The “seven deadly sins” characteristically acts as a caution for one not to lose their bearing on their moral compass. What you may not yet realize is that some of these mannerisms filter through into our daily lives and cause chaos on our finances. In the scriptures of finance, the following shopping and spending manners are downright sinful and could land you in a type of financial Hell if you don’t take active precautionary measures in order to avoid them .
So let’s discuss the 7 deadly money sins of our time.
One of the worst sins as far as I’m concerned, greed can get you into serious financial trouble and negatively impact your personal relationships. Whether it’s a bigger house, faster car or designer wardrobe, this constant need for more will always haunt your budget.
Turning your focus to your “haves” from your “desires” is a big first step in overcoming greed. Else you’ll spend your life perpetually chasing your desires and missing out on the good things you already have.
To save money isn’t complicated, but it does require a lot of focus, commitment, hard work and sacrifice. Just ask anyone who has revised their spending habits to pay off debt or to achieve a financial goal. Sloth, or laziness, is an avoidable sin nowadays thanks to the instant access we as consumers now have to information, and the digital tools to aid us in saving money.
Mobile apps for price-checking, comparison-shopping, and budget-tracking makes it easier than ever to manage your spending. Digital tools also makes the process of creating a budget less overwhelming, resulting in a more thoughtful approach to your spending.
The “high” associated with spending money can be a tough habit to break, like all addictions, which is why compulsive buying disorder, known as “shopping addiction,” is a authenticated condition. We’ve all experienced the thrill of a big shopping spree, followed subsequently by feelings of guilt and indifference once the “newness” of the purchase wears off.
Though gluttony is associated with excessive eating of food and drink, it can be easily connected to the habit of excessive spending. Consumers with actual disorders should seek professional help, it is a serious condition like any other addiction. While others can fight the behaviour by recognising their spending triggers and finding cheaper alternatives to dealing with them.
By unsubscribing from retail newsletters and “unfollowing” brands on social media can curb impulse buying.
Social media can make anyone susceptible to the sin of envy, and can lead to poor purchasing decisions in pursuit of a similar lifestyle fronted by friends and celebrities.
Take a break from social media to avoid letting envy result in impulse purchases, and rather focus your attention on healthier habits. Such as reconnecting with a loved one or friend face-to-face for a change.
Being proud about all that you have accomplished is not a sin, however, being too egotistical about yourself and your lifestyle can result in serious financial ramifications. If you pride yourself on having the latest “in-thing”, you’re likely living lean after the launch of the latest Apple product or trending gadget.
Pride can also be a bulwark in the pursuit of money-saving techniques, such as couponing or negotiating with retailers. The fear of looking “cheap” can lead some people to avoid these activities to keep up appearances of financial stability. Don’t waste time fretting about how people perceive you, centre your attention on cultivating good money habits which will serve as a motivation to others.
Like envy, lust is supported by both social media and a celebrity-obsessed culture in which excess is celebrated at every possible opportunity. The next time you’re overcome with lust for an object, walk away and give yourself some time and space to breathe.
Impulses are short lived and typically diminish when the object of desire is out of sight, which equals out of mind.
The next time you’re standing in line to buy something you didn’t expect to, give yourself 24 hours before you make that purchase. Often the desire to possess the item recedes.
If you’re unhappy with a purchase or shopping experience, calmly explaining your feelings to someone rather than screaming and making a public scene is far more effective. I’ve personally watched consumers do this and at the end of the day, I’m more inclined towards supporting the stores standing than the consumers purely because of the childish behaviour of the individual screaming at a store clerk.
On the other hand being too nice can cost you, but being rude and insulting doesn’t do you any favours either. If a purchase experience has you seeing the colour red, give yourself a few moments to calm down and determine your desired result, what resolution to your complaint will make you happy?
Before you make that call or face a store representative, find out what others have done to reach a successful resolution by conducting some online research, don’t forget your Consumer Rights! Knowledge and a clear head will triumph, where as anger and vengeance will get you nowhere when resolving a shopping dispute.