Mindful Spending

There is an excitement that comes with purchasing something shiny and new. The rush begins when we start thinking about all the great things we are going to do with our new widget. We start to believe what the advertisers are feeding us. If only we own this (insert unnecessary purchase here), our lives will be more exciting. Friends will find us more interesting. Neighbors will envy us. We will be happier. None of this is true, however, and we usually find ourselves with less money and one more possession to add to the pile.

What if you hold off on that purchase just for a little while, say a couple days? You may find that the excitement wears off a bit. You might forget all about it completely. If that’s the case, then it wasn’t something that was ever really important anyway.

Is it possible to like a thing, appreciate it for what it is and not buy it anyway? Yes, of course it is.

When I began my journey into less, I would often find myself wandering stores, looking at things I thought I wanted, knowing I didn’t need them, and leaving without spending a dime. Why? Because I was so used to impulse shopping when I was bored or tempted by something I saw in a flyer or online that it became a very tough habit to break. When I realized that time was better spent on life and family and friends and all the things I love, my world became simpler, more meaninful… happier. Shopping for entertainment has been replaced by shopping for necessity.

When you think about what you really need to thrive, the list is actually quite small. Food, water, shelter, transportation and meaningful relationships. Everything else is extra, superfluous. So take a look around, have you been surrounding yourself with unnecessary things? Do they make you happy? Maybe it’s time for a change.