After flipping through the pages of your favorite magazine you may be convinced that you need to try ten new hairstyles, redecorate your living room, and you may see why your clothes are no longer in style this season.
When you watch a TV show and dare to sit through the commercial breaks, you may also be convinced that you need this year’s newest car.
So, what are you gonna do? Are you going to try those hairstyles, redecorate, buy new clothes? Are you going to get that new car?
We don’t always realize it, but advertisers are always appealing to our emotions; they are constantly trying to sell us on why we “need” something and how it will make us feel so much better. The chances are that these “needs” are actually just “wants” in disguise.
Many of us are emotionally tied to things and we use our feelings to justify why we should have them. Now I’m not talking about values; I’m talking about things that wouldn’t make a difference if you had them or not, and things that would set you back from moving towards your goals.
If we are not careful, feelings such as pride, discontentment, and excitement can send us spiraling further into debt. These aren’t the only feelings that can get us into financial trouble; guilt and fear can also be troubling. You can likely name a few yourself. Emotions can cause us to purchase items that are not within our means.
Pride tells you that you can no longer be seen in your perfectly functioning 5-year-old car. It may not have all of the latest bells and whistles, but it gets your family around safely. But is that not enough? Pride will have you putting your image over your well-being, and perhaps it’ll convince you that you deserve a new car. It’s okay to reward yourself, but are you really rewarding yourself by making hasty and emotionally led financial decisions? It is better to plan and work towards a goal. Pride will make you take out a 5-year loan on a car that is above your means just because you have to maintain a look. Can you say DEBT?
Discontentment will have you to look at your home and furnishings and say, “This isn’t good enough. This house is too small, and this couch is outdated.” If you are emotionally led and you don’t have the wealth to purchase a furniture set, you may be tempted to finance that new sofa …. with interest. Can you say DEBT?
Excitement makes you say, “Oh this item is on SALE for 80% off the original price! What a great deal!”
Yes, it may be a great deal but don’t get so excited that you can’t see the real picture.
You may not have the money, but you can’t pass it up. So, you say, “Just charge it to my card” You might as well have said…MORE DEBT!
When it’s all said and done, you may be paying $10 on the dollar for interest. That sounds nothing like what the salesperson pitched as you signed on the dotted line.
To get out of debt, we have to learn to control our appetites. We have to deal with the reason why we are in debt in the first place. EMOTIONS! We must not want everything that we see; learn to say NO, and to logically evaluate our purchases and determine if it puts us ahead or behind in our goals. Have you ever seen someone lose dozens of pounds only to regain them later? This happens because the root of the weight gain wasn’t addressed. This same principle applies to money; even debt free people can go back to accumulating debt if they never understood to control their emotions.
If you don’t get a handle on your emotions, they will keep controlling your spending. Soon you will realize that you need something else newer and better. But do you really? Get control of your emotions, don’t let them control you.
Once you learn to control your emotions you will be well on your way to building wealth.
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” – 1 Tim 6:6
Borrowing money is a norm in America, but that doesn’t mean that it is always the best thing to do. Get your emotions in check. Don’t compare yourself to images that advertisers feed you; instead, compare yourself to your own goals, and to God’s plan for your life.
“The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret.”
You can do it my friend! I know you can!