Spending is Not Feeling
Have you ever saw a "funny" meme that said something along the lines of, "Every time I leave the house, I spend $25, $40, or even $100?" Memes are typically meant to bring each other joy and laugher, but I'm sure most of us don't laugh when we find out we can't sustain a lifestyle that involves spending as much as we work or, should I say, as much as we need to "feel."
Every item or service feels like a need until its quarterly budgeting session time, and no one can recall what the purchase was or why it was needed at the time.
If only that same urge came over us when it's time to throw those funds into a separate account.
Spend to live and live to spend
It's unsettling. Many hard-working Americans feel the impact of the previous month's purchases or even last week's Starbucks and Chick-fil-a runs. But this is not a blog about budgeting and finances.
It's not necessarily about poor spending habits or unnecessary purchases either. But more so, a constant desire for more that's concerning. Some of us aren't content if we aren't consuming. And it's not that we're all overspending; we're spending to fill a void. And it's not easy to retrain the brain once you're years into this normalized habit.
From the outside looking in, we all appear to be just everyday people, with different needs, consuming everyday products. But are they all needs? No, I'm not saying every item or service must be justified, nor should we be ashamed for spending money on the things we love. But I view overspending and normalized excessive consumerism differently.
We now spend to live and live to spend, whether it's within our means or entirely out of our budget. Who are we when we're not consuming?
Contentment over Consumption
Think about it, the family member who never works less than one job, mothers and fathers who should be able to retire already, and friends who continually put in overtime to make up for basic needs, debt, and overconsumption.
What about loved ones who can't seem to find the time or afford to take memorable trips with one another?
Or even more frustrating, friends and family. Most, full of potential with pure intentions yet a vision only as big as the bank account allows.
Have you ever stopped to think, are we failing to budget appropriately or never content?
Consumerism Is A Hell Of A Drug
If this resonates with you, I encourage you to seek contentment before consuming more. Permit yourself to gain clarity and prioritize your personal, internal needs first.
It's more profound than building savings, investing in our futures, creating financial freedom, etc. These are all remarkable accomplishments to strive for. But, what's it all worth if we aren't content with our well-being and basic necessities?
Consumerism is a hell of a drug. And it keeps so many of us from living a fulfilled, secured, and intentional life. Those small micro-purchases we don't account for increase year after year. Not everyone struggles financially, but many of us are knee-deep in miscellaneous items that bring us zero fulfillment. Maybe it never occurred that the issue could be internal, or the habit is running away from feeling altogether.
Seek guidance & Check your pulse--then your bank account
Simply consuming for a sense of feeling or an imaginary pulse brings no value to our lives. I encourage anyone struggling in this area to look within and seek professional guidance and coaching. Coaching can support you as you learn to break this pattern and become more grounded after each decision.
Action step: Decide today; believe that living an intentional, content life is for you. Today, in times where we're constantly being marketed to and spammed, it may seem far--fetched, but one day, you may find yourself in an empty room with less material possessions yet more present and content than ever before.
In what ways have you prioritized your personal and internal needs this season?
What changes have you noticed, personally or professionally?