We live in a world that tells us there’s always something better than what we have, and if we can’t keep up with trends, we’re not relevant. It’s a hard life to lead if you’re on a limited budget, and it doesn’t help that credit cards and other forms of credit swoop in pretending to be your best friend. When you find yourself buried in debt, that’s when you realize it’s time to find a better way to live.
You can survive in a culture of replacement and endless renovation if you do the following:
Justify Each Purchase
You could be out to buy just kitchen supplies, but you see an item that you just have to buy. It looks pretty, cool, or it matches your countertops. You’re not really thinking much about the usefulness of the product if you’re buying on impulse. It’s a shiny new object and at that moment, it’s the most important purchase you want to buy. This is how you spend beyond your budget for unnecessary things, and it’s hard to resist.
Next time you feel the impulse, justify the purchase. Instead of going for that beautiful carpet, consider finding a carpet cleaner to take care of the one you already have in Utah County. Take a walk around the mall as you think of ways it will be useful to you. Be realistic. It should fit your current lifestyle, and your reasons shouldn’t rely on more items you need to buy.
Consider the Lifespan of the Product
It’s not unreasonable if you want to buy an item for its aesthetics; you are free to spend your money on whatever makes you happy. However, for each purchase to be worth it, consider their price against their lifespan. Fashionable clothes you won’t be able to use often might not be worth spending two months’ paycheck on. If you’re buying a coat that you can use for years, however, it will be worth it to pay more for quality instead of having to buy several items because your cheap purchases break down easily.
Pay in Cash
It’s easy to forget how much you’re spending when all you have to do is swipe your card and sign for the purchase. Credit cards count on this and before you know it, you’ve built up substantial debt you can’t pay off in one go. The leftover balance will accrue interest, and that’s how banks profit off your purchases. You’re not only spending money wastefully, but you’re also paying for the inability to pay your balance in full.
Most financial experts will tell you to pay in cash so that you will be mindful of how much you have and where you’re spending it. This is a great idea for your next shopping trip. Take only enough cash to buy what you need, and once the cash is gone, you’ll know it’s time to stop. Even if you have to use your card, don’t buy anything you know you won’t buy if you paid in cash.
A lot of problems arise from debt and the urge to follow trends. Know where you stand financially and live within your means.