Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I want it all...and I want it now.

Maybe it’s the new Smartphone, or the fierce stilettos in the boutique window. Maybe it’s the new Madden for the Xbox. At some point, we have all seen an item that we had to have at all costs. There’s no feeling like getting something as soon as it hits the shelves; and when the object of your desire is right in front of you, it takes a strong person to fight the impulse to buy, buy, BUY!

With the prevalence of credit cards in America, it is all too common for us consumers to give in to this desire and purchase items that we do not need and cannot afford. This can only lead to trouble in our finances and our futures. Imagine yourself 30 years from now, with a mountain of debt, a house full of gadgets, and no hope of retirement to enjoy all of the trinkets you’ve acquired over the years.

What’s one way to avoid this fate? A little thing called Delayed Gratification. When you see something and think you have to buy it…Don’t. Wait to see if you feel the same way about the item after a few hours or days pass. Often, the desire wears off over time as you realize that the new “toy” is not as amazing as the commercial makes it appear, or realize that you already own something similar. Waiting before making a purchase also gives you time to figure out how to pay for the item. It’s easy to whip out your credit card, but by saving a little money each week/month, you can eventually buy what you want (if you still want it) without interest, and may even catch a sale!

It’s hard to deny yourself something you have convinced yourself that you need; however, if you want to take control of your finances, you have to start by monitoring your spending, and cutting back on some unnecessary purchases. For example, I want a sew-in weave. In fact, I’ve wanted one for about 1 year now. However, I have not been able to justify spending $200+ on my hair in just one sitting. When I didn’t have a job and was living off of student loans, I knew it would be financially irresponsible to spend that kind of money. Now that I’m gainfully employed, I’m getting the itch to finally splurge on my hair…BUT, I’m really serious about managing my money so, alas, I will have to work with my natural hair until I put away enough money each month to get my weave. After all, my financial freedom is much more important to me than a hairstyle.

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