more money than you can afford to.
In my early twenties, over ten years ago, I was especially bad at managing my money. You could say I had a shopping addiction given the percentage of my income I was spending, and the frequency I had packages arriving on the stoop. Maybe this sounds familiar? Have the Amazon purchases been piling up?
After being raised in poverty, I wanted nothing more than the expensive designer goods that seemed so out of reach. Once I started making enough money to buy some of these on discount, I promptly did. But then I bought more, and more of them. There never seemed to be enough handbags, sunglasses, dresses… These remnants of my youth now sit in a storage unit. Well, those I didn’t already sell on eBay for a fraction of what I’d paid.
Growing out of these destructive spending habits is extremely difficult, and I think many of us never do. Sometimes, the specific object of addiction changes, but the underlying issue doesn’t. Maybe now you’re in your thirties, and instead are obsessed with purchasing expensive watches, or cars. Maybe you’re in your forties, and are blowing tens of thousands of dollars on renovating a perfectly good fifteen year old kitchen. Whatever it is, unnecessary spending is the sign to look for. Specifically when it is taking up a significant portion of your income, or even sending you into debt and unhappiness.
So how should one go about addressing this problem?
How can I change my inclination to spend money?
There are many techniques that I’ve used, which I’ll share here. The important thing to do is find what works for you. Don’t give up if one or two of these isn’t giving you immediate…