Avoid The Pressure To Spend

Have you ever felt like you were pressured into spending money?  Deep down you really knew you didn’t have the money to spend, but because of the situation, people around you or other factors, you ended up spending anyway.

For those who are conscious spenders you know when one of these occasions is about to occur because you get an uncomfortable feeling deep in your gut.  You know you’re about to go against the grain.  You’re about to make a decision that doesn’t follow your values or your plan!

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We’ve all experience spending pressure from friends or situations.  However, this peer pressure is external, but quite often, in my opinion; the pressure to spend is mostly generated from us and less to do with others.

Ultimately, we have the opportunity to choose, right?  We are the managers of our own finances, not anyone else.  So, no matter how uncomfortable the situation might be, or the compelling reasons that may surround it, the external pressures can’t force us into spending.   We are responsible for the decision.

Why Do We Put Pressure On Ourselves To Spend?

Why do we put pressure upon ourselves?  There are many reasons or situations in which this pressure stems.  Do you recognize a few of them?

  • We assume we have to spend the same.  Everyone else is spending a certain amount on the office gift or dinner, so we assume we have to match them.
  • We feel like we have to follow the crowd.  Others have the latest gadget, car, or clothes, so we create pressure to fit in and be the same.
  • We can be conscious of others; we don’t want to hurt them.  We assume that if we don’t spend a certain amount on a gift feelings will be hurt.
  • We’re supposed to spend.  Often times, we think it’s the norm to pay certain prices for services or important matters.  We reason, “It’s supposed to be expensive for this quality”, so we don’t question the amount.
  • We’re afraid of what others around us will think.  “I really don’t want them to think I’m cheap, so I’ll spend more.”
  • We limit our options.  This is for the person who doesn’t think about negotiating.  “This was the price, they aren’t going to be flexible, and so I’m going to just pay for it.”

Just as with peer pressure one might often feel in high school, spending pressures have to be overcome with higher level thinking and acting.  While the peer pressure in school might cause one to misbehave in school years, it’s often out grown with responsible thinking and with self confidence.

The same holds true with spending pressures.  We must confront spending pressures from others and within ourselves with self confidence, logical thinking and responsible behavior.

How do you release the pressure? If we believe that all external pressures result in an self inflicted internal pressure the situation can be solved right at home with us.  We must look at ourselves as money managers, financial stewards and as people who carry themselves confidently in the face of these pressures.

Operate Above The Pressure

Operate at a level above them!  Don’t let the external pressures become internal pressures, pushing against your logical thinking.  Know that it’s okay to say these 10 things.

  • No.
  • I don’t have the money.
  • I can’t do that right now.
  • It doesn’t fit in my plan.
  • I’ve already spent all of my eating out money for the month.
  • I’ll have to save for it.
  • I’d rather give.
  • Let’s shop around.
  • Can you do any better on the price?
  • Nothing.  Don’t say anything.  It doesn’t require explanation as to why you’re not spending.

Remember, your money is your responsibility.  When the bill is due, it’s not others who have to pay; it’s you, so take ownership of the situation!

How do you overcome either internal or external pressures to spend?

Picture by eschipul.

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Last Edited: 21st October 2009

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  1. says

    Luckily I don’t feel too much pressure to spend these days, because I’m soooooooo looking forward to being out of debt and I know the more I spend the longer it will take!

    Also, I’m the guy who feels good about going against the crowd… so I usually look at the Jones’ & feel bad for them for buying a jet ski they didn’t need.

    If I do get temptation to spend I like to go calculate (or look at) my interest amounts paid – that is… the amount of interest I pay to others every month – on my loans. That is always a good motivator and helps to stabilize the pressure. :-)
    Matt Jabs´s last post ..Discretionary Spending & The Spending Journal

  2. says

    My only pressure to spend is that all my family and friends are trying to raise extra money and are selling stuff. My sister sells Avon. My cousin sells Tastefully Simple. A friend sells Discovery toys, another friend Lia Sophia, another Mary K, another Pampered Chef.

    I spent $25 on Avon and $52 on Tastefully Simple this month alone. Plus I went to a Lia Sophia party and am invitted to a Discovery toys party. (I bought gifts)

    I say no to Mary K as I do not where makeup and pass on the Pampered Chef as I have lots of my own cooking stuff already.

    Some friends have a strict no party policy and I may have to adapt to that. Because I can’t afford all this stuff and I don’t need it. I want to help my friends out, but this can’t be the way.
    Becky Rivera´s last post ..I really feel old

  3. says

    Yes, a lot of time we are pressured by the circumstances that surround us that push us to spend even when we know that it will come back to hurt us. Thank you for your article very informative.

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