I was recently sent out my the staff in my office to buy a member of our team a gift. I new exactly where I was headed, as I know her favourite stores. This particular store is also however a favourite of mine. It’s a place that’s very easy to get carried away in and it’s very deliberately designed that way. It’s got that flashy feel, they make you feel extremely welcome and all those mini items in the lead up to the register that are irresistible. They only cost a few dollars but seem to add up very quickly.
I new going in that it might be hard for me to resist, after all I’m still trying to live minimally and frugally. But, I was able to combat this in a couple of ways and let me tell you, it’s all in the planning.
First of all, I did my research online beforehand. I knew my dollar limit so I researched the exact items I would be purchasing. I also took screenshots of these items on my phone just in case. Upon entering this mini haven, I knew exactly what I was looking for so I was able to block out all other items from view. I effectively had selective vision and saw nothing except for what I had on my list. Secondly I used those screenshots I took. Some of the items I was having difficulty finding so I was able to show images to staff members instead of having to hunt and risk being distracted by things I definitely wasn’t looking for. Being able to be taken directly to the items you are after, and only these items is a game changer.
As a result, I barely gave myself any chance for ad-hoc browsing simply because I created a direction. I planned a simple path designed around saving time and not spending money. Sometimes being able to predict our wants and desires is a good way of being able to plan and combat them. Had I walked out with anything else, it would have been something I didn’t need along with a feeling of regret. I am also sure the feeling of regret would have lasted longer than the immediate high I would have had at the register when I handed over the cash.
Sometime for purchases I make myself wait thirty days. Then at the end of the thirty days if its still something I want, then I can consider buying it. However most wants and desires are fleeting and fizzle out very quickly. But I know this now and I am conscious of it. Being conscious of a feeling, a thought or a situation sometimes makes all the difference to the final outcome.
How do you manage your wants and desires?