Impulse breeds regret, at least it does for me. Just the other day I heard a story of a gal who recently got her house paid off and decided that it was time for a new car that she has been eyeing, so what did she do? She replaced her $1500 mortgage payment that was for a brief moment eliminated with an $800 car payment. Now, you might be thinking, well, “she is now saving $700 per month!” I disagree. One of the best things that I ever heard was that we are never “saving money” if we did not intend on spending it in the first place…if you didn’t intend to buy a new car when your house was paid off, then you are not saving $700 you are actually now losing $800, totaling $1500 of lost opportunity.
The point is this…impulse gets the best of us. Think of when you were a kid…when you wanted that new toy, you wanted it now! The blessing of being a kid, is that you don’t have a credit card that you can go smack that new toy on! As adults, we tend to all fall into the trap of now…but here is a lesson I have learned – if I determine that I want something and I am patient enough to plan and wait for it, 9 times out of 10, it happens. Notice how after “plan for it”…I said “WAIT for it.” Not only do you have to plan for things you want, but I have found that you also have to WAIT. One of the best things that a gentlemen taught me that I worked for in the past, was to wait. You can do all the planning in the world, but if it is not the right time, don’t be reckless about your timing. Wait for when you have a peace about moving forward with what you want.
Just the other day I was thinking how many “scraggly” shoes were peering up at me from my closet and I thought to myself, “MAN, do I need new shoes!” Was it in my budget? NO. Did that mean that I went and put them on a credit card because I had to have them right then and there? NO. I waited and guess what, my birthday was around the corner and I bought up some shoes I’ve been wanting with NO guilt. Wanting things for yourself is NOT BAD...if you remember one thing, remember that – wanting things for yourself is NOT BAD. I have been blessed with things that I “wanted” when I waited and did not act impulsively, the true test is waiting. I want a Mercedes SUV someday…I could have it now, but it would be financed and I am not confident that I can pay cash for any repairs that may come up, let alone an oil change…so for now, I wait. Is it wrong for me to want a Mercedes SUV…I don’t think so…as long as I am utilizing WISDOM when that purchasing ability arises.
So, how do you create healthy shopping habits? Here are 3 quick tips on wise shopping for the future –
1) Don’t Finance It – if you don’t have the cash, don’t buy it. It is stupid to finance a lifestyle that you can’t afford. I am not talking about cars or homes…but you can wait to buy a pair of shoes…unless the soles are falling off, if that is the case, next time save up for your new shoes so that when the soles come off again, you have the cash.
2) Set Aside Spending Money – set aside a certain amount of money each month that you can use for WHATEVER you want – shoes, clothes, Starbuck’s coffees, massage – whatever! This is money that you can use for YOU! No Guilt!
3) Create A List – create a list of the things you “want” – then set out a plan on how you are going to pay for those things in your life. An example for me is that I’ve been wanting a Coach handbag for work for a long time, about 1 year now. I could have saved for it in the meantime, but decided to use my birthday money for it. I have it now, paid cash… Create a list or print out pictures of what you want and then plan on how you will get there and wait for the best time to act!
Impulse gets the best of ALL of us, NO ONE is immune…it just takes purposeful behavior to avoid it…and once you get in the habit, it becomes much easier!
If you would like to ask me your money questions, submit it by visiting my website at www.moneysavvykate.com under podcasts, I look forward to hearing from you!