If You Think You Need It Right Now, You Don’t

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Do you ever get that feeling that you must have something right now, right this minute?!  You’ve GOT TO have that pair of boots.  You’ve GOT TO stop and get an ice cream shake.  You’ve GOT TO buy that WordPress plug-in. You’ve GOT TO have that new barbecue grill.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Guess what?  When you get that urge that you’ve got to have something RIGHT THIS SECOND?  I’m almost certain you really don’t need it at all.

That’s right.  You CAN live without it.  Seriously.   There are few things in life that are physically necessary to our survival.  Water and food are two.  Boots and barbecue grills are not…

I’d venture to say the stronger your feeling of I GOTTA HAVE IT, equally strong is the fact that you do not need that item to go on living.  It might feel that way, but believe me you won’t die if you don’t get what you want right this instant.

To help kill this impulsiveness I’ve done a few things that help significantly.

Cut Down on Television Watching

Or just stop watching.  I have stopped watching television.  I was watching only a few minutes on the weekends, usually when eating lunch. It was a way to make myself stop and relax for a little while.  But this flat screen television that AJ bought his dad about a year ago won’t let me watch it. Instead it wants to search for channels every time it’s turned on, and I cannot figure out how make it stop!  So then I would watch for a few minutes on our bedroom television. But since Mr. A isn’t watching television anymore either, he started stacking things in front of the television.  It’s amazing how much the desire for “things” cuts down when you don’t watch television.  When I did watch television I would mute the commercials and that helped.

Don’t Get the Sunday Paper

Oh, I know it’s blasphemous for a frugal personal finance blogger to say such a thing.  I can hear it now, “What about the coupons?!”  Well, since I eat only “real” food and only use natural cleaners (like baking soda and vinegar) and make my own clothes soap, no-poo my hair, just to name a few, there are rarely coupons for anything that I can use.  I know it’s true because my sister-in-law is heavily into extreme couponing and she graciously shares any of her great finds but there is hardly ever anything I can use.

Limit Opening Emails from Some Bloggers

Nowadays I limit the emails I open from some bloggers, because they are often trying to sell me something super fantastic that I really really GOTTA have right now.  I have occasionally succumbed, but mostly I stay the course and continue being a tightwad.  Even though it’s a business expense it is still taking money away from paying down ou debt. The nice thing is usually these bloggers guarantee that you’ll love their product and offer a 60 day money back guarantee.  This is still not an excuse to impulsively buy something, and these emails are pretty bad at stoking the flames of  our impulsiveness nature.

Stay Out of the Mall

I rarely go into the mall.  Okay, I confess just the other day I went into the mall but it was to pick up a package that I’d had delivered to the store, instead of paying for shipping.   What was I there to pick up?  Oh… that leads me to my next recommendation.

Unsubscribe to Text Messaging Alerts

After I got my smart phone  I found that some clothing stores will give you a coupon for $5 off or a discount when you sign up to get text message alerts.  Well, those little “alerts” are just as bad as the Sunday paper!  Oh, select pairs of sandals on sale $10 a pair!  And I had a $5 off coupon when you spend at least $25 and the shoes could be shipped to the store (so free shipping).  So I bought myself three pairs of sandals.  Oh dear. Sometimes I need to listen to my own advice.

Use the Amazon Shopping Cart

Put that item you’ve got to have into the cart, now here’s the trick… close your browser.  Don’t come back for two days.  I find that this actually helps to curb my desire for the item.  It’s kind of like telling your inner child, “See honey, it’s in the cart. We’re going to buy it soon.”  And then you may realize you didn’t even want that item at all.

What tricks do you use to curb your “gotta haves” ?

 

 

 

 

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9 comments to If You Think You Need It Right Now, You Don’t

  • I just try to avoid looking altogether. I really hate buying clothes online, so sometimes I’ll just look online in order to get my “fix” since I know I won’t actually buy it.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Michelle, that’s a good one, too! I have never liked shopping for clothes, and shopping online is even worse since you can’t tell how it fits, etc. then the hassle of shipping back to the store. Thanks for adding your way to get past the gotta haves.

    [Reply]

  • I use the Amazon trick a lot. I’ll stick it in the cart or use the ‘Save for Later’ option, and many times will forget all about it and just remove it down the line.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Money Beagle – I wondered if anyone else did this, I do also use the Save for Later option and I was just looking through the other day at the different things I felt so strongly that I just had to have and there they still sit. I was thinking I probably should have pointed out to be sure the automatic purchase isn’t set up because that wouldn’t work. :-)

    [Reply]

  • I agree with all these and also with what Michelle said. I hate buying clothes online – I can’t think of a single time I have bought clothes online. But sometimes I go online to look around, maybe even put something in the cart, but I forget about it and go about my day without spending any money. It’s much easier for me to say no to impulse buys online than in the store for me. Something about seeing it right there just makes me want it so much more!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    ImpulseSave – I have bought a few items online… mostly unmentionables when I have a favorite that I can no longer locate in a brick and mortar store. But I have had to return items since they didn’t fit right so it’s a hassle. It’s good to have these little tricks to keep our impulsive nature in check! :-) Thanks for visiting and commenting! :-)

    [Reply]

  • I carry an index card in my wallet – and if I see something I “WANT!!!”, I write it down on my card and take it home so I can do some research (cheapest online etc)

    It’s amazing how many times I never even bother LOL

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Elaine, this is a great suggestion. I have also done this in the past but my reason was to look for the item when I was in a thrift store. I always forget to look and I don’t visit thrift stores often these days so I just stopped keeping the list. I have decided for my birthday this year that I might want to go to a few thrift stores as I find it quite satisfying and fun. :-)

    [Reply]

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