It is so nice to have that nice new thing to bring home. Like a new car. The paint is flawless, the interior smells “new”, and everything in the car is in tip top working order. You feel proud knowing that you finally got the “car of your dreams”. You have enough in your budget to cover the payments, insurance, etc. No worries, right?
I found an article by 4therapy.com that explains this in a clear manner:
There are chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters that carry communication from your brain to throughout your body. When you’re anxious, nervous, or feeling worried (like when self-critical thoughts start creeping in), you get a flood of panic-inducing epinephrine that can feel like pure jet fuel. When something happens that makes you feel especially good (like when you buy something!), you get a rush of incredibly satisfying neurotransmitters called serotonins that feels GREAT.
Once you realize that it is only a temporary “high” you get when you purchase something, you quickly learn that you can do without quite a bit. New things are indeed nice, but take a step back and think. Would the items usefulness outweigh its addition to clutter in your house? I do this quite a bit these days. You really find that you want more than you need.
Do I need that new car? Do I need that new bicycle (oh and I TRY to come up with reasons for this one!)? Do I need that new shirt, jeans, and/or shoes? I am not saying to never purchase anything, not at all! All I am saying is to step back and think about the purchase before you make it.
Ask yourself questions like these, and be honest with yourself:
– Would I really use this?
– Do I have the room for this?
– If I do not have the room for this, what am I willing to part with in order to make room for this?
– Do I have the money to make this purchase?
– Do I have anything else already that can do the job of this new item just as well, if not almost as well?
– How often would I use it?
– Do I need it?
– Can I wait? Maybe it will go on sale!
– If I do want/need it, can I obtain it used (like Craigslist or ebay)?
For instance, I really like to cook. I have been wanting a KitchenAid stand mixer for ages now. The problem is they run about $400. Would I love to have it? Of course I would! However, due to the fact that I would not use it all that often, I have not purchased one. As of now, a simple hand mixer is more than enough for what I do. Most of the time I just manually mix. You see, I cannot justify the cost of the item because I would not use it often. Now if I was making bread once a week at home, then I would possibly consider it. I do not do that, so I put off the purchase. Do I still drool over them when I hit the culinary store? You bet I do! However, I remind myself of why I have not purchased one as of yet, and I just walk away.
The more you do it, the easier it gets. Home Depot, my true weakness….next to the hardware/tool section of Sears. I see all these nifty gadgets and I want them all, badly! Then I start running through those questions, and I walk away. It is just a knee jerk reaction half the time. Nice shiny new thing, that you may use 5 times….I MUST HAVE IT! No, you do not need it.
I am not saying to be ultra frugal, I am just saying to think before you purchase. Do not go to the store and buy something you just noticed. Always walk away, make a mental note, and think about it. Even if you simply just walk around the store, think if you really need it. Often that slight delay in putting the item into your cart is all the delay you need to make an educated decision.
That is why I have 4 bikes and I do not plan to purchase any more. I have all I need, maybe one bike too many, but they all get used. That is also why I do not get as many little bicycle gadgets anymore. I really think about what I want and what I truly need. I see those new lights for the bike and I want one, but I do not need one. My current lights work just fine!