Well, I want to tell you something: Buying things won't make you a happier person. Instead, you should focus on what makes YOU happy.
However, that doesn't stop some people from spending much more than they have, especially because it’s easy to think that buying things will make them a happier person.
Considering that 68% of people live paycheck to paycheck, 26% have no savings whatsoever, the median amount saved for retirement is less than $60,000, and the average household has $7,283 in credit card debt- I'm going to assume that the average person is feeling more stress than happiness due to the things that they buy.
Sure, you may get a little bit of excitement as you purchase that new pair of shoes or new car (occasionally), but for the most part, you won't still have that same feeling years later.
You probably won't even be happy with that purchase just a month later!
Usually, you'll regret it or feel some other negative feeling, and in today’s post we’ll talk about why that spending won’t make you happy.
Now, I'm not saying that all spending is bad. Spending is fine, as long as it's budgeted for, you can afford it, and it actually makes you happy! In this blog post, I'm referring to the opposite type of spending- the type where you're trying to impress someone, emotional spending, and so on.
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Buying things won't make you happy for many reasons. Continue reading below to learn more.
Your stuff doesn't define who you are.
Having more stuff doesn’t make you happier and your stuff doesn't define who you are.
You're not that pair of pants…
You're not your car…
You should only purchase things that you want and/or need, and not if you are trying to pretend to be someone else. You should only own something if you truly want it. Who cares about what everyone else has!
Your emotions can lead to spending disasters.
Some people spend money and buy things because they believe that it will make them happy. This is known as emotional spending.
According to NerdWallet, the average U.S. household (who has debt) has an average credit card debt of $15,611, and I’m sure some of that is due to emotional spending.
Emotional spending occurs for many different reasons. You may have had a bad day at work, a fight with your loved one, and so on. You might even be spending because you are stressed out about the amount of spending you have done.
However, emotional spending usually just leads to more problems and most often, never cures anything.
To end your emotional spending habit, I recommend:
- Figuring out how much debt you have. You’ll most likely be shocked, and hopefully this will persuade you to change your spending habits and the way you deal with stress.
- Understanding why you spend when you’re stressed. In order to stop stress spending, you need to really think about why you have this problem. Without understanding your problem, you may continue to fall into the same cycle over and over again.
- Thinking about your financial goals, so that you can stay motivated.
- Finding different ways to deal with stress.
- Sticking to a budget.
Buying things can prevent you from reaching your goal.
You may be preventing yourself from reaching a financial goal by purchasing more and more. This can lead to additional stress, sadness, a feeling of defeat, and more.
The next time you are going to purchase something that is just a “want,” you may want to think about whether or not it will hold you back from your goal.
More stuff means more to maintain.
With every item you add to your life, there will be more and more that you'll have to spend extra time and money to maintain. Things may get broken, lost, stolen, dirty, etc. They may need to be repaired or even replaced.
Who wants all of that stress?
That purchase may cost you more in the long run.
To build on the previous point, the initial cost of purchasing an item may not be the only cost. You may also need to pay to store the item, organize it, interest charges, and so on.
This can lead to more stress, more time spent on the item, and so on.
There's always something else to buy.
I know people who are always buying the latest and greatest items. Every year they will buy the newest iPhone, they'll upgrade their laptop, and more. Most of these people are in debt and live a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle.
Are these people happy?
I don't know, but I don't see how upgrading every single year could make you a happier person if you can't afford it.
The thing is, there will always be something newer to buy. If you want the latest and greatest thing, you may be disappointed because there will always be something else.
What makes one person happy won't necessarily be the same for you.
I’m sure almost everyone, at one point in their life, has felt the need to keep up with someone else.
You may want the same car, the same house, the same designer clothing, and so on.
The problem with this is that it can make you broke.
When trying to keep up with someone else, you might spend money you do not have. You might put expenses on credit cards to (in a pretend world) “afford” things. You might buy things that you do not care about. The problems can go on and on.
This can lead to a significant amount of debt.
Trying to the same things as someone else is not worth it because:
- You will never be happy, no matter how much money you spend.
- You will constantly compare yourself to everyone.
- You will go into debt because that’s the only way you feel like you can keep up.
- You will have a loan payment for everything because that’s the only way you can “afford” things.
- You won’t have any money leftover for retirement, an emergency fund, etc. because you’re spending it all on things you do not need.
Instead, you should figure out why you want to keep up with someone else, think about your own life and your own goals, realize that jealousy won’t get you anywhere, and try your best to live within your means.
You're not impressing anyone.
If you're purchasing things just to impress others, well- you will be disappointed. For the most part, no one cares or will even know that you bought something new.
You should do what makes you happy and only buy things for yourself- not to impress anyone else.
Money problems may lead to stress and other problems.
If you buy things that you cannot afford, this can lead to significant amounts of stress and other financial problems.
You may find yourself with more credit card debt than you can handle, personal loans, high interest charges, stuck in a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle, and more.
Who wants all of that?
Do you think that buying things makes you happy? Why or why not?
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