Today’s mantra: I have the willpower to wait!
Today’s action: Enact the 72 hour waiting period starting today and running for the rest of the month.
I’m definitely an impulse shopper, so I love the idea of the 72 hours waiting period. I’ve gotten sucked into limited time sales on things I didn’t need. I’ve told myself, “it’s only $3.” I’ve told myself, “it’ll help me reach my goals,” only to have completely forgotten about it the next day. Any of these sound familiar?
It doesn’t seem like a lot of money at the time, but then I look at what I’ve spent at the end of the month and it’s easily a hundred dollars. That’s at least $1200 a year! I think I could find a better place for $1200 than throwing it away on nothing important. Vacation anyone?
I recently read a great article by comedian Whitney Cummings called, “I Didn’t Understand Money So I Stopped Calling It Money”. In the article, Whitney talks about how she was never taught about money and didn’t see why she needed to learn, until one of her parents ended up sick, without health insurance. She had started to see success in her career and was making good money, but spending it all. With one of her parents in the ICU, she writes,
“All of a sudden I needed all the money I had ever spent on shoes, fancy juices, and other people’s problems.
I remember sitting in the ICU, feeling not only terrified that I couldn’t afford to help with the medical bills, but also feeling trapped. In that moment, I realized I had been looking at money all wrong. It finally clicked for me that money is freedom.”
I think we all need to have that lightbulb moment, where we truly understand what the big deal is surrounding money, why we need to learn and save. Maybe there’s a tragedy that leaves a family in financial trouble. Or you see the grandpa bagging groceries at the store and wonder if he’s working because he wants to, or because he has to. You see the Go Fund Me page for the friend who’s business burned down. You ask yourself, do I want to be in any of those situations? You can’t control everything that’s going to happen to you in your life, but you can control how prepared you’ll be when the unexpected happens.
Whitney goes on to say, “Until that point, I didn’t know the way I managed my net worth was a reflection of my self-worth. What I spent my money on was either a positive or negative contribution to my future safety, sanity, and ability to feel free.”
She talks about how she started substituting the word “freedom” for “money”. Should she put money into her 401(k)? She wasn’t sure. Should she put freedom into her 401(k) so she’ll have freedom when she’s older? Um, heck yes. What about that new top? Are they worth 30 units of freedom? Substituting the word “freedom” for “money” can make questions like these so much easier to make.
So, start making your 72-hour list and ask yourself when you put each item on the list, “is this worth _ units of my freedom?”