“Do I WANT or NEED this?”
That’s the question I ask myself any time I’m about to whip out my wallet or click Add-To-Bag. It’s a simple question, yet it’s so effective.
We are all aware, maybe hyper-aware that we live in a consumerist culture. Advertising everywhere is telling us we need the latest clothes, beauty products, cars, toys and electronics. It’s a constant battle, even for me- a self-described dollar pincher (not as extreme as a penny pincher, but still a pretty lean-running lady)
I’ve realized the trick is to learn how to distinguish a Want from a Need.
Do I NEED a new spring outfit, or can I shop last years closet and create some new looks?
Do I NEED to go out for dinner, or can I make something delicious at home? Btw, alcohol in restaurants is EXTREMELY marked up. You can get a great bottle of wine for $20 or less in stores. Yes, my darling friends! This is me advocating drinking at home, preferably with girlfriends or sig others. A lot more fun that way 😉
Do I NEED a new tube of mascara from Sephora? You might, but when you’re there do you also realize you “need” new foundation, a firming cream and new makeup brushes with a free travel case? If that’s the case you’d probably be better off hitting up your neighborhood drugstore.
I realize this advice could seem like it zaps the fun out of spending money, and your partially right. Once you ask yourself whether you Want or Need something, you get really clear on priorities. Oftentimes I find that I can live with a lot less than I think and that’s actually a freeing feeling. I have less clutter and more room to fill my life with things that really matter to me. It also puts more money in the bank which gives me the funds to do things with people I love. No one’s going to notice I’m wearing last years shoes when we’re out having a great time, I promise you that.
Making smart money choices and building a strong financial future is all about the little decisions you make on a day-to-day basis. It may seem mundane, but as you build momentum and see how much those little choices add to your bank account, cutting back can begin to feel like a game.
In fact, I challenge you to make it a game tomorrow. Every time you go to make a purchase, stop and ask yourself, “Do I WANT or NEED this?” Then at the end of the day assess how much money you saved and let me know how it goes in the comments below.