Several months ago, while buying a rather expensive item, I found myself doing something that hadn't happened in a long time... I tried to justify something. It wasn't the money, the money was there, and I still had my emergency fund and my investments. No!, it was something within my head, a tick, an arcane annoyance that I believed had left my mind long ago. For some unknown reason, I found myself trying to justify my purchase. Now every time I buy something, I ask myself three important questions:
- Is this thing going to bring me joy?
- Is this thing going to serve a purpose?
- Do I need this?
These questions aren't justifiable ones, to justify something is different. I've found that to justify, is to find a reason for why you shouldn't do something, but you do it anyway. I could hear those old voices in my head, saying things like "You deserve this!". Of course, I don't deserve it, I don't 'deserve' anything in life, and because I lack this 'deserving' attitude, I need not justify anything I buy, or, to a more limited degree, do. that's my new way of living, and I sure as hell wasn't going to start old habits. I quickly snapped out of this state of stupefaction and reminded myself of this golden rule I mention above.
The three questions above are the opposite to a justification. They are the opposite because I don't answer them all at the same time, I instead take a couple of day's if it's fairly cheap, two weeks if it's over £100, and a month if it's over £300. A justification can be made in a split second, and often leads to such remarks as "I deserve this". "I work hard". You may indeed work hard, but you never 'deserve' anything. You never hear people saying "I deserve food" or "I deserve heat" (not the film :) ) But apparently that 4K TV is something you deserve ?. "I deserve this", is the biggest and worst justification in humanity.
So next time you're trying to convince yourself into buying something, remind yourself of the golden rule, and then ask the three questions I've listed above. I've found that only through asking myself these deceptively simple questions have I been able to curb spending. I still buy things, nice things. I simply don't own too much of anything, I own all I need, or what I find value in. Many would think that £400 for any one thing would be scandalous, but for me, it's a reasonable purchase for me to indulge in one of my passions. Just something to think about guy's, don't justify, just be intentional, contentment will follow.