I have spent most of my life battling the temptation gene. You know what it is like when your favourite food, chocolate in my case, is put in front of you and you know you want it, but shouldn’t.
As you can imagine, with Easter this past weekend, the temptation to indulge in chocolate was too much. I know I shouldn’t do it, and know the impact it has on my nutrition and training, but the temptation is just too great. You get it right?
Temptation is all around us every day. In fact, it is the job of marketing people to entice you with their offers, to make the temptation irresistible.
Television, shopping malls, websites and social media are full of temptation, and you are exposed to them all day, every day.
This temptation has the potential to destroy your financial dreams, and you may not realise that it is occurring.
The Curse of Temptation
As you may know, debt is growing across the western world at unsustainable rates.
The average personal debt in terms of credit cards, store cards and mortgages is at record levels. Even the US Government keeps breaching it’s own debt ceiling and needs to get permission to increase it on a regular basis.
Sadly, this scenario is a result of the relatively cheap cost of money in this low interest rate environment, and the multitudes of temptation in modern society.
And here is the issue…
This easy money and constant temptation is causing you to spend money on things you don’t really need or want.
The constant chase of happiness in the form of spending is destroying your financial dreams.
Let’s have a look at this happiness factor.
The Happiness Factor
When you purchase something there is a message sent from our brains that makes us feel good, to feel happy.
In the instant of the purchase of anything, you get excited, these happy endorphins release into your body and everything feels great.
Whether you need the item or not, in that instant everything feels right and this latest purchase has added to your happiness. You wanted it and you got it…
It’s not until later, it could be that day when you get home, or it could be later that month when the credit card statement appears, that the moment of happiness you had when you purchased suddenly doesn’t feel that great. You’ve felt this before, right?
It is at this moment that you realise you have to pay for the item, and money may just be a bit tight that month.
The happiness factor has long gone and now you may even start to resent the purchase.
Temptation is destroying your wealth and money dreams…
How to Overcome Temptation
Since I am someone who has the temptation gene, I’m sure it is a gene, I mean, it has to be… over the last 20 years I have looked for ways to defeat temptation.
I think I learned this one from Dave Ramsey, although I am not completely sure.
The best way to destroy temptation and to protect your money dreams is to implement a three-step system…
The first part of the system relates to small purchases, normally impulse purchases, which can be the most damaging.
In the instant that you are tempted to buy something on impulse, take a deep breathe and pause for ten seconds. Obviously exhale at some point, but make sure you pause.
In that ten seconds you give yourself the opportunity to really decide whether you need that item. You have a chance to think about your money and whether this is a good use of what you worked so hard to gain.
The second part of the system is for bigger items, maybe up to $1,000. You can choose the limit once you start applying the concepts, the amounts are not important.
For these items, you pause for a day. Sleep on it.
Once you have had a chance to step back and sleep on it, you will be amazed at how often you change your mind, realising that you didn’t really need that thing, or that there are alternative options that may be cheaper.
And the final part of the system is for items that exceed $1,000.
In this circumstance, you pause for a week.
In that week, you have the opportunity to review your financial position, your available cash flow to fund the item, and make an informed decision as to whether you can afford the purchase.
Now you might be thinking that this is trivial and it may only save you small amounts of money.
The evidence however suggests otherwise…
Saving just $30-$50 per week using this technique can have a profound effect on your wealth. I’ve shown in my free report here (in case you don’t already have it) what can be achieved in terms of wealth with as little as $40 per week.
One decision to overcome temptation per week can fund an investment property, or the start of your stock portfolio.
Over time, that decision can lead to a financially free future, one where you can succumb to temptation a little more often, because it is no longer affecting your future financial security.
Now that is pretty powerful heh.
So this week’s challenge is to destroy the temptation gene at least once. Leave me a comment below to let me know how you did. We can all celebrate your success and new found temptation muscle. 🙂