BLOG – Why won’t your friends do what YOU do? 4 steps to create change.

Last week my Instagram-friend Anna sent me a message. “Why won’t my friends do what I do?” Anna wrote.

‘Insta-Anna’ posts about simplicity, sharing and saving money. By contrast, her friends love shopping, buying and spending money – they don’t save a cent.

Changing people’s behaviour can be difficult & slow. You can’t sell people what they don’t want to buy. BUT, we can make what’s normal now – buying just for the sake of buying– not the norm. We can – and we can do it right now. I’m going to share how.

1. Be positive.
Creating change is about talking and writing in positives; it’s about what you can do, not what you can’t do. That’s how we create positive change and empower people.

2. Create an appetite for change.
Invite people to question and discuss the impact that buying, shopping and overspending has on their daily life, their time, their family, their bank account and their health.
* Does this provoke a desire for change?
* Does this trigger a need for something different?
Is there a difference between what’s undesirable now – for example, money worries, stress and arguments – and what is desirable in the future – for example, being debt-free, holidays and no stress?

3. Overcome people’s anxiety.
To create change you must anticipate and negate people’s fears. Avoiding loss – for example, new clothes – is more important to most people than seeking gain – for example, being debt-free and stress-free.
People want their fears alleviated.
* How can you do this?
They want to see someone they know successfully not buying, just for the sake of buying and being Underspent, resulting in them being debt-free, paying off their mortgage, enjoying their weekends, loving life and having more time to spend with their kids, family and friends. They want to see the life and lifestyle improvements that come from not buying just for the sake of buying.

4. Help people build new habits.
Going to the shops at lunchtime and buying clothes is a habit. It takes 21 days to break a habit.
Help people to create new habits; start with small habits, such as swapping/sharing books or magazines with friends rather than buying new.

Some thoughts from some change makers…

– Jamie Oliver says, “We’ve (that’s key people of influence) got more opportunities to affect change than any Government…” He reaches 300 million on social media – that’s about 1 in every 20 people on Earth.
– Debbie Woodbury writes in the HuffPost that it’s going to take:

  1. Time – It takes time to get used to the shock of a “new normal,” even when we’ve chosen it. Time moves us along and teaches us to accept.
  2. Support – A strong support system in place. Knowing that you’re not alone.
  3. Expression – Facing a “new normal” creates stories that need to be told. Join an online community, or share with a friend who “gets it”. The more you tell your stories, the more you take your power back.

Imagine if you quit buying just for the sake of buying.

Imagine being Underspent, debt-free, stress-free, happier and more content…

Yes, this would improve life for you and absolutely everyone.

What do you think?

Until next time…

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 like you how to break the habit of impulse shopping in 7 steps through my Underspent book, my weekly blog, FREE monthly challenges and FREE 30 days of money saving tips.

Underspent book is available in paperback ($12.99 or £7.40) and e-book, iBook and kindle formats ($2.99 or £1.70) in all online and high street/shopping centre book shops or buy a signed paperback copy ($12.99 + P&P) direct from me via my website ‪‪‪‪‬. I’ve purposely made the Underspent book affordable.‬‬‬

NB: Extracts from ‘Creating a new normal’ chapter of Decongestion: seven steps for mayors and other city leaders to cut traffic congestion without the expense of new roads or annoyed residents by Rachel Smith.