One of the most difficult behaviors clients must address regarding clutter is their shopping habits. We live in a consumer-driven, sales-driven, stuff-driven world. We’ve been “sold on” buying the latest and greatest tool, product, item, food, supplement… We have TELEVISION NETWORKS dedicated to supporting this massive consumerism!
In a recent email – I received $1 off coupons for a number of name-brand items. As a recovering shopper myself – it still hits me in that place. There’s something excitable in my brain when I hear about savings and a deal. Although we could spend hours analyzing the behavior – let’s take a note from my wise and patient husband.
After ‘clearance’ shopping excursions in the past, I would return home exclaiming: “I saved more than I spent!” – My husband would patiently shake his head, smile and say… “So, how much did you spend?” It always burst my frenzied thrill, but he was right… How much did I spend? And of course the bottom line was always that I SPENT money that otherwise was not planned or budgeted for such a purpose. Looking deeper, if I were to have calculated the costs of time, returns (after the honeymoon with said objects was over – I invariably had to make the ‘return’ trip back to the store to take back items that I didn’t really want in the first place!), trying it on… etc. etc. etc. – the cost of time alone is never considered! Most Sales/Clearance shopping is impulse buying to begin with. The “deal” is just a trick – to make the spending a little less painful – because, after all – it is STILL spending.
What if you shifted your perspective?
Instead of thinking about how much you’re saving during your next frenzied clearance sale…. Think about how much you’re spending.
Is this item a budgeted expense?
Can you afford it?
Is it something useful, beautiful or necessary?
Does the item you’re purchasing support the vision of the life that you want?
If not – put it back down and calculate how much it will SAVE you to NOT buy it in the first place.
Need more perspective – The StoryOfStuff.com is an awesome video here. Show your kids!