Consumption sucking your wallet dry? - MoneySense

Consumption sucking your wallet dry?

Tips on how to avoid buying things you don’t need.




Shopping is like a vampire. It’s alluring but dangerous and may kill your financial plan in the end.

So how to stop the leak, slow or fast as it may be?

Take stock. I am sometimes astounded at how many of a single item some folks have. Dozens and dozens of bottles of nail polish, lipstick, screwdrivers, black tee shirts. Take stock of what you have so you can relish your abundance.

Use it up. No more comes into your home until you’ve used up what you have. It’s a simple strategy that works brilliantly for lowering consumption. Want to see the real impact?

Set up a jar. Each time you would have bought that something or other, take the money you would have spent and add it to the jar (or transfer it to a high interest savings account) and watch your consumption turn into real savings.

One in, one out. There will be times when you may need to buy something new. Pick something from your stash (it has to be a similar item, so shoes for shoes) and get rid of it. That’ll stop your collection in its tracks.

Shop second hand. Does it have to be new? If it’s just as good at 1/3 the price because it’s been refurbished or consigned, doesn’t shopping second-hand make sense?

Be patient. Early adopters pay more (and spend more time in line) than do those who show a little patience. Use the time to shop around and get the best deal.

Anticipate. There’s real satisfaction from anticipating the acquisition of something new. If you get to plan a vacation for three years before you actually take that vacation, that’s months and months of joy and excitement for the same money as a one- or two-week trip away. And while you’re anticipating, you’re saving so you don’t come home to the regret of debt.

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