BLOG – New Year, New Gear. We’re being told to buy things just for the sake of buying

It’s January and the TV advertisements, magazines, newspapers, internet and billboards are all telling us to buy new things.

We’re told – or lead to believe – that the things we used in 2017 are now out of date, out of style and out of fashion. The advertisements all say “Out with the Old”; furniture, clothes, TV’s, bedlinen, electricals and the kitchen. And, “In with the New’- new furniture, new clothes, a new TV, new bedding, new electricals and a new kitchen. Of course retailers want, and need, your hard-earned cash for their profits. But we’re all being made to feel as though everything that we used last month is now complete and utter junk ‘compared’ with what other people have.

In reality, most people are overspent and in financial stress. They’re buying things just for the sake of buying and shopping just for the sake of shopping. Most people are doing exactly what the retailers want: ‘status shopping’ and buying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. 3 out of 5 people say they can’t afford the lifestyle they want, 8 out of 10 don’t know what they spend their money on, 1 in 3 say debt is their biggest stress, 1 in 4 people are struggling to make ends meet and 1 in 3 workers spend 3 hours a week, at work, worrying about money.

What’s the solution?

I’m recommending that we all make a Spending Plan. How much money will you spend this year? How much money will you spend on NEEDS? For example, rent/mortgage, bills, food, insurance, health, transport. 50% of your income? How much money will you spend on WANTS? Wants are things you want/would like to buy, for example, clothes, shoes, travel, holidays, books, electricals, entertainment, experiences. 30% of your income? How much money will you SAVE? Could you save 20% of your pay? Would you like to save more than 20%? Grab a coffee, a piece of paper and create your own 2018 Spending Plan. If you need some extra help drop me an email rachel(at)cyclingrachelsmith(dot)com and I will email you a Spending Plan template.

I’m Rachel Smith and I’m Underspent. I didn’t buy anything new or 2nd hand in 2014 and saved $52,680 (38% of my salary). I quit impulse shopping and saved my money. I changed my spending and transformed my savings. It started as a lifestyle experiment, but it changed my life, so I kept on going. I’m the Author of Underspent and I’m teaching people how to break the habit of impulse shopping in 7 steps through my Underspent book (details below), free monthly challenges (simply ‘like’ the Underspent Facebook page) and my weekly blog (every Monday).

Underspent book – available in paperback ($12.99), e-book, iBook and kindle formats ($2.99) in all high street and online bookstores or buy a signed paperback copy ($12.99 + P&P) from Rachel via www.cyclingrachelsmith.com. Email me about Bulk Orders and you selling my book at your bank/business/office/shop/café.