Shopping with an Attitude
By Nikki Willhite
What is your attitude when you go shopping? Are you ready to
reward yourself for a hard week? Do you just have the NEED to spend money? Do
you feel like a child again, and that you are making a trip to Candyland?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you may have a spending
problem. If it is a small problem, and you have the resources to cover it, it
may not seriously impact your family's finances.
However, if you are spending money you donít have, and doing it
to fill emotional needs, then you may need help.
I think we all have the need to buy things. We also need to have
things that are ours. One of my favorite sitcoms on television was Wings. Did
any of you see the episode when Helenís house burned down? When she got her
insurance check, she went out and compulsively started buying stuff, just
because she didn't have anything of her own anymore.
Although that was just a television show, it rings true. We like
to be surrounded be our things, and our stuff. Once we take an item out of the
store, it is ours, and we identify with it.
If you read that last paragraph carefully, you will see the key
phrase- we sometimes define ourselves by our possessions.
There lies one of the secrets to controlling our spending. We
need to separate ourselves from our possessions. We need to identify with values
and not possessions.
This can be hard to do. Our society is consumer oriented. We are
saturated with pictures of happy families with large houses, fancy cars,
designer clothes....and so much more.
If we donít have these things, or at least want them, we are
considered abnormal. We certainly canít be having any fun! Refer to the article
"Tightwad Treasures" for more thoughts on that.
Reigning in our spending begins with our attitude about
ourselves, our families, and what is important to us. It is about becoming more
secure as an individual. It is knowing we do not need things around us to make
us feel important. It is learning to cherish our values and principles above all
We are all unique individuals. There is not another creation
exactly like us. No one has had the same experiences in life that we have had.
It can be a journey of self-discovery when you starting thinking about yourself,
your life, and where you get your self-esteem.
Some of us do have emotional needs that we have to deal with. It
can be a long and difficult road to learn to deal with them. It takes time,
desire, practice, and the willingness to get up when you fall down and start
walking again. Thoughts become actions, and actions become habits. Eventually,
things become easy.
It is not hard to find people doing things and spending money
for the wrong reasons. Look at Hollywood. Everywhere the Hollywood celebrities
go, they go to be seen. They want to show off their clothing. They want to be
seen at certain places, and with certain people. Is it any wonder so few of them
seem to lead stable lives or have successful marriages?
Donít allow your self-esteem to come from the car you drive, the
clothes you wear, or any of your material possessions. None of these things are
bad in and of themselves. When they serve us, they are a blessing, and make our
lives more comfortable.
It is when we place our self esteem in these things, and think
we have to have them, whether we canít afford them or not, that we get into
emotional and financial trouble. If we have an attitude of buying only those
items which will serve us well, we are going to be responsible shoppers.
When you go shopping, go with an attitude! You are only going to
shop to fulfill your needs. You will not be tempted by that which you don't
When you look at the heavily financed displays and merchandise,
think to yourself - Nice try....but not going to happen!
Think about these things, and see if it can make a
difference in your spending habits.