Buying stuff feels good.
Sometimes it’s the immediate pleasure of a new outfit or gadget.
Other times, such as when we buy concert tickets, the anticipation of pleasure feels good.
In those moments, the chemical dopamine is being released in our brain, and our brain says “ooh, I like that – do it again!” After repeating this a few times, we’ve created a pattern such that merely thinking about buying something can release dopamine, which triggers us to buy.
Since spending money feels good we need to make not spending money feel good too.
One way to do this is to celebrate EVERY good financial decision, especially when you’re adapting to a new budget.
“You don’t mean celebrate by buying something do you, Matt?” asked Michelle, one of my coaching clients.
There are plenty of free ways to celebrate and feel good, even momentarily, so your brain says “ooh, I like that – do it again!”
- When discretion is appropriate, I’ll smile, give myself an approving nod and internally say “Go me!”
- Other times, I’ll turn the nod into a fist pump.
- If you’re with your life partner or a supportive friend then a high five or fist bump is highly recommended. The more exuberant your celebration the better the feeling.