What do you really value and what do you spend your money on?
Does it match up?
Research shows that the average American is bombarded with up to 5,000 advertising images per day; images that tell us that if we buy X,Y and Z, we’ll be thinner, sexier, happier and a little bit less worthless.
A growing amount of research – not to mention common sense – dictates though that if your intrinsic values aren’t reflected in your spending purchases, then it’s highly unlikely that you’ll become happier as a result of buying them.
Side-note: For more on this, I highly recommend Johann Hari’s brilliant book on Depression, ‘Lost Connections,’ in which there’s a chapter discussing current research into consumerism and it’s effects on our wellbeing and mental health.
Let’s say you’re big into adventure and travel, but spend all of your money on the latest technological devices; or you value friendship and connection, but waste so much money on clothes that you’re forced to turn down invites out to dinner- these purchases might give you a short-term hit of happiness, but it very likely won’t last.
For it to last, your values need to be aligned with your spending habits.
And all that requires is a little mindful spending.
Before you throw caution to the wind and click, ‘pay now’ – ask yourself if you really want whatever it is, or whether you’ve just been brainwashed into thinking that you do. Remember – people make a whole LOT of money out of making other people feel this way.
Consider the things that you truly care about – mind, body and soul – and whether this purchase is in line with your core values, or directly opposed to them. I mean, if what you really care about is travel and adventure, then maybe you’d be better splurging on a holiday, or a trapeze workshop, or a mountain bike!
If you’re going to spend, you may as well get your money’s worth.
Unless it’s something you really actually do need – like toilet roll, or cheese. Then you can have at it!