We have seen a dramatic rise in influencer-driven spending which is having a particularly harmful impact on women. And here is why:
- Almost everything about our culture encourages and rewards the loss of self-control. In fact, self-control issues have been around since Adam and Eve.
- Not only is the temptation everywhere but it’s getting worse. Commercial interests want us to do whatever is good for them and do it right now. Stores, apps, websites and social media influencers clamour for our attention, time and money in ways which are good for them but terrible for us.
- Whether it makes sense or not, a high price signals a high value. In the case of important things like health care, food and clothing, it also signals that the product isn’t cheap or low quality.
- There was an iPhone app for sale called “I Am Rich”; It simply displayed a few words of affirmation about being rich. It did nothing else. It cost $999.99. 8 people bought it (it was removed from the store after 1 day)
The outcome of all this is increased debt, stress and money worry.
So what’s the solution?
Here are four simple things that you can do:
1. Start by identifying and writing down your goals - short, medium and long-term
Identifying your goals are the best way to change your behaviour. Because when you know “your big rocks”, it makes it easier to say “No” to the small stuff.
- Common goals – things like “pay off my AfterPay” or “pay off my credit card debt” or a holiday in Vietnam
- If you struggle with common goals, think about what you don’t want to happen. For example: “I don’t want to retire at 65 and eat cat food for the rest of my life”
- Then tell everyone about your goals! This will provide you with some accountability, which will result in you being 95% more likely to achieve your goal
2. Increase the pain of payment
Technology is decreasing the pain that we experience when we pay. So we need increase the “pay of payment” so we spend less. We surely feel the pain of breaking a $50 or $100.
- Only pay cash for a few weeks (see how much less you spend!)
- Delete your Afterpay or Google/Apple Pay Apps
- Give your credit cards to a friend to hide for you
3. Make your saving visible
In 98% of human history saving was visible – if I had eight goats I would be saving enough for nine. With technology, our saving has become invisible while our spending has become incredibly visible. We need to reverse this and make our saving more visible than spending.
- At BFF, we have a free printable large saving thermometer. Print it out and stick it somewhere so that everyone can see it. Make it visible to everyone at home!
- This way you can show that you might not have a new handbag or your kids might not have the latest Fortnite game, but you do have a mark on your saving thermometer meaning you are one step closer to your goal!
4. Think long-term
We are terrible at thinking long-term and particularly bad with thinking about the opportunity cost. For example: “If I buy these shoes now, I won’t have $250 for my holiday to Vietnam”. So, here are a few tricks to help you look after “future you”.
- Work out your hourly rate, and any time you want to make a purchase above this amount, stop and think: “Is this worth 10 hours of my time?”.
- When you buy online, make sure you leave things in your shopping basket for longer than 24 hours. When you come back, ask yourself: “Do I really want/need this?”.
And if you need one-on-one coaching, use a service like BFF. Real women helping other real women. Start here.