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Shopping & Saving in 2020

Posted on January 14, 2020 by dragonspitapothecary

Hopefully with the holidays behind us you are not seeing the credit card bills in your mailbox this month. The piles of debt we can sometimes find ourselves in can be limiting and cause a great deal of stress in our lives. There’s not much more that can cause significant strain in a family than financial risk. It’s scary to think about what could happen and how quickly things could change as a result of lacking money. As a single income family I definitely know that stress and can attest to the impact it’s had on the way I work with and manage my family’s budget.

How we feel when we purchase things, whether we need them or not, causes both physical and emotional reactions in our body. The act of shopping, paying for something and carrying it to your car is so much deeper than just the physical act of buying something. There are responses triggering stress in our body before, during and after we purchase things. These responses happen whether we have money for that purchase or not but our method of payment can influence how deep and intense those responses are. When we use our credit cards and know we don’t have the money for it or we’re signing papers for a loan we feel a heightened pressure. It also happens with smaller purchases like buying shoes or school supplies the kids need.

Take for instance when you go to the grocery store and you load up the cart with everything your family needs. You were careful in not adding too many things that you really didn’t need but that cart is still pretty full. How many times have you stood at the checkout with a slight panic feeling over what that cart of food will cost or gasped a little when you heard the total? Even when money isn’t an issue for my family I still freak a little when I see a large total for food. It happens to all of us. We can feel money controls us more often than we control it too often in our lives. That’s not a comfortable feeling at all.

Everything has a Price Tag

It literally seems everything is for sale these days and most things can seem way out of reach for us. We try to be smart with our money and stretch those dollars as far as they will go while getting what we need. We look for quality so it will last and balance that against a price tag to see how much “quality” we can actually afford. It can make it feel impossible to stay ahead of debt and not find yourself in a situation of lacking money should an emergency arise.

I believe there are a couple factors influencing our feelings of things being out of our reach financially and constrained by debt getting things for our family. First, we live in a highly driven marketing and consumerism based world. We are presented with things to buy that we “need” all the time. We live in a world where we are told what we “should” be doing, how we should be living and what that life looks like. We are flooded by images of richness and luxury comfort living that is appealing and desirable and yet leaves us in massive debt.