The title above could be misleading, I'm obviously not asking you to unsubscribe from your helpful weekly updates from InformedDecisions.ie (thanks to you all for continuing to read!), so what then? 2 things:
1). Constant Temptation to Buy Unnecessary Items
Getting back to the basics we discussed in Blog #3, particularly around Budgeting and the importance of being aware of how we behave with money. Is it true to say that any non-essential spending we do has a direct impact on what we can put aside, invest, save or use effectively in other areas? If we had a clear plan for our financial lives would we be less likely to splurge?
In today's online world it will not come as any great surprise to you to know that product producers, sellers and retailers all ask you to subscribe to 'Newsletters' when visiting their sites. Even informeddecisions.ie did it, but I'm not asking you to spend anything!
Retailers newsletter generally contain promotions they are running, which they hope you will buy. So when you click the subscribe button we may think 'sure there's no harm in subscribing to this, if not I might miss a bargain in the future, and I'm not buying anything right now'!
Indeed you may not be buying something right now, but research has shown that by subscribing to such a bargain alert you are multiplying the likelihood of you making a purchase with that provider in the near future, even if you do not need the item!!
Don't get me wrong, I'm no angel on this front! 18 months ago i was subscribed to about 5 different bicycle equipment stores online, the rationale i sold myself was that it was 'purely to look at the nice shiny bike gear'.
As we all know, if a nice slice of cake is left in front of us for long enough we'll eventually take a bite, and that is exactly what happened! As a result I now have a few quids-worth of unused bike gear sitting in my shed, money which would have been better put to use elsewhere (I never said i was perfect, but I'm learning!). Keep an eye on DoneDeal for bike related bargains soon!
Do yourself a favour, unless it is a must-buy, unsubscribe, you'll thank yourself!
2. You don't spend in order to become Rich, do you??
I could write about this one for days, but i'll keep this as short as I can. In today's consumer society there is an assumption that in order to achieve one's goal of being financial comfortable in the future one must carry the status symbols of such wealth right now! Cars, clothes, life-styles all need to be displayed now, in order to appear 'wealthy' now. Facebook and the likes, while very useful, are a breeding-ground for encouraging this behaviour.
In 2003, a paper called To Do or to Have, by L. Van Bovan and T. Gilovich, identified that "it’s being materialistic that leads to unhappiness”. Acquiring 'Life-Experiences' as opposed to possessions was proven to provide more satisfaction and happiness. I am no expert when it comes to psychology but being materialistic does not a rich-man make, and you can quote me on that!
As an example, in order to feel wealthy, take someone with total cash savings of say €20,000 and with a goal of becoming financially free and well prepared in the future. Would it be wise for that person to spend the bulk or entirety of those savings on a shiny new car (bearing in mind it will lose 50% of its value in a few short years)?
Many of us do just this in order to not be seen driving a less desirable and older car (costing a fraction of the newer version). Many say they would love to be 'rich' whereby they have sufficient 'cash' to have options on how long they need to work for, what they do in the future, how old they are before the mortgage is gone etc. If that is really the case then why don't more of us start to spend as if we want to become rich!?
Between you and I it may be a case that people just haven't considered what they are spending their money on, what an alternative option might allow them to do, and basically have no real financial plan or goals. We'll have more on this one soon!
If one's financial goal is to accumulate enough money so as to be financially free in the future, spending large chunks of cash on a rapidly depreciating item is proven to be a ludicrous way in which to try and achieve your goal.
So please please please, if your goal is to be financially prepared and comfortable in the future, make an informed decision and unsubscribe from some of our day-to-day habits.
As always, thanks to those regular readers who share this article with friends and colleagues, it's helping to constantly expand the community of informeddecisioners!
Until next Blog.
Thanks for reading.