Three holidays (other than my birthday) that I look forward to every year are Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas. Ok. Black Friday is technically not a holiday, but my birthday is definitely one.
Thanksgiving for the family. Black Friday, because I get to go shopping for the family, and me, and business. Christmas for the long stretches of unscheduled family time.
This is the time of year when we all crave the happy hormones and shopping is the ultimate thrill. Shopping is complicated. We get to decide what we need (or want) and what we can do (or buy) to make other people happy. Sometimes we buy in hopes that they’ll also get nice things for us in return; which will then be a wonderful, happy-go-lucky cycle of serotonin and dopamine release of happiness.
Marketers know this. They’ve created entire targeted cycles to attract their target consumer — YOU.
It works – most of the time.
We all love it, even though January may have us counting pennies from the piggy bank and counting the days till the tax refund hits your account. (Except if you’re a business owner, then you’re low-key scared of the taxman).
Shopping is exciting. Getting nice things is great. Getting NEW things, that are also nice, is downright orgasmic. Giving someone something and watching them respond with glee and delight is mind-blowing.
Here are some tips to get your happiness explosions while keeping your bank account intact – which is the ultimate combination of joy.
Make a list (and check it twice).
Think about the things you’d want, personally and in business, and make a list; a literal list.
Consider your why.
Why do you want/need this item? Is it for your personal satisfaction or does it serve a purpose? Will it save time? Or generate money?
Will the thing you want have long term benefits or is the joy short-lived?
Nothing is wrong with short-lived thrills, but it’s important to know and acknowledge that your dollars may have an expiration date.
Do you already have a similar item?
This should be obvious, and goes back to #2. If you already have an item that serves the purpose, then evaluate your “why” for the new purchase.
Create a budget.
First, create a dream budget — one that gets you all that you want. Then create a realistic, budget based on your actual bank account.
Most people will exceed any budget they set. Don’t beat up yourself if you do.
Having a budget creates a heightened awareness as you spend.
Does the thing you want to purchase generate income, save time or build your brand?
If the item that you want generates income, saves time or builds your brand, then it’s a tax-deductible expense. But the purchase must still be in line with your overall business profit goals.
Are you going into debt to make the purchase?
If you are going into debt to make the purchase then you should REALLY consider the cost/benefits of the purchase.
There are rare times when a calculated debt is necessary, but more often, the interest cost over time far outweighs the “savings.” In that case, you should just wait and buy when you have the cash on hand.
We all like new things. We all LOVE nice things. Commit to getting both AND keep your budget intact. But remember that true long term happiness isn’t found in things. It’s found in loving the people that bring joy into your world.
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