Shopping for new gadgets, clothes, or just random junk can turn into a hobby in itself. If you’d rather save your money, get your dopamine fix from creating things rather than buying things.
Photo by Matt & Mandy.
As personal finance site The Money Habit explains, we get the same kind of satisfaction from making things that we do from buying things. If you draw something you’re proud of or write something you enjoy, you’ve now got a new thing in your life that makes you happy. Buying a new gadget might give you a similar rush, but it’s also probably more fleeting.
When you switch from being a consumer to being a producer, you will get the rush almost constantly. You will get so much enjoyment from improving your craft, thinking of ways to improve your craft, and even beating yourself up about how what you created could be made better. The consistent, steady improvements that will provide a steady stream of satisfaction and the new skills involved will provide the novelty and engagement your brain craves. Best of all, it will cost you almost nothing. In fact, the better you get at your chosen project, the more likely it is that you will be able to charge for it.
Of course, hobbies can cost money, too. Just ask any artist. However, when you can’t spend money you can always learn more about your craft online or practice with what you already have. Even if you end up spending money on your habit, you’re at least building a skill rather than a collection of stuff that’s quickly depreciating in value.