Tighten Your Belt!
I was listening to a radio interview with Frank Magwegwe, Founder of ThrivenFinancial Wellness on how to survive the recent VAT increase. The cost of living in South Africa is soaring. Food, petrol and tax increases have left many of us wondering how on earth we are going to cope. The radio show host commented that we have been asked to tighten our belts for so long, he didn't think these belts of ours could get any tighter! My word, I can so relate!
Frank gave simple but useful advice on which debt to tackle first, suggestions to reduce hidden expenses, for example, unnecessary bank fees, wasted water and electricity causing higher bills than necessary, and some ideas for finding additional ways of earning income..
One thing he didn’t mention is that for many of us, to really reduce our spending, we have to talk about consumerism. Our urge to buy. Our wanting. The problem with wanting and buying is that it's like using salt water to quench your thirst. Yeah, see... it doesn’t work! Unless we reduce our wanting no amount of buying will satisfy us, at least not for long.
Wanting is addictive. Have you ever had it that you are sitting there, minding your own business, until the idea of wanting something grabs your attention? The moment that thought settles in and gets comfortable, it becomes all you can think about. Most of us go about satisfying our desires by focusing on the object of our desire, be it chocolate, a particular rather enticing person, or a job or car we want.
And so we indulge in the object of our fantasy and sometimes it’s as good as we expected but often there is a niggle of dissatisfaction. The object of our desire doesn’t quite meet our expectation. So we keep looking and trying and buying, hoping to find that perfect moment so we can relax because finally, we have everything we need.
Instead, if we take the time to get to know our desire from the inside, from the point of view of the desire, we start to recognise the addictiveness of wanting. That is what we need to stop indulging. Wanting and dissatisfaction. It is possible to be happier with less, to be satisfied with what we already have. For most of us, enough really is a lot less than we think.
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I'm a Personal Development Life Coach who specialises in L.I.F.E (Living Into your Fullest Expression). Based in Richards Bay, on the East Coast of South Africa, I live with my long-suffering husband, (his description!), two much-loved dogs and care for my elderly father who has Alzheimer's.
Read more about me here.