SOMETIMES, your mind can work against you. For example, when you see something really nice — let’s say a brand new camera from your favorite gadget store — your mind will start rationalizing for you. Your mind will eventually convince you that you should buy that camera, despite the fact that you don’t have the budget for it, or you don’t even know how to use it.
All of us have moments like this. While some of us are able to quickly reason with their impulses, others tend to give in and ignore the consequences. They end up borrowing money from banks, loved ones, even loan sharks, and they spend the rest of their lives paying off debts — all because of the rationales their own minds created.
If you didn’t like the sound of that, don’t let it happen to you. Start recognizing the usual money-wasting rationales you create and work on resisting them on a regular basis. Here are the most common ones you should keep in mind.
‘It’s the latest thing!’
Yes, having the latest everything sure is nice, but that doesn’t mean you should buy it immediately. This rationale usually applies to smartphones and other gadgets. Following the trend doesn’t necessarily mean going broke. If you can’t afford the newest smartphone and you still have a pretty capable one, keep it and focus your money on more important expenses.
‘This will improve me!’
Another common rationale is believing that spending money on something will improve you in whatever aspect. While it is important to invest in yourself from time to time, that doesn’t mean you’ll splurge your way to poverty. If you really believe shelling out money for that something will improve you, at least look for cheaper alternatives or try saving money bit by bit.
‘I deserve this!’
The daily grind can sometimes beat your willpower to a pulp. There comes a point where you’ll just give up and start splurging. Try to resist this urge because while you do in fact deserve instant gratification, you also deserve a bountiful future where you don’t have to worry about working for money. Try thinking of the long run instead of settling for quick satisfaction.
‘It’s a special day!’
Filipinos tend to go all out when it comes to celebrations, especially during holidays and fiestas. While it’s hard to resist splurging on special occasions, remind yourself that there are far more important things in life than celebrating this one moment. Besides, there will be more occasions in the future. You don’t want to throw a party with zero budget, do you?
‘This will save me money!’
Even “money-saving” purchases can lead you to overspend. We usually rationalize buying something that’s not on the budget by saying it will save us money in the future. It’s called panic buying, and more often than not, you’ll never use the item you bought because the need for it will probably never arise. You’ll save more by sticking to the budget you created.
‘It’s so cheap though!’
And here’s a rationale that’s tricky to avoid. Normally, we tend to buy more if the price is cheap as a way of maximizing the enjoyment of that product. It’s great to find a product that is bang for the buck, but prevent yourself from overspending or buying in bulk just because it’s so cheap. Take it as an opportunity to get what you want and save money at the same time.
Rationalizing doesn’t mean you’re being rational. It just means you’re convincing yourself to splurge, creating more money troubles for you in the long run. Stop rationalizing and start being rational. Accept your financial limits, work on improving your money habits, and work hard for the future you want. Don’t break the bank trying to look rich — work on actually getting rich.
Ricky Publico is a content writer at Moneymax. Save money on car insurance, credit cards and loans when you compare and apply at www.moneymax.ph! Visit its website to know more.