Staying Away from Shiny Object Syndrome

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

We are all in the Holiday Spirit. For me it will be a long Christmas as I am located geographically on an Island that celebrates the longest holiday season I have yet known.

My previous post on digging myself a hole I tried to focus on how I have learned my lessons of not rewarding my-self too much with material things that should be out of my budget. We all work hard for our income but on occasions shiny objects can attract us into disbursing more money than we should.

Over the years I have worked hard on trying not to suffer from the shiny object syndrome, which makes me buy things that look attractive, but later I might regret.

Here are I share a few things I do and questions I ask myself to stay away from over spending on things or buying things and then getting Buyer’s Remorse:

Do I need it?

The first question I ask myself is if I need the item, object, or is it an expense. I do give priority to items that help me make money. For example If I need to spend on a new laptop because my old one is not working too well then I make it a priority to find the money to replace it. I make most of my income 99% using my laptop I have to buying a new one is a priority. There is a big difference in between wanting something really badly and really needing it.

I discuss with a my Business and Life Partner

I have found that I can get rid of most my impulse buys by discussing them with @lucymfel. She is excellent on identifying when I am making an unnecessary expense. If she is not convinced I build a business case and then she gives me her opinion on if I should buy the item or not. I recommend having a close family member or friend (that does not have a compulsive buying disorder) and that is financially savvy to discuss any medium or big expenses you will make. On many occasions they will steer you away from those strange impulse buys many of us fall in to very easily.

Rewarding Yourself when You reach a Milestone

I tend to have a list of items I might want to buy, a trip I want to take off on, or conference I might want to attend. What I do is I put them on my priority list and based on future financial milestones I can either buy them or I discard them.

For example I want to go to SXSW next year so I have already set my self a goal in sales to buy my SXSW pass and air ticket. If I meet those goals then I get to go to SXSW. If I don’t then I plan for the next year. The same with electronics purchases like the iPad I bought my iPad 2 because I had landed a client and saved enough money to go to a conference that got cancelled. Since I had the disposable income once I heard that the conference was not happening I went ahead and used that money to buy me the iPad 2. This way I am not over spending or making purchases based on impulse.

Impulse Buys bring the biggest regrets

Most of my purchases are very well thought out. Before I make a big purchase I study it for some time and then reach a decision.

Last year I was planning to buy a new car for the new addition to the family. When I went to the dealership I really saw how comfortable it would be for Lucy and me as new parents to have a larger vehicle than what we have now. Although I had clear in my mind that it was comfort over the fact of really needing the vehicle I stood back and tried to get a good price.

The dealership stood there ground and the price was not as attractive to me. I left the place thinking I might buy the vehicle in a few weeks. After thinking it over it has been over an 18 months and I did not make the purchase. Later situations made me happy of my decision since business has not been as good and instead of using that income to pay off the care we have been using it to cover business expenses. If I would have went with the experience of thinking of comfort over needing the vehicle I would have ended with more stress trying to make more income. Which can lead me into taking on clients who are not vey easy to work with and probably with a financial situation just to pay my vehicle.

Do the exercise next time you feel like your making it an impulse buy share it with your most Frugal friend or feel free to tweet me or send me a message via Google Plus? I would be more than willing to voice my opinion?

How do you reward yourself?

How do you stay away from impulse buys?