A few weeks ago — actually, now that I think about it, it was right around the time that every blogger ever was posting about the Nordstrom anniversary sale — I had a revelation that I had allowed too many negative influences into my life.
In my case, I had gotten lax in my aversion to marketing; I was willingly clicking on post titles from blogs that I KNEW were just one big marketing post. I wasn’t being as ruthless and self-disciplined as I normally am.
And I think that’s normal for everyone, including myself. There’s a lot going on in our lives, and it’s easy to start running on autopilot in regards to spending habits. And running on autopilot means it’s easy to let little things slip through the cracks (an extra purchase here... and extra purchase there...) and before we realize it, our spending starts to get out of control.
For example, I enjoy reading The Skinny Confidential’s blog but many of her posts are like “5 things you need right now” and it’s just a list of products she really likes with a link to buy the stuff on Amazon. I know myself, and I know that those posts always make me want to buy things.
So why was I clicking on those post titles? Why was I willingly exposing myself to that form of advertisement? It’s because I had started to run on autopilot. I was letting little things slip through the cracks without realizing it. I just needed to remind myself of my good financial habits. I needed to snap out of the autopilot and pay attention to what I’m allowing into my mind.
So let this post be a reminder to YOU! Pay attention this week to what you’re allowing in your mind and in your life.
Are you getting a bunch of emails from retailers that make you want to spend money because they’re having a “one day sale!!!"?
Do you subscribe to blogs that make you want to buy things?
Do you hang out with people who have questionable spending habits?
Are you watching TV shows (ahem, reality tv) that give you an unrealistic view of adulthood? (looking at you, Vanderpump… I love you but omgggg your lives and spending habits are SO not normal)
Oh, and for bonus points- fill your mind with GOOD stuff.
Instead of taking in things that hurt your good financial habits, how about you swap in some things that will help give you BETTER financial habits? For example:
- Read more blogs from personal finance writers (you're already reading this, so that's good! Also check out my favorite blogger :) )
- Read books about consumerism (here are a few on my reading list: The High Price of Materialism, Ad Nauseam, Affluenza)
- Download podcasts about personal finance, happiness, stoicism, etc. (this post includes some of my favorites)
- Take time to look at your budget, track your spending in Mint, or calculate your net worth
Leave me a comment and let me know what you're going to cut out, and what you're going to start filling your mind with instead!
For me, I realized that I need to be much more mindful when I go through my Bloglovin list. I carefully read the post title before clicking. If it sounds like one of those “5 things you need right now” posts, I hit ‘mark as read’ and skip that one. No need to tempt myself!