Do you remember when you didn’t have a credit card?
And if you wanted to buy something – you had to save up and pay cash for it?
It certainly made impulse shopping more difficult.
But it also felt really good to buy something that you had to wait for.
I don’t know about you, but I am not the most patient person on the planet.
I once bought a house in 20 minutes. (I kid you not.)
Thankfully, over the years I’ve learned a few simpler living tips to help me have patience.
Let’s start with the obvious one.
1) Avoid Debt.
I hate debt. I’m OK with having a mortgage but credit card debt and line of credit debt rub me the wrong way.
Have I used them? Certainly.
Have I paid them back? Absolutely.
Have I had to go without in other areas to pay them back? Yes. And I didn’t like that feeling either.
So making a spontaneous purchase that throws me into debt is something I think about for 24 hours.
2) If you can’t pay it off in 2 weeks don’t buy it.
Why? Because debt sucks.
And whatever it is that you want to buy?
You can’t afford it. So don’t buy it.
3) See if the feeling passes.
Sometimes, other events in our life trigger spending.
Be aware of your moods and what happens when you feel the shopping itch.
See if the urge to buy that expensive-fill-in-the-blank passes. It usually does.
4) You only deserve what you can afford.
Don’t use the phrase: “I deserve this” to justify what you can’t afford.
Harsh truth? You only deserve what you can afford.
And if you can’t afford it, and you still buy it – well then – you deserve the debt too.
5) Waiting for something makes it sweeter.
A few years ago my Good Natured Man and I downsized to a smaller city home after living in the country for a decade.
And the new-to-us-built-in-1974 home was lovely but the backyard was not.
That is being kind. The backyard was basically weeds and lumpy soil. It made me grit my teeth a little. OK. A lot.
But we didn’t rush it.
I found a local expert garden designer to plan the yard for $200.00 as I didn’t want to waste money on the wrong plants and shrubs.
She analyzed the neighbor’s trees, the amount of sunlight and shade the yard had and the type of soil.
Her recommendations were excellent and this year we brought in better topsoil.
My Good Natured Man is a whiz at building stuff. He built the raised beds and we planted the trees and shrubs together.
We brought in three compost-style gardens and instead of paying for new, expensive sod we brought in more soil, did the work ourselves and planted a small lawn that is an imperfect English-style combination of grass and micro-clover.
I loveeeeeeeeeee it.
(I’ll write about it soon and show you pictures!)
Best of all? We didn’t go into debt for it and the yard is beautiful.
(And my gin and tonic tastes even better on the deck because of our hard work. And bloody patience.)
Waiting for something does make it sweeter.
And so when it comes to patience?
Give it a whirl if you want to simplify your complicated life.
I know it kind of sucks but it usually IS worth it.