What owns you? Do you know that everything that you purchase ends up owning you? The obvious example is debt, in its various forms however, I’m talking everything you spend money on.
Think of the apple you just bought. You have to pay for it, take it home, wash it, refrigerate it, cut it up, maybe bake it (if you want apple pie), eat it, clean the knife and cutting board, throw away the core (unless you are like my grandpa and eat it! EW! OK – who am I kidding, I’ve eaten a live goldfish!) and then take the garbage out to the garage and then remember to take garbage out on garbage day. All that for one little apple!
OK, so maybe I’m a little dramatic, however, I want to illustrate how everything we buy ends up owning our time and money.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing. We need to survive – obviously and we purchase for emotional reasons always. Plus, the enjoyment factor is huge and super important part of life. You have to love taking care or, fixing, repairing, servicing, maintaining, cleaning, washing whatever it is you purchase, from big purchases (like your home) to little purchases (like your groceries).
The problem lies when we start to purchase a bunch of crap we don’t need. I’m sure you’ve never purchased anything that you don’t need and if I walked around your house I wouldn’t find anything still with the tag left on it that you purchased a while ago? Ya, I thought so.
There is only one solution to this problem. Ask yourself this on all future purchases: Is it in alignment with your goals and the future you want to create?
If you want to travel the world, maybe owning one vacation property doesn’t make sense and will keep you tied down. Or maybe your goal is to spend more time with family and friends, then to take a girlfriend out to dinner is better use of your money than buying your 276th pair of shoes.
If you want to save a million dollars by age 50, does buying your 35th purse really bring you closer to your goals?
If something is a drain on your time or resources, maybe it’s time to rethink. If your paid-off car is costing you many hours back and forth to the repair shop, maybe it’s time for a new car.
More isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just more to deal with that owns your space, your time, your money. Goods we purchase always have 2 costs: time and money, and typically it’s the time part of the cost we don’t value properly. Even the free stuff costs our time at the very least.
Here’s something totally crazy that I have learned lately! The more laser clear you are with your goals (spiritual, health, relationships, family, work, etc.) the more your purchases are in alignment with what serves you and not what takes away from you. You also don’t waste money on the stuff you will never eat, wear, or use.
Time to do some internal spring cleaning. Do the hard work! Self-reflect, set your goals, be crystal clear about them (and yes, goal setting and knowing what you truly want out of life is hard work – no sugar coating it! Most people on this earth don’t really know what they want from life – don’t be one of those people! Life will give you what you ask from it!), and I promise when you have clarity around what you want from life, you won’t be spending any money on things you don’t need, which begins that downward spiral of sucking your time and money (basement full of kids toys comes to mind!) Also, you will notice the areas in which you buy “mindlessly”, those may be the areas in your life you truly don’t have defined goals, or those areas are your problem areas that really need to be addressed in your self-reflection.
For example, my area of struggle or mindless shopping occurs at the grocery store. I have defined goals to lose weight, however I’m a fabulous self-sabotager in this area! I will still sometimes buy chips, chocolate bars and boat loads of fancy cheeses that totally do not serve me or my goals to lose weight. Almost everything at a mall I can walk by and not think twice about, but somehow a display of fancy cheese and I’m totally derailed.
That’s something I’m working on. We are all working on some area in our lives. Don’t think anyone has it all together. Once we do have it all together, then new challenges arise. The joy of life!
BOTTOM LINE: Do the hard work of goal setting, because when your goals are set, then alignment will follow easily and your life will flow much easier in all areas and your bank account will be happier, and money will flow to where it serves you, not where you are a slave to it.
The free man is the man who realizes he owns nothing and is steward over everything that crosses his path.