There are all sorts of extremely good reasons to strive for a generally thrifty and frugal approach to spending in everyday life – ranging from increased financial autonomy, to the ability to save more effectively for big meaningful goals, and all sorts of other things.
Unfortunately, however, there are always going to be certain challenges faced by anyone who wants to live a more thrifty life – and one of the most universal of those challenges is the ever-present allure of the new.
For whatever reasons of human psychology, the idea of buying a flashy new car will almost always seem more viscerally appealing in some way than the idea of looking up used cars for sale – even though in the majority of cases, a used car would be a brilliant, pragmatic, and financially smart decision.
Here are some tips for resisting the allure of the new with regards to your spending.
Wait for a while before committing to any expensive purchase
One of the simplest and best ways of helping to resist the allure of the new with regards to spending, is to establish a strict habit of always waiting for a while before committing to any expensive purchase.
The main benefit of this is that a lot of impulse buying is driven by the immediate knee-jerk excitement that comes with seeing something that looks cool or new. In many cases, that immediate rush of enthusiasm will end up fading shortly after you buy the product – but at that point your money has already been spent.
If you give it a certain period of time – maybe a couple of weeks – before committing to any expensive purchase, you give your emotions a moment to simmer down. If you still feel like buying the thing after that point, you will likely be motivated by slightly more thoughtful considerations.
Make a point of actually using the things you’re already own
For many people, it’s not uncommon to end up buying a variety of flashy and cool new appliances, gadgets, and treats on a regular basis, only to end up barely using them at all.
One way to tone down your desire to keep constantly buying new things, is to make a point of actually using the things you already own, in a deliberate and focused way.
Rediscover the joys of your old things, and ask whether you really need the latest version, or whether you just like the idea of getting something new.
Engage in fulfilling hobbies and pastimes
One thing that drives impulsive spending is the desire to add a bit of excitement and direction to everyday life. If you are frequently bored, this temptation will therefore typically be greater.
On the other hand, if you regularly engage in fulfilling hobbies and pastimes, you’ll almost certainly feel less of an innate need to chase new purchases on a routine basis for their own sake.