Intentional spending – worth every cent

In a world where we are constantly bombarded with ‘Sales’ and ‘Great Deals’ it can be hard sometimes to separate what is ‘necessary’ versus ‘nice to have’.

The idea of saving money if we buy now appeals, especially if we don’t have control over savings already established. Having no, or very little savings leaves us wide open to the belief that it’s a good deal and we should buy it now why we can. It will cost us more if we wait.

Here’s how to break the cycle

  1. Clean up your house

    Every time you get an email promoting a sale take a moment to ask yourself this question – “When did I last purchase something from this company?”
    Each email you get is reinforcing the message in your brain to react to an opportunity, even those that have no benefit to you.
    Decide to keep it (if you buy from this business or find their communication helpful) or unsubscribe if you are simply on their list and don’t really think you would buy from them again.

  2. Educate yourself to ‘Buy-Wise’

    Best explained like this:
    I personally only subscribe to four clothing brands. These are the ones where I know I get quality clothes at affordable prices.

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If I happen to buy somewhere else at any point and give them my details (hoping for that gimmick giveaway they are offering me to sign up), then as soon as I receive an email from them, I go back to my earlier point and unsubscribe.

Through observing their emails over time I have educated myself to learn their sales cycle rather than react to their enticement to buy. This way when I do buy I am doing so intentionally and at the right time in their sales cycle for it to be the best cost to me.

(My most recent purchase – 3 shirts for $100, not bad considering they were released 3 weeks before I purchased them and promoted to me as “Quality Shirts – Limited Stock $99 each)

Here’s what it looks like from my observations over time.

1st email – “NEW ARRIVALS” Triggers the brain for those who don’t like to wait and want the next best thing before anyone else. Great I guess but why pay a premium. (I waited 3 weeks and look what I saved by being intentional)

2nd email – “SALE ENDS TOMORROW’ Triggers the brain for those who don’t like missing out and live in that constant space of missing out. If you stop to think about it the time for us to get worried is when retailers no longer advertise a sale.

3rd email – ‘STOCK CLEARANCE’ Triggers the brain for those always looking for a bargain but you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. Just because it’s a bargain do you actually need it? and secondly are you subconsciously telling yourself that the only time you can afford anything is when it is at a bargain price?

All 3 are valid reasons to buy, the key to buying wise is understanding the real ‘Why’ to the reason you want to make that purchase at any given time.

3. Spend to a plan

Spending as you earn isn’t a very good plan but for many we don’t really take the time to change this. Probably because it means we are going to put a level of accountability on ourselves but lets face it, what sort of plan is it to simply spend as fast as we earn and hope things will work out.

When you took your last holiday did you just wake up one morning, jump on a plane, spend your money where ever you ended up landing and hope it worked out? Highly unlikely – I would suggest you put some planning and thinking into when – where – how etc and knew exactly what it was going to look like long before you got on the plane.

So why is it we avoid planning with our money? Take some time out to review past statements and see where your money has been going. Then build a budget that is intentional to where you want it to go in the future.

A plan can be reviewed regularly and find tuned as other expenses become a ‘higher value to you’ priority. If you have no budget or plan to review then everything is a priority all the time and getting ahead is likely to be both stressful and difficult.

2 replies
    • Moneytrainer
      Moneytrainer says:

      That’s a great start Simon, you will not only start spending less but also benefit from having less emails to scroll through.

      Reply

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