Many people like to show the fruits of their labour. It makes them feel good to know that the things they buy from working hard and what they’ve earned makes them feel good. Most of all, it is important to realize that what we buy is first decided upon based on how we feel or how it will make us feel before and after we buy it.
I took an emotional intelligence course not long ago and realized during the course that everything we do is emotionally driven first. This emotionally driven force is sometimes referred to as our ‘gut feeling’. Sometimes it is deeply rooted in our subconscious. And other times it is based on some of our feelings growing up in situations that had a big influence on our feelings towards money and things as we became adults.
How we feel determines our motivation to work and earn an income; including how we spend our money and what we spend it on. The things we buy and value are sometimes what others see. For many, it appeals to our self esteem when others close to us look on and acknowledge our accomplishments based on what we buy and surround ourselves and our environment with. Whether it is a nice car, nice clothes and accessories, a nice house, the latest gadgets or grownup toys, it matters to those who buy them and sometimes to those looking on in acknowledgement.
For example, sometimes people who feel emotionally empty or loss will fill their life with stuff to replace the emotional loss they feel. The feeling lasts only a moment until the next purchase and the purchase after that until the emotional cycle gets out of control. One popular example of this is hoarding. Hoarding has become even more popular thanks to a program by the same name on The Learning Channel and A&E. A second example is someone who wants to prove to others through a win/lose situation, like separation and divorce, that they can make it on their own. After the life changing event concludes, they’ll usually have the most to prove to themselves and to others and they’ll spend their money on a big ticket item or make a significantly large purchase(s) that is not in their character. It will be an emotionally driven action and it will give them a feeling of having their life in their control again and that they can make it on their own. Unfortunately, the action will be void of any rational reasoning as the reality of their emotionally driven spending eventually sets in and all that is left are only the big bills or big ticket items to keep them company. It can also leave a huge hole in their pocket books and in a situation that makes them feel even worse than they did before the purchase; long after the life changing event has concluded.
The thing to realize here is that there is always a deeper story or reason as to why people spend their money in ways that fulfill emotional needs or voids. It is important to stop, think, and understand the feelings behind the reasons why we spend our money and how it makes us feel. Putting emotions before money is never a good recipe for building wealth or acquiring things. Doing so can have short term gratification but serious long term consequences if little thought is put into spending your hard earned money. It is important to stop, think, give yourself some time to consider all the options, and then make that purchase of what you want. A positive feeling is to make a purchase and have no regrets afterward, even if you see it for a lower price later on down the road. You should be able to afford it fully when you buy it, it should add value to your life now and well down the road, and it should make you feel happy in the long run because you assessed your emotions and your financial situation before you spent your hard earned money.
I always tell people that “there’s value in everything if you invest the time to look for it.” It won’t hurt you financially to look for value. You’d be surprised how a little effort to look for value can have a huge pay back. Putting in the little effort to look for value puts you back in control of your financial situation and builds your self-esteem and confidence that you make good financial decisions. And that should make anyone feel good about spending their money.