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Challenge Your Lifestyle

We live in a world of high power marketing. Technical advances have been rapid and we struggle to keep up with the changes. We are told, covertly or otherwise, that we cannot live without the latest gadget – in fact if we aren’t using all these modern “conveniences”, we are living in the dark ages.

Many technology advances have made life easier by expanding our options with instant access to information and connections. But is it prudent to keep purchasing the latest most advanced gadget that does everything except bake a cake when we are struggling to make ends meet or trying to economize? 

When we are in financial uncertainty, we need to downsize our wants while addressing our needs. Become a smart consumer. Shop carefully for what you need. Let the fun stuff go until you can afford it.

If you are concerned about the future, potential job loss, or rising costs with little savings set aside, you need to not only become more innovative in terms of survival skills, but you need to take charge of your spending habits.

Consider the following

1.   Marketing ads make us believe we can’t live without their product. “You will be happy when you have this new car, this new phone, this huge house, etc.”

But science confirms what biblical wisdom and principles have taught us for centuries; “things” don’t make us happy. We quickly habituate to them and need something new to get the same emotional spike.

2.   Don’t shop without a purpose. If you can’t resist that latest technical toy or that dress on sale, stay away from the malls. How many times have you purchased things on the spur of the moment that end up cluttering your closets and garages? Sometimes we even rent storage units to store all the “stuff” we might need someday. 

Take advantage of sales, but purchase for the right reasons. Remember things in and of themselves do not make us happy.

3.   Cut up or lock up your credit cards. I know – they are the greatest invention on God’s green earth. But when spending becomes so easy we no longer stop to think about paying the bill, we are setting ourselves up for disaster.

Unless you can use ruthless self discipline to regulate your spending, get rid of the temptation.

4.   Learn to say “No” to your kids. They do not need all the latest “everything” to grow up. You will hear lots of moaning and tantrums about how their lives will be ruined forever, but you are teaching them how to live life.

We teach our children by our own personal example and choices and by setting rules and limits. Part of raising children is teaching them how to make good decisions and knowing the consequences of their decisions.

It may be painful to analyze your spending habits but you are building and developing your personal company – You.

While it is tough to admit there are many things I want but don’t really need, it is an important necessary step in building your “company”. If you are married work together to develop some common goals for your partnership.

©2012 Marlene Anderson, MA, LMHC, NCC

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