The problem with the pressure of keeping up with the latest trends is that we often spend money on those things we can’t afford. It’s so easy to put everything on a credit card with the notion that we’ll pay it all off next month. But when next month comes around and you receive your credit card statement and realise that you spent way too much money (perhaps you shouldn’t have bought those designer shoes or that new toy) and find yourself stuck in lots of debt.
Our lives and the world around us are constantly changing, making it increasingly more difficult to ignore the latest trends in fashion, technology and the dining scene. New smartphones and tablets are being updated with the latest apps and functions. Designers are releasing the latest seasonal clothing trends. New, trendy cafes and restaurants are popping up all over big cities with healthy and wholesome recipes that stimulate our palate.
Yet, one of our biggest fears in today’s society is being unable to “keep up with the Joneses.” We splurge on those new smartphones and tablets or purchase those expensive designer shoes because we want to be part of the ‘in’ crowd. Everyone else is doing it so it must be cool, right?
So, how do you eliminate the pressure of keeping up with those trends? Here are some tips to help you:
Define Your Means
Regardless of how much you earn, it’s important to spend less so you can keep yourself out of debt. Start tracking your spending so you can learn exactly how much you’re spending and where your money is going. You might even surprise yourself on where your money is going!
When you spend within your means, you keep yourself out of debt. Of course, it is okay to splurge every once in a while, but when you make a habit of it, that’s when you risk putting yourself in debt.
Avoid Acting on Impulse
We are all guilty of it – purchasing the latest and greatest item on impulse because we just have to have it. The truth is, impulse using gets us into trouble because we don’t take the time to think; we just act. When we make impulse purchases, chances are we are digging ourselves deeper into the debt trenches because we buy things we can’t afford – the latest smartphone, the must have iWatch, the Mimco handbag, and the list goes on. We pay for it with our credit card and think that we’ll just pay it off later, but when ‘later’ rolls around, we realise that we simply don’t have the funds to pay it all off.
When you feel that urge to purchase something, stop for a minute and think to yourself, “Do I really need that?” Another great tip is to walk out of the store (without purchasing!) and think about it overnight. Many people resist the impulse urge when they leave the store and don’t return.
Less Is More
While it’s very tempting to keep up with the latest trends and be part of the ‘in’ crowd, it can also be quite expensive, especially when it comes to fashion. Designers are releasing the latest trends every season – florals, pastels, prints, etc. – but the new releases are always quite expensive.
One great way to eliminate the pressure of keeping up with the fashion trends is to keep a few staple and versatile items in your wardrobe. For women this can include a black dress, a pair of denim jeans and a black/dark grey blazer. For men this could be a white button-up shirt, black blazer and a dark pair of denim jeans or chinos. Then you can purchase those trendy pieces to accessorise your outfits.
This is a great and budget-friendly way to be part of the ‘in’ crowd without spending more than you can afford and putting yourself in debt. Adding animal prints, florals or pastels to your wardrobe can really make it ‘pop’ and stand out among the crowd at an affordable price.
Social Media Pressures
Nearly everyone is connected by social media in some way, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. People are updating and posting, often showing off or bragging about the latest gadget they got or expensive handbag someone bought them. We look at what our family and friends are doing (and buying) and we often get jealous and start comparing ourselves to them because we feel like we are missing out.
But what you don’t know is what happens behind closed doors. Sure, someone just updated their Facebook status from their new iPhone 7 Plus they just bought (perhaps because they feel like they’re missing out on the latest and greatest of iPhones), but how much did that phone set them back? Were they really able to afford it?
It’s easy to compare ourselves to others on social media because we are surrounded by it. We get jealous when someone upgrades their gadget or buys that new handbag or car we have been admiring but it’s important to step back and think about whether the satisfaction is really worth the price.
Social media can be a valuable resource but it can also hinder us if we let it. It’s important not to succumb to the peer pressure and jealousy of ‘everyone’s doing/buying/getting it’ – feeling like we need to do the same – because it can be more of a detriment to our finances than we realise.
Dealing with the pressure of keeping up
It’s so easy to get caught up in the latest trends, but if you aren’t careful, it can put you in some serious financial debt. Yes, it is hard to resist the urges and pressure of keeping up, but it’s more important to take a step back and think about whether you can really afford to buy that big-ticket item without going broke. Those materialistic items shouldn’t define the boundaries of ‘in crowd’. Learning how to manage your money and stay out of debt is worth more in the long-term than being cool.
For more help on eliminating the pressure of keeping up, check out our article on how to budget like a pro and follow our 6 easy steps in creating and maintaining your own budget. If you’re after some professional assistance with your debts, we’re here to help! Call us today on 1300 368 322 or contact us below to arrange a suitable time to reach you.