We have to ask ourselves from time to time why we find ourselves in a financial rut. Ever wonder why it is that you make a decent income yet you find yourself always financially struggling? I have learned in my years to take inventory of what I was buying and why. I am by far not rich. I am frugal when I need to be. I take into consideration name brand items verse non name brand items. I was at the grocery store one day when an older gentleman approached me. He noticed I was viewing different products and prices. I turned the boxes over to read the ingredients when he said to me, “They are all the same”. I looked at him with a bit of confusion in my eyes not really sure of what he was trying to say. He had told me “The factories are the same, it is just the packaging that is different”. Ever since then I viewed products in a very different way. I would look at the price difference for name brand items and compare them to the non name brand, down to the ingredients. Granted a small percent of items are better made in quality with a name brand. If you do not mind trying something new the next time you go to the store try a box of cereal non name brand. You might just like it.
We spend lots of money on our personal care items. I know the ladies can relate. It is mega expensive to even try to look good these days with foundation alone costing twenty dollars or more from a good makeup line. I have found that in some dollar stores the surplus of these name brand items are sent. There they are reduce drastically in price for final sale. I purchased a twenty-dollar name brand foundation for less than seven dollars in a bargain bin. I have had to learn to exercise restraint when it came to impulse buys. I see women carrying around purses well worth over four hundred dollars a purse while I carry a nine dollar purse from Goodwill. Shoes can get pretty expensive too for both men and women. Have you ever thought to buy a pair of shoes from a thrift store? I know what some of you are thinking. Why would we do that when in the corporate world it is not just about what you have in your brain it is also about looks.This is very true. If you go in looking like a slob and your hair is unkempt but you have the skills chances are you will be passed over for someone with a more professional approachable appearance. I am not saying run out and buy yourself Versace because that will ensure you a career. I am saying somewhere in the middle is a financial place where we can take comfort knowing we are looking our best and not having to spend our entire paycheck doing it.
I have also taken inventory of the extra items I had been spending money on like dining out, movie going and frivolous purchases like nik naks that just sit in the house for years with no real purpose but to be looked at. If you went through your house I am sure you can find something you have decided to collect like perfumes to small figurines. We have an abundance of multiple items in our home. My aunts were like hoarders. I am still going through boxes of repeat items like curtains. How many curtains do you need? You have to look at the things you have and separate the necessity items from the I want items. I use to sit there and help people take inventory of their financial income and output. When you take a moment in life to really reflect on everything and realize you do not need that three thousand dollar sofa as a fashion statement you become more enlightened and free from the need to try to fit into an unrealistic world of interior design in a place you are renting. Let your hair down. So what if you do not go to the salon and pay four hundred dollars to get your hair done. I know I have paid that much and then some just to look good.
Do yourself the favor and track what you are spending your money on. That nearly ten-dollar latte you are drinking is a good start. You can get the same things in life and still enjoy life financially if you decide to take a different way about getting what you want and knowing what you need. That really expensive dress you see in the mall you can find online at a cheaper price. I have a dress worth one hundred fifteen dollars. I only wore it once. I purchased it as a clearance item for less than thirty dollars. I do plan on wearing it again. I have had it for many years. I am guilty of buying into the hype with price when it comes to shopping in a mall or a fashion boutique. I love fashion,makeup, music just like any other person. How I get what I have and or want is just a little different from the next person. I purchased an elliptical machine well worth over a thousand dollars for only fifty dollars. It is all in where you look to buy your items. I have televisions out the hind side. None of which I have paid for. I have gotten them for free in fact. People want to through away their old televisions for newer versions of HD and 3D flat screens. So my televisions are a little older and not so fancy but I still watch what anyone else watches. All in all it is up to you to do what you can to take a better inventory on what you decide is worth spending what amount on in your life. I am sure you can make room for some financial relief if you take your time to realize you really do not need the newest items that hit the market. The choices are yours. It all boils down to money & products.