It feels good to get stuff done, but sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking we're accomplishing things with tasks that aren't actually very important — like buying stuff we don't really need. Photo by Robbert Noordzij
Personal finance blog Brooklyn Bread explains:
If you can put a purchase off and it is not saving you money to buy it now, then the smart thing is to delay. But my busy-infected neurons are telling me that I am accomplishing something by incurring the cost now...Like checking email 100 times a day, hitting click on a purchase is an easy way to feel like we are doing something that we need to do. If I really wanted to be productive in that small free moment, I should have planned out dinner for the next two nights. That actually would have been productive, and saved money by ensuring I did not order out. I am trying to be a lot more aware of those purchases that my brain disguises as "getting stuff done."
This post hit home for me. I've been spending a crazy amount of cash online lately, ever since I moved into a new place. Adding a few house-related items to my cart here and there somehow made me feel like I was getting stuff done. In a way, marking these items off my shopping list gave me a productivity high. The problem is, I was wasting a lot of time consuming, plus, the cost of this "high" can add up.
It's not to say you should never buy things you want or need. However, it's easy to convince yourself shopping is productive, and that can be a dangerous trap for your finances. To read more about this, head to Brooklyn Bread's full post at the link below.