On my journey for financial freedom, I have learned many things. One of my biggest lessons so far was on contentment. Contentment and the lack thereof play a huge role in our lives. Truth Bomb! Buying more stuff will not make you happier. Emotional spending is a real thing and it is a huge problem for many. Especially in today’s day and age, where purchases are always just one or two clicks away. Sure, when you buy something, you get a little bit of a high, but that happiness is often short-lived. So, it’s not surprising that discontentment and debt go hand in hand. Sadly, some credit card users are often left holding the bill long after things cease to be useful or have already become forgotten.
Kitchen Gadgets and Regret
I had the worst habit of buying things and forgetting about them. A perfect example would be hostess parties. Hostess Parties are those held at a someone’s home, with food and drink, and guests buy products out of a catalog. I can’t tell you how many of these hostess parties I attended or hosted over the years. As a result, I racked up a huge amount of debt on these. It was the perfect storm. It’s ridiculous how many times I would tell myself I wasn’t going to buy anything. Yet, time after time, I fell victim to my own weakness. I had no money for these things. I remember calling my husband from these parties like a junkie to nervously pitch him on why we needed whatever piece of crap I was buying. Why did I do this? Was it keeping up with the Jones’, false entitlement, or disillusionment?
The Lemon Zester
Fast forward to the present day. Looking for something else, I stumble across something at the back of one of my kitchen drawers. The Lemon Zester; one of the many gadgets I bought from one of those silly hostess parties. I never heard of a lemon zester before that day, but had to have it and ultimately went into debt because of it. Yet, there it lies; looking sad and forgotten. A feeling of immediate embarrassment and regret wash over me. So, I start looking for recipes with which I can use this Lemon Zester. All to justify that we DID need this essential tool in our kitchen. Well, at least I can now make a killer Chicken Piccata. True story.
From Pain Comes Growth
This story is pretty funny, now. I’ve had my moments of pain and stupidity. But, from pain comes growth. Through paying off my debt and budgeting every dollar, my priorities shifted. I quickly found out that buying things with budgeted cash or a debit card is so different. You literally stop and think if an item is really worth your precious and limited money. By allowing myself a budget for my “wants” they became more defined. It was just what I needed to change my thinking patterns. Ultimately, this way of life helped me find contentment. Hear what my favorite money expert Dave Ramsey says “feeling” cash versus paying with plastic.
Claim Your Contentment Now!
- Don’t worry about what others have. There will always be someone with more than you and others with less than you!
- Don’t let other people tell you what you need.
- Think about what real happiness is for you.
- Let go of the obsession with tangible possessions and focus on relationships and experiences
- Take personal stock in all that you have (assets, relationships, and personal accomplishments)
- If you feel that you are lacking in personal stock, decide what you want to work on.
- Spend less than you make, always!
- Make a budgeted allowance for things and stick to it.
- Try buying with cash to “feel” the transaction!
- Set budget goals for “wants”. Write them down and prioritize them.