Your standard of spending is depressing the heck out of you. We even have a study to back up that statement, but who cares what the research says? You know it in your gut.
Not everything you purchase has value, but every bit of it has a cost. Too often you buy things that you just want, then forget them in a storage space.
Those things are not filling that hole in your heart. In fact, they’re creating one in your financial plan. They’re weighing down your life.
Take these steps to change your spending habits. If you can live by even a loose budget, but also maintain expectations of your purchases and live with some spending parameters, you could change you cluttered life.
Budget Your Money
This can be as simple as a scrap of paper where you partition your paycheck then take out spending cash for leisure activities until your next payday. That’s a fine plan.
Nobody who is has savings lives without a budget. That means your plan should include saving too.
The wealthiest people on the planet live on a budget. Theirs is just less specific than the rest of our budgets.
They key to budgeting isn’t about restricting your spending. It’s about redirecting it.
Without a budget, you are liable to spend your money until it’s gone. What’s worse is you’ll spend it on items of fleeting pleasure, not items with a return on your investment.
Always Expect A Return
People who are successful don’t make investments without a potential return. That return may be financial, but it’s never about the emotional high from spending money.
When you buy food, it should nourish you. When you buy clothes, they should fill a need or protect you from the elements.
They should fit your body and your life, but also help create the image by which you want people to know you.
Those are essential purchases with a clear returns on your invested money. Investments don’t always have to be on essentials, but be judicious. Spend within your means in these areas.
Art can be an investment in filling your life with inspiration. Vacation provide you with perspective cultural exchange. The returns from these two still beat mindlessly filling a shopping cart with junk you’ll never use.
Live By Spending Guides
You have to create some parameters for your spending. A good place to start is with the above-mentioned returns.
Whenever you have the urge to make a purchase, take time to imagine your life after that purchase. Ask yourself, in what positive way will this purchase impact my life? If the answer is “I just want it,” then maybe you reconsider.
Here’s another way to get closer to the truth. Ask yourself, “how will not purchasing this item make my life feel unfulfilled?”
We can find ways to justify any purchase, but if there is nothing in it for you, then you need to take careful consideration.
Clean Up Your Living Space
This might sound counterintuitive, but your cluttered home isn’t helping.
What you want is a home where new purchases stand out. If you bring something home only to have it disappear in the mess, then you may not see the great scope of your behavior.
You don’t need to throw out everything.
Draw a line; anything you haven’t used in twelve months, not including seasonal items like holiday decorations, get rid of it. Throw it out, donate it or sell it at a rummage sale.
If you’re not using it, it’s a fire hazard. You can apply this to clothes, cookware, and just about anything crammed in your storage space.
It will take work, labor you won’t quickly undo by filling that empty space with more junk. There are some worthwhile step-by-step books out there on this subject.
Adopt The One-for-one Rule
If you had one pair of sneakers, but you bought new ones, the old ones have to go. The new ones take the place of the old. If not, then you may have slipped back into some consumerist behavior.
Even if you upgrade your possessions over the years, let go of the old items as you improve your standard of living. If you’re not wasting your money, this should be easy to do.
What you will find over time is you appreciate new things more than you used to. You will find pleasure in the simplest purchase, not just because it stokes your buying something fire, but that it fills a need in your life.