Wikipedia says that Consumerism is a social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods and services in ever greater amounts.
Everywhere you go there is an opportunity to spend money. There is always something new and shiny coming out and no one wants to have the old version of anything. There are lots of toys out there for kids and even more for the grown-ups... and everything is getting more expensive.
For everything we see or hear about that we want, there are dozens of ways to acquire it. With the introduction of the internet and home shopping television shows you don’t even have to leave your house. Pick up the phone or log on to your computer and the world is at your fingertips.
There are ads on billboards, ads on webpages, in magazines and even at the movies. We can’t escape them! I was walking through the mall not too long ago and the young man that was working at a nail care kiosk literally grabbed my hand and pulled me over to his cart! I was kidnapped and forced to buy a nail file! Haha…no I wasn’t. I told him no thank you and kept walking. A few days later I went to the beauty supply store and bought the same product for MUCH less. I just had to resist the impulse.
It’s easy to buy into the mindset that looking good and having everything leads to a more fulfilling life. What merchants count on is the excitement of a new discovery. They count on your insecurities. That’s what allows them to convince you that their product is going to make you feel beautiful or make you happy. Most of the time we don’t care how much it costs as long as there is hope that it will deliver the promised results. Do you want a slimmer waistline? Do you want smoother, younger looking skin? Of course we do! So how do we get it?
For as many things as you want, there are as many ways to get it. When personal bank accounts run dry many people use their credit cards to supplement their needs vs. wants. You can get loans for cars and houses as well as your education. No interest lines of credit for a house full of furniture are too tempting to pass by. The more money we make, the more money we spend. We get a new job with higher pay so we buy a bigger house and a more expensive car and the cycle continues.
Many parents work to keep up with demands of their kids who want to wear the latest trends, pursue extracurricular activities, own cellphones and drive nice cars. Every generation has more than the next. Remember when you were young? Compare that picture in your mind to a group of kids you see at the mall and tell me how different it is!
Don’t get me wrong, I like to have nice things and take vacations and I admit that a little retail therapy can be great medicine…BUT I let my budget decide how much therapy I get. Before, I didn’t shop according to my bank balance but my credit card limit.
What does living on a budget mean for me now? It means I limit financed items to car and house only. It means I have one credit card for unexpected opportunities. It means that I drive a used car. It’s a nice used car…but I didn’t put the first scratch in it. It means that if I don’t have the money to buy it, I don’t have it. It means that if I didn’t save for it, I don’t even consider it. What I have belongs to me and no one else.
How many times have you been shopping in your favorite store and had the cashier ask if you would like to save 15% just for applying for their store credit card? It happens to me all the time and I love the opportunity to say that I haven’t used a credit card in 6 years. I lived life one way and now I live it another. I know what it’s like to be at the bottom and have to work back to the top. I know what it’s like to have more going out than coming in. And I know that I was the one who had to decide how I wanted to live and make the adjustments necessary to facilitate that change. I am not saying it was easy. But I am saying it was the best thing I ever did.
Do you have more going out, than coming in?
Do you decide to spend money because you think it will make you feel better?
Do you find yourself content when you HAVE money, but want to shop when you are broke and don’t have the money to spend?
The answer to living free from debt is in these questions. You don’t have to have a lot of money to make smart decisions and be a good steward and live a blessed life financially. Contact Life Coach Inside & Out today and take a step towards a fulfilling life that you can afford to love!
Have a Blessed Day!