A friend of mine recently questioned my shopping. ‘Don’t you feel empowered when you don’t buy something?’ she asked. Sadly, my answer was no. I want things; I need things.
When I see an item I want, I can picture it in my life. I can imagine my lifestyle with it and see how much it would improve or create the perfect image. A toy for Annika equates a better childhood and makes me the perfect mom. If I don’t purchase the item, I can’t stop thinking about it. I agonise over whether or not I should have bought it. I feel sad that I won’t have it in my life.
Unfortunately, these emotions that I’ve equated to stuff has caused me to rack up my credit card. All of a sudden those great feelings of acquiring things has left me in debt and feeling panicky.
I recognize that I would much rather be able to teach my daughter how to be good with money than have every toy and decoration. I am sure I will also be a better mother under less stress.
So I’m getting back on track. I am taking my head out of the sand and recognizing that the debt isn’t just going to go away. I will live on cash from now on (cutting up one of my credit cards as soon as I sign off). I used to follow the advice from Dave Ramsey and was able to cut a huge chunk of my debt off. I think it’s time to re-read his book.
When shopping, I will really try to remember that the pain of being in debt will far outlast the small joy I get in purchasing an item. Which I almost find funny writing because it’s also something I have to remember with food. Many of the foods I eat, I choose because of the pleasure I experience while eating them. I have to remind myself that the happiness I will experience being at a comfortable weight will far out weigh the pleasure I’m experiencing while eating.
I guess it comes down to a few things, making conscious decisions and acknowledging emotions rather than eating or purchasing them.