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” ?