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 over 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?” Typically, his clear-headed look at my spending habits tended to 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. My shopping habits had a dark side that I conveniently turned away from.
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!