In observance of Valentines Day, I’ve decided that I’m going to help you feel better about the purchases you don’t make. In other words, you are going to learn to love retail abstinence. That’s right, today we are talking about abstinence. Um, retail abstinence, and how to feel good about it.
I have a 2 year old. This means that, at times, I say “no” more than a bobble head laying on its side in an earthquake. She has a mind of her own, and tends to get into things that we don’t want her getting into. Therefore, at times, we sing the NO Chorus. This, whether we like it or not, creates a negative environment. This negative environment isn’t fun. It’s stressful, and confusing. Nobody wins; even though we are trying to teach her positive things. And oddly enough many of us create this same sort of negative environment when we are trying to make positive financial decisions.
Trust me, you’ve been there. You finally gain the resolve to make a positive change, but it is undermined by the constant utterance of “no”. It sucks. No, it really sucks. “Sucks” is a technical term in finance. It mean “crappy”. Okay, maybe not. But if I ran the financial industry, it would be. And frankly, we’d all be better off if I did run the financial industry. But I digress. But I’m not apologetic about my digression, because I think that’s the reason you read my blog. Alas, we are even further off course now. Allow me to correct.
So here is my point: say yes. Want to go out to eat, but you know you “can’t” afford it because you are saving for a vacation? Then say yes to your vacation. Most people say no to dinner, but I’m asking you to say yes to your vacation.
“Honey, do you want to go out to eat tonight?”
“Actually, I prefer that we hit our vacation fund goal. We are so close!”
Really, it works. Try it. But make sure that your partner knows what you are doing. Otherwise you will just come off like a jerk. And you don’t want to come off like a jerk. Because then retail abstinence may be the least of your abstention problems.
On a different note…
I found this blog on taxes and Valentines Day, and I found it amusing and useful. Check it out. Oh, and Happy VD from PTP.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.