A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. A major part of winning with money is controlling and understanding your spending. Just controlling your habits as a consumer can effectively give you a raise. The following contributed post is entitled, Mindful Ways to Challenge Your Consumerist Habits.
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The world has turned us all into consumers at heart thanks to the wealth of money poured into promotional campaigns and marketing. It’s difficult to enter a conversation without some kind of brand being mentioned and no matter what common sense tells us, it’s hard to break free from the clutches of big-name companies that rip us off with their expensive purchases.
So in this post, we’re going to look at a couple of mindful ways to challenge your consumerist habits.
Understand what makes you purchase things on impulse
Everyone has their own weaknesses when it comes to shopping. Some people just love certain colors, others always seem to buy excess clothes and some people just can’t resist a good deal. Once you understand what triggers your impulse purchases, you’ll have a much easier time combating them since you’re more mindful and can avoid those unnecessary purchases. You might even be affected by specific emotions, such as having a tendency to make large purchases when you’re feeling down or depressed. Once you recognize the patterns and find ways to deal with your triggers, you’ll save yourself a lot of money and regret from impulse buys.
Look at the hidden costs of each purchase you make
Every purchase you make comes with hidden costs that need to be considered in the long term. For instance, buying a new television might seem like a cool idea, but there are other costs involved outside of just the unit itself. For example, you might feel tempted to upgrade your subscription TV service for better quality, you might end up paying higher electricity costs and it might even tempt you to buy more DVD and BluRay films just to use your TV on a regular basis. This is just one example of how a seemingly innocent purchase can spiral out of control and make you spend a lot more than you would’ve first imagined.
Stop following what your friends and family members do
Just because your friends and family members are buying expensive Apple smartphones or going for Microsoft-only laptops and computers, it doesn’t mean that you need to follow with them. Your life is unique and so are your choices, so don’t let other people affect your purchase decisions. Instead, you should consider doing your own research such as looking at websites like ReviewNerds to make your own purchase decisions. Don’t just follow trends–look at what the purchase is for, understand what makes a good product or service and then make your own choice based on that information.
Do an inventory of your belongings to see how much you’re really spending
One of the best ways to realize just how much money you’re spending is to inventory all of your belongings. Look at your electronics and hobby-related items to get a better idea of just how much you’re actually spending on a regular basis. Once you realize that you’re spending far too much money on things and leaving them stored away never to be seen again, you’ll start to be more careful about your purchases.