One of the main reasons so many people today are trapped in a spending cycle is to “keep up with the Joneses.” I’m sure you’ve heard this term before — if your neighbor gets a shiny new car, you also want a shiny new car. One of the most powerful ways to break this cycle and get your financial situation under control is to be content with what you have.
Avoiding the comparisons and blocking out the shopping temptations can be extremely difficult. We live in a society that is constantly bombarding us with advertisements to convince us to buy the next, newest, best thing. Here are some tips and methods I’ve used in the past that you can use to get rid of the urge to impulse buy and be content with what you have!
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1 – Get clear about your personal goals
A goal gives you a set direction to go. Being clear about your financial goals will help you block out things that really aren’t high on your priority list. Set financial goals that are going to enable you to live your dream life at some point in the future. Having goals that support your dreams will make you so much more motivated and driven to meet them.
This tactic works well for me because I’m a very goal-oriented person. It was definitely hard in the beginning, but now I don’t feel bad about saying no to things if they aren’t going to help me get where I want to go. Visualize your goals and constantly remind yourself how amazing it’ll be when you hit them.
Creating a vision board can be a great way to keep you inspired and help you keep your goals in mind when things get tough. There are a ton of ideas on Pinterest about how to create a vision board, but basically, you collect photos, quotes, and any other items you can put all together on one poster or in a frame. Hang this board somewhere you’ll see it often and that will inspire you to keep pushing toward that vision!
2 – Delete social media accounts that don’t lift you up
Go look through your social media platforms and make some mental notes about what posts you see. How do you feel when you get done scrolling?
Delete any account that makes you feel like you aren’t enough. Think about how much time you spend on social media every day. Why would you want to constantly see things that made you feel bad about yourself, or like you needed to be more and buy more just to be like everyone else?
Social media can be both a blessing and a curse. I love getting to connect with so many others working on their debt-free journey — the debt-free community on Instagram is amazing and incredibly supportive. However, I have to be selective about what other types of accounts I follow. Lifestyle influencers have beautiful accounts, but I find myself wanting to buy and shop a lot more if I’m constantly seeing that type of content. Align the accounts you follow to help you hit your goals.
3 – Avoid comparing your journey to others
Comparison is the thief of joy. – Theodore Roosevelt
This is one of the hardest things to stop doing. We live in a society where everyone is constantly showing the best parts of their lives on social media. If we are always comparing ourselves with others it’s nearly impossible to be happy with where we are.
One of the things I remind myself when I fall into the comparison mindset is that social media isn’t real life.
Like I said, people post the best parts of their lives on social media. Remember that just because something looks perfect on social media doesn’t mean it is. The girl that is traveling every week to another amazing country may look like she has it all together. You don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes — she may have horrible spending habits that cause her constant financial stress. Someone else that only posts pictures of their dog and hanging out at home may be debt-free and building wealth. You never really know what’s going on behind those posts.
Constant comparison will only make you unhappy with your own situation and ruin your ability to be genuinely happy for other people and their success. Remember what your goals are, remember you’re on a different path than everyone else and remember you have so much going for you.
4 – Spend Time Doing Things You Love
Keep yourself busy and off social media! Make more time for your hobbies and the things you love doing. I used to spend a lot of time on YouTube and Instagram looking at the things other people had and wanting to buy the clothes, home decor, and products that they used (comparison again!). I’ve started to make more time for working on my hobbies and running Financial Flamingo!
Find something that you’re excited about that you can work on. Whether it’s starting a business, reading a book, learning how to cook — I think finding something you enjoy and can get lost in is a great way to keep yourself from spending so much time comparing the things you have to others.
This is one I need to work on getting better at. I end up either constantly working or doing nothing, there is no in-between. Making more time to work on my hobbies will give me a much better balance.
5 – Find your gratitude
A great way to be content with what you have is to appreciate what you have. Take time every day to think about all the great things in your life and how amazing it is that you get to have all those things. You worked hard for what you have — don’t forget to appreciate it all just because you’re working for the next thing.
I usually take a few minutes on my way to or from work every day to think about all the things that are going well and to appreciate all the things I love about my life. Write out a few things you’re grateful for every day. I also like flipping back through my planners every so often to see what goals I’ve already hit and how far I’ve come!
It can be difficult to always be content with what we have when we can always see what everyone else is doing. I hope these tips will help you to be more content in your own life!
- Stop Settling For a Life You Don’t Love
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- How I Use A Planner for Budgeting