Imagine how happy you’d be if…:
- You had a warm home to sleep in every night
- You could afford to put food on your table every day
- You had people who loved you and cared for you
- You had access to online learning in the palm of your hand
- You were able to enjoy some luxury items like TV, nights out and new clothes
Oh what? You have all of those things, and more? Thankfully, most of us have a nice quality of life. We can sleep in our comfortable warm beds, after a nice hearty meal, have people we can talk to when we need it and plenty of other useful things in our lives.
Though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Ireland, it’s a perfect opportunity to take notice of all that we have and be thankful for it. Maybe we’re struggling with our finances, maybe we’ve more credit card debt than we like or the mortgage payments are on the high side. For anybody that’s starting on a journey to become debt free or just get on top of their financial situation, we very often focus on the negative things. We wished we didn’t over spend, we wished we made better choices, we wished we’d been better at saving.
But let’s take some time today to be thankful of all of the little things that we take for granted every day. Look around at all that you have, all of the people that you spend time with, all of the beautiful items in your home that you treasure, all of the advances in the world that have made our lives easier. Let’s be thankful for what we have.
When I look around the house at all of the “stuff” I own, I realise that I was ‘influenced’ to buy the majority of recent purchases. Everything from kitchen gadgets, to clothes, to cosmetics – I was buying things I didn’t need, but was convinced that I did.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have a huge respect for people who have managed to make a career (or make any money) from promoting products on Social Media. I also know that most people that I choose to follow on Social Media give honest reviews and are not intentionally trying to put any of their followers into debt.
However, it was my own lack of self-control that allowed these purchases to happen; allowed me to be influenced. Making the decision to spend less, and more importantly waste less, has enabled me to stop the bad habit of spending “just because”.
I do still follow the fashion, lifestyle, food and beauty bloggers that I admire, I just now know that I don’t need to have the products that they’re promoting. I enjoy seeing the new clothes, the latest makeup and the fancy homewares. But my ‘shopping trips’ happen in my own wardrobe, my ‘beauty salon appointments’ are at my own dressing table and I am influenced to use the things I already have 😊
If you’re at all like I was, just take a few minutes to think about the ‘why’ behind your purchases. Ensure that you are spending consciously and with good reason. Ensure that by buying something new, you’re not letting something else go to waste. Be more ‘influenced’ into using what you already have.
The word Advent is derived from the Latin word for Coming. It’s a time of preparation for great things to come. In recent years, it’s calendar representation has become common place in many homes. When I was growing up I would delight at the daily opening to see if the day was a shepherd, star or angel. Then it became normal to see chocolate Advent Calendars, and now they are available stocked with candles, make-up and even socks. I recently saw a Tiffany one unveiled which will set you back a nice €140,000 😮
However tempting it may seem, and how much they are advertised as ‘must-haves’ these calendars are very often filled with small sizes of products you won’t use. I previously discussed how you would be better off using the money to buy full-size products of items you will actually use, and make a DIY calendar if required. But of course, it’s up to each of us how we wish to celebrate Advent, and on that note…I would like to share my plans for Advent with you.
This year, I will be taking a literal approach to the meaning of Advent and using the time to prepare for what’s coming. I’m setting a goal for each day of Advent to prepare for my future Financial Independence. I’ll be taking the opportunity to use each day of December as daily maintenance towards my debt-free journey. Take a look at my ‘daily windows’ below and maybe try it for yourself. Either follow along with what I’m doing, or make your own tailored to your goals.