Shiny Things

The constant desire for new stuff can be our undoing while trying to build wealth.  Unlike the crow, you were not born with an attraction to shiny objects.

Marketing is powerful.

The car you thought you liked last week becomes the car you can’t wait to replace when you are inundated with ads for the newer cooler model. Every new tech toy captures your imagination, becoming the one thing that would make you happy. Not one of the 33 pair of shoes you already own will do for Saturday night, once you catch a glimpse of the latest Jimmy Choo’s.

Marketing is powerful and if there is any hope of you controlling your own life you must be prepared to fight back with some formidable strategies of you own.

Long Term Strategy: ALWAYS

Always have a plan and a goal for your money. Make both the plan and the goal specific and measurable. Having an overall plan helps you resist temporary temptations.

Once you have lived for a while with your long term goals in place, you will find in becomes much easier to be very intentional with your spending.  But until then, give these three mini-strategies a try.

Mini-Strategy One: Blow $

Set up a blow budget; allow yourself a fixed amount of money every month that you don’t need to account for. But do not spend over this limit.

Mini-Strategy Two: Wish List

Keep a list of things you want. Don’t buy anything that’s not on the wish list unless it can be paid in full from your blow money. Having a wish list forces you to consider an items worth to you relevant to other wish list items. Prioritize your list and create a goal in your Mint.com account or put a jar on the kitchen counter or set aside a little extra in your savings account for the desired purchase. Make a chart tracking your progress and hang it on the wall. Wait until you’ve saved enough to buy your wish list item. You’ll be surprised how fast you can save for something you want, once you’re focused.

Mini-Strategy Three: Cooling off

Set a hard and fast unbreakable cooling off period before you buy, even if you have the cash. Wait 24 hours for decisions less than $50, a week for less than $200, a month for $500. After the cooling off period, if you still want it and you can pay cash for it and it’s the number 1 item on your wish list, go for it!

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