Yeah, I know...you're thinking, "In this economy I've sacrificed enough!" These are indeed trying times; however, without a doubt, you would be in a better position now had you sacrificed in the past. We're all guilty of it.
Some Luxuries Are A Necessity
My grandfather was a philanthropist, among many things. One of his favorite charities was an orphanage where he lived in Dallas, Texas. Throughout the year he would give handsomely to it. At Christmas time he gave as well, but with one stipulation: it was NOT for shoes; it was for a Christmas party.
Everyone is entitled to that little extra something in life; even Weight Watchers allows you to have chocolate cake occasionally. Usually all your funds are committed for other things at the time you desire to have the luxury, so what's the solution? Saving up for the item. Instead of buying it at the moment it strikes you to have it, start putting money away; don't even think about buying it until you have the money for it. Yes, it is a sacrifice, and it does take some discipline. Discipline is something you already have; you do brush your teeth every day, right? I hope.
The Wisdom of Saving Up
Once you've saved the money to buy the item you simply couldn't live without, actually one of two things can happen: you buy it or you don't.
In the first scenario you get to the store, and make the purchase. You are really proud of yourself; you actually bought the item with you own dollars; you didn't have to finance it or ask Aunt Agnes for the money. It is truly yours and you treat it well becasue of the sacrifices you made to have the item.
In the second scenario, you get to the store to buy the item, and you know what? It no longer has the "glitter" it had when you first saw it. You think, "What was I thinking????" Good for you; imagine if you bought it when you first saw it; you would have put it on your credit card, taken months to pay it off, and you'd no longer be using it. How do I know you'd no longer be using it? You just said you didn't want it anymore when you went to the store to buy it.
Now you can take that saved money and pay off some debt.
When You Feel In-Control
Empowerment is the greatest feeling. You feel as though you had the power to hold yourself back from making the purchase. It gives you peace of mind. Additionally, you have confidence; confidence is the single best feeling of accomplishment. On top of all that, you're wallet is a little heavier and your debt load is a little lighter -- at least lighter than it would have been.
What was the last thing you thought you had to own, but passed up on buying?