FOCUS: HOW TO BE A BETTER SPENDER
The most familiar saying we use is, how to be a better saver, but we all spend and spending is good when you are savvy about it, so we want this month to focus on how to be a better spender.
Money makes the world go around! It literally does. Although money definitely does not buy you happiness, it puts a roof over your head, food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a car to drive and holidays to enjoy. Money is a value exchange – you receive something, whether that be goods or services and you give money in exchange.
When you think of money simply as a value exchange, spending is a necessity. There are of course those items we need and those we want. We often grumble about paying bills but if you think about the value exchange again, we could perhaps feel grateful for that spending – paying your gas bill for example means you are warm in winter and you can cook for yourself and your family. Paying your rent or mortgage gives you a lovely place to live and paying your TV or phone bill keeps you connected and entertained.
One of the best ways to become better at spending is to feel more grateful for the things you DO pay for now out of necessity. Those things mentioned above.
In the same way feel grateful for the money you can save too – although it feels like this is not spending, truly you are spending it on yourself. Saving it for a rainy day, a holiday or just for an emergency should you need it.
Call if what you will, but some spending comes from a desire to make us feel better – for want of a better word, let’s call this emotional spending. We buy something we might not be able to afford but we do it anyway because we think it will make us feel better. If we can’t afford it we then feel bad because we needed the money for something else or we had to borrow it which means paying it back.
One of the best ways to become better at spending is to think about whether the item you are buying will make you happy. That includes whether you can really afford it.
Sometimes if you ask yourself that question and leave it for a day or two, you will often come to the conclusion that the money could be better spent.
We are surrounded by consumerism – constantly encouraged to buy more and convinced we need more things. Truly a happy life is more about the journey in between which is of course experiences, rather than things.
Mindful spending is really the opposite of emotional spending. We are not suggesting you give up things (although you could reduce them if you wanted to and see the difference) but we are suggesting before you buy more things, you consider whether you really do want them and whether they will in fact add to your happiness or take away from it.
Being savvy about your spending in this way over time helps you become a better spender. You are more mindful about what you do spend your money on. You might even realise that you don’t need to spend as much as you do on ‘things’ which then allows you to save more towards ‘experiences’.