In a society that promotes buying lots of stuff, it is easy to forget what really matters.
And when the consumer bandwagon drove by, I used to jump right on.
Those hideous but totally cool right now shoes... I NEED them!
Those funky oversized and completely impractical glasses with the mirror lenses... YES PLEASE!
Oh and look what the Jones's have now... I NEED IT!
I NEED IT ALL!!
But buying it all lead to debt. And when I got further and further into debt, suddenly I completely freaked out. I had to STOP.
It was when I stopped and did some work on myself, that I realised I was buying those things because I was worried people would judge me.
I was worried that if I didn't have that stuff I wouldn't be cool, I wouldn't be accepted.
So I had a choice. I could keep living in debt, worrying about how I was going to pay my credit card bill (while looking fab) or, I could change my habits. To change my habits it was. The debt anxiety was not worth the cute outfit.
In order to do that successfully... I researched my butt off and... I understood from that research, that I needed to link my new habits with some of my values. This would in turn make my new habits easier to keep.
So, I figured out that if I didn't spend on clothes, I'd have more money to save and put towards paying off debt. This would put my family in a better financial situation and give my children more freedom to pursue new hobbies. Link with value, check.
Next I looked into where the clothes and accessories I was buying were being made, and found out about the ethical and environmental impacts of them. I knew a lot about this stuff already, but still, I was shocked. I value human life and the environment, and my habit of buying clothes was not helping either of those.
It was so bad in fact, that I decided I would try and buy only second hand and ethically made goods from then on - which in actual fact is harder than I thought!
But... link with value, check...
AND, by buying less, I was now saving a lot of money.
So, I paid off all my debt and I began to save.
I said goodbye to other peoples judgements about my clothing, because I didn't care anymore. I was living my values. And it felt good. Really good.
Now, I still have the odd purchase from time to time, and it isn't always second hand or sustainable/ethical all of the time, but mostly it is. And I definitely buy a LOT less, because that matters to me... after all my children are the ones who will inherit the planet. I had better look after it for them.
Now when that consumer bandwagon drives by... I stand and wave from the sidelines. I am happy too because all that cash I ended up saving, after I paid off the debt, became the fund for my coaching qualification and the backyard studio office for my coaching business. Now I get to live out my dreams.
I'd say that was money well spent.