In Your Language

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Psychology #DIY for #Frugal Living

Psychology for Frugality

I think frugality starts with a mindset. I think there is a core competitive drive: we want what we want but we don't want to pay as much as the stores advertise or what Sally paid for hers. I think it also relies on our ability to delay gratification to find the better deals- the ultimate reward. I think fundamentally we have to begin to be frugal with a mindset with a "I have plenty" and "I can make things do" attitude.

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1. DITCH THE SELF SERVING BIAS: This bias is what fuels our rationalizing our purchases. Just replace "money" or "coveted item" into that ode to love in my picture. Scripts sound like this: "I deserve this because I had a hard day. So the price doesn't matter." We have to tell ourselves "No" more often.
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 2. DELAYED GRATIFICATION: This helps us reign in our temptations for and desire for those compulsive spending trips or items from the checking line displays. It also helps us put off purchases into the future as if we are reaping this squash plant at it's maturity and after it has produced "fruit." It ultimately gives us the time to make the most prudent money and purchasing decisions

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3. SALIVATE FOR SAVING MONEY: Before, spending money would trigger the reward centers of our brain. Ivan Pavlov's dog was trained to associate the sound of a bell to getting treats. The dogs were trained to the point where they would salivate at the sound of the bell in expectation of the treats. We need to re-train our reward centers to have the reward centers triggered for savvy spending and saving.

4. BANKER MOTHER OUSTS WIRE MOTHER: The Harlow's did a famous experiment on monkeys (which would be unethical to do on human babies) to see whether they would prefer food (sustainance) or a wire mother with fur and likeness to the baby monkey. The monkey chose the wire mother that could comfort. We need to change out the wire mother for the MOMMY MONKEY BANK.  I'm not saying that money equals total security, but it is a large part of it. In frugality terms, having money is the end to the means.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a trained psychologist or financial advisor. I am a student of psychology (AA in Psychology) and I've had a range of success with my financial "house." Please do not use this post as your sole advice for managing your money, budgetting or making financial decisions. I just wanted to apply psychological terms to the trendy goal of frugal living.


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