Today's society is all about instant gratification. We are bombarded left and right with ads on TV, billboards, the internet, social media, etc. Pulling our attention every which way. "You need this." "You deserve this." "Reward yourself with that." I was almost tempted myself recently, as Amazon Prime Day almost got me. They advertised it so well, everywhere I looked leading up to it. In's their version of "Black Friday," all on their own day. Thankfully, I didn't' resist, save for getting a good deal on some shoes for my fast-growing toddler.
It’s really difficult to stayed grounded and focus on your long-term goals when you are bombarded by this and instead, get sidetracked and purchase so much “stuff.” We all have it. It lurks in our garage. Can you even park your cars in there anymore? It overflows in our “junk drawer.” The one in the kitchen. Or the nightstand. Clothes pile up in your room, overflowing your closet. So…what do you do with all of this “stuff?” Get a storage unit?? No! You get rid of it! You limit yourself. You prioritize. Have a yard sale. Sell things on Craigslist or Facebook.
Now, buying nice things is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s all about prioritization. Too many people overspend, max out credit cards, & live a stressed out life. We see it almost on a daily basis in our profession. We use dynamic tools and processes to help coach our clients on being prudent with their finances. We call this “Decision Coach” or “Decision Center” planning, depending on the level of complexity of the client’s situation and what is needed case by case. We coach them on organizing their finances, giving them true clarity of how successful (or not) they are trending for their future.
Clients don’t work with or pay us to simply agree with them and tell them what they want to hear. What’s the point of that. We have to sometimes have heart-to-heart conversations with them about the potential drastic ramifications of their frivolous spending. Or, trying to help arguing spouses come to a middle ground on their differences on how to handle spending. Many times, we run into situations where one spouse is a saver and the other is a spender, so they clash on a routine basis. Now, while opposites to do indeed attract, they need to learn to work through those differences and communicate routinely about their finances and set boundaries on spending and financial decisions, or they could be headed quickly towards divorce court. Both should be involved, instead of one person being the dominant one.
Many people may be afraid to work with a financial advisor, because they think they are just there to slap them on the wrist and tell them not to spend their money. Not true, as we are not here to nitpick every single expense that comes out of your bank account (unless you want that accountability! Haha.) If you work hard, budget accordingly and live within your means, there is no reason why you can’t purchase that dream car, take that dream vacation, golf Pebble Beach, go to the Super Bowl, or get the nice purse. The beauty of working with a Financial Coach is that we are able to visually show the client the effects of those purchases. How it will effect their plan, and future. Will this large, luxurious vacation now ultimately slow you down from getting to your ultimate vacation, retirement? It’s ironic that the average person spends more time planning out a week-long vacation compared to planning for retirement, which could be a 20-30 year “retirement.”
- If you are married, speak to your spouse about big financial purchases before making them, to determine if they are “needs” or “wants.”
- If you are single, find an accountability partner to help you reconsider frivolous purchases before making them.
- Try not to make impulsive buys, but actually think, “Do I actually need this?” Don’t make a large purchase right there in the moment. Sleep on it and think it through.
- Work with a trusted financial advisor to help coach you on organizing your finances and prioritizing your purchases.
- Keep us updated on your progress and good luck!