Have you ever vowed to yourself that you’d stop buying on impulse but then found yourself with a cart full of items when you were at the store for a single bottle of shampoo? Do you feel unmotivated by budgets and "numb to numbers?" If so, you’re not alone.
Besides budget balancing and debt elimination motivation, there is another powerful one you can incorporate into your shopping habits. I call it the “green screen.” And it’s a wonderful way to get out of the red and stay in the black.
The green screen will help you screen your purchases to be environmentally motivated. It will help you eliminate clutter and conserve your money and the earth’s resources at the same time.
A lighter footprint for a more balanced lifestyle
Many of us are on a steep learning curve when it comes to environmental sustainability. When we consider the way the earth's resources are being depleted and damaged, it can be very motivational to control spending so as to leave a "lighter footprint."
In the video, "Story of Stuff" (www.storyofstuff.com) by Annie Leonard, you'll find many easy-to-grasp statistics that are very compelling. Here are just a few:
o In the United States, people spend three to four times more hours shopping than other countries
o Americans have more stuff but are less happy, have less time and less friends than in other countries
o For every single garbage can of stuff you throw out, it took 70 garbage cans of stuff to make it
o Six months after the sale of most products, only 1 percent are still in use
o Landfills can't keep up with the waste
Apply the "green screen" as another thought process when you shop for anything. You’ll incorporate conscientious consuming as a way to reduce purchases for items you don't really need. This saves money and gives you a fresh reason for discerning the difference between wants and needs.
Consider this information provided by Katie Galloway-Thoele, Earth Fund Manager of the Aveda Corporation:
• Bottled water is no more safe or healthy than tap water in the US
• Drinking the recommended daily amount of water using bottled water can cost an average of $1,400 per year; drinking the same amount from the tap costs around 49 cents per year.
• 40% of bottled water is tap water anyway.
Apply this kind of savings to pay off credit cards or invest in your retirement fund or other savings. Screen for green an you've got meaningful new motivations to resist impulse buys and create some future financial freedom as well.
To calculate future values, debt payoff and other analysis, go to www.mindfulplanning.com and click on the calculators tab at the top of the page. It’s anonymous, free, and easy!