Have you ever tried to save money, but ended up feeling really sad and deprived? Or like you had to sacrifice everything that you loved in the name of money? That doesn’t have to be the case. Very often, the issue is Low-Joy Purchases.
A Low-Joy Purchase gets in the way of the things that you actually want to do with your money. When I say a Low-Joy Purchase, I’m talking about any purchase that does not align with your financial goals. It doesn’t nourish your soul and it doesn’t provide any lasting joy.
The main reasons why people make a Low-Joy Purchase is in the name of convenience. And a lot of times it’s because of thoughts like, “Oh, this was cute,” or, “So-and-so would love this,” or, “This was on sale!”. As a result, we end up with a lot of clutter in our lives and money out of our bank accounts.
I want to challenge you to look at your spending from a joy perspective.
This is because the more money you spend on stuff that you don’t love, the less money you’ll have for stuff that you like. “Ah, I have cheap throw pillow.” Who cares?
I teach clients to look at their spending through a lens of behavior and action. Saving money is about more than saving dollars and cents.
A lot of times Low-Joy Purchases are part of a habit. They’re part of a pattern. What you want to do when you’re evaluating this habit is find the trigger. Once you’ve decided something is a Low-Joy Purchase, figure out what causes you to spend the money.
- What’s the routine?
- What’s the trigger?
- What are you getting out of it?
- What’s the real reward?
I’ll give you a quick example.
I had a client who was a woman in her fifties, divorced a good few years, and her kids had recently moved out. One day, we’re looking at her transactions and I see that there’s many transactions for beer and chicken wings. Financially, she could afford it. It wasn’t hurting her.
So I thought, “This is just whatever.”
And she said, “No, that’s a Low-Joy Purchase.”
So, I asked, “Why is it a Low-Joy Purchase?”
She said, “Well, I order chicken wings, I scroll Facebook while I wait for them. I drink a beer. The beer is not in alignment with my health goals, and neither are the chicken wings. It’s not really a good use of my time there.”
I said, “Alright.” And we go a layer deeper. “What’s going on?”
And she replied, “Sometimes I’m still winding down from work and I just don’t want to go home and be alone.”
Now we’re getting into the routine, so we know the trigger. The trigger is not wanting to go home and be alone. That must be what’s causing this Low-Joy Purchase. Right?
So I asked her, “Is there anything else we could do? Do you have friends that you could go visit or anybody else?
She said, “No, I really need to make some new friends. My friends whine about their husbands and their crappy kids.”
And I said, “Okay, well that does not sound like a fun time.”
So we looked at the routine.
The reward that she’s really looking for is high quality social interaction. But she’s settling for low quality social interaction. So we swap out the routine.
This exact same client was looking to build a portfolio in real estate. So we started redirecting that time and money into going to Meetup groups in real estate. She went to local real estate groups, communities, and meetings.
This client redirected the money. She was still spending the money. But she ended up getting a higher quality social interaction. She wasn’t eating junk food, so it was aligning with her health goals. It put her in a position where now she’s got friends in her real estate community. That’s helping her further her real estate investment portfolio. And it’s not a career. It’s not like that’s what she’s doing for a job, but it’s helping her get there.
When it comes to low joy purchases, you want to think about the trigger, the routine, and the reward. Because a lot of times you can swap out that routine for something that’s more cost effective. You’ll probably end up getting a similar reward, or sometimes something better.
Are you ready to Find Your Bleed? Take my class.