I was pondering some the dumb purchases I’ve made in my lifetime and what motivated me to make the decision to part with my hard earned dollars. I had often watched in wonder as other people had expensive “stuff” and wondered why I didn’t have the same. I guess I began chasing what they had and undertook to increase my income and then proceed to buy more in a way to demonstrate I had the same resources as those people I was admiring.
About 15 years ago I wasn’t getting any closer to this undefined goal and began looking deeper at what the differences between what I was doing and what others were doing. I then had an epiphany and realized that I was going about it all wrong. I was perusing conspicuous consumption instead of saving and investing. The people I was admiring were probably deeply in debt and had little savings.
The first thing I had to do was to change my attitude. My issue with money had been a combination of my desire to “keep up with the joneses,” a lack of patience, and power. Each of these is intertwined but I focused on my lack of patience. I had to ask myself if I really needed what I wanted to purchase and if it was expensive I forced myself to save for it. This exercise alone gave me more gratification than the instant gratification from just buying what I wanted.