Welcome to the post with the click-baitiest title ever in this site’s history. I know you are thinking to yourself, how can I reduce my spending with but ONE trick? Don’t you know that I just got through the Christmas shopping season!? American’s are basically socially engineered to spend money during this season, and you think that there’s one trick I need to reduce my spending? You’re no finance feller, you’re a damn finance FOOL! Don’t succumb to the hype around the Christmas spending season, and use this trick moving forward.
Ask Yourself; Do I really need this?
So the trick is just asking myself if I need it? That’s stupid…
But before you write this off as poppycock, ask yourself first if you ever give pause before you buy something? How often do you see something that you want and immediately get it? Picture yourself in a situation similar to what I’ve had in my life. You’re stressed out from working three jobs simultaneously and in your head, camping is the answer. All you need to go camping, really, is a tent. You’ve got the money and the desire and there’s no reason not to get it. You haven’t ever gone camping, but you really want to. And before you can go camping you need a tent right? You can drink the water that’s there and wipe your butt with a pine cone, the way nature intended, but you’re a sophisticated sissy and you can’t sleep exposed to the elements. So a tent it is.
You’ve picked out the perfect tent, a badass Marmot tent. Same brand as people who climb mount Everest would use! And while you maybe don’t have the money for it, you definitely have the credit for it. And you’re about to graduate college or get a promotion and make a whole bunch of money, so having used up a little bit of credit isn’t the worst thing ever. So you buy that tent. And use it once in 8 years.
This is a story that is true for me. I bought that tent. And I was working three jobs simultaneously; overnights at a group home, Best Buy computer sales, and IT support for a company, as well as going to school full time. I was stressed and I wanted to get away from it all, Dammit! So I ordered myself a tent. And a TV, which I also didn’t use. And a laptop…
For me, at that time, there was never any inkling of a thought in my mind that maybe I didn’t need a tent. I never had any “Hold Up” moments in my thought making process, even though I really could have used one.
“Hold Up! Nahhh…..”
Do I Need This?
That’s the trick. Right after the moment where you have decided that you would like to make a purchase, ask yourself if you really need to make that purchase. Getting new underwear once every six months? No brainer. Yes. If you’re not needing new underwear at least every year, you ain’t fartin’ like a real man, feller. Do you need to buy the new DJI Mavic Drone because you really think you’re gonna start a show, or a realty company, and you just need aerial footage? That’s a moment to ask if you need that. Maybe you do, at some point, but probably not right then.
What about a whole pizza? You’re hungry. You’ve had a long day. Pizza it is. Did you know they sell pizza by the slice? Or that you could actually make a frozen pizza? Or you could even have a dinner you make yourself from healthy options such as… I honestly don’t know. I basically live on pizza and Chipotle. But I’m sure there are healthier options.
Just try this trick for one month. Right when you hit the pop machine, or right when you’re about to confirm brunch plans with your friends, just say to yourself “Wait, do I need this?” Or you could also say “Hold Up! Nahhhh…” Like I do. For some reason the way it’s said by Jordan Peele just seems to make me feel better about deciding not to spend money.
Don’t Sweat Spending Money
I am not saying that you should feel bad about spending money on things you want. The good part of life, a part that I hope everyone on earth gets to experience regularly, is enjoying things you like. I like being outdoors and doing fun things, and part of that pleasure comes from all the cool stuff there is to accompany you on your travels. But before we go around spending all kinds of money, we should at least be able to justify the purchase. Or at least have a complete plan for getting use out of a purchase. If you’re about to list a house but you think aerial photography will be the difference maker, then dammit buy that drone. But if you, like me, just sort of have plans to start documenting your outdoorsy activities, maybe say “Hold Up!” before you click purchase on your order.