How to Decide Properly

I had a friend who was always buying the latest kitchen gadgets on tv. He bought everything he came across whenever they showed those infomercials. I have to admit some of that stuff looks pretty good, but my friend would buy things, and then never use them. Or he would buy them and then use them only once. He would get really excited when the package arrived, and would usually open it, get all excited, go to the store and buy a bunch of stuff, usually more stuff than he needed to make whatever the contraption was supposed to make. I don’t know if you’ve ever done something like, but a bunch of stuff that you didn’t need.

I remember once he was talking about taking a trip to Australia. He had just a commercial sponsored by the Australian department of tourism, and they made it look pretty interesting. I’ve never actually seen a kangaroo in the wild. One thing though, is that he is afraid of flying. So he kind of looked into buying a boat ticket, but he couldn’t’ really find anything other than cruise lines that went down there. He had a bad experience on a cruise once, where he spent way too much money on things that you are not supposed to spend a lot of money on. Luckily, it was before he got married, so he didn’t get into any trouble with his wife.

It’s weird when you stop and think, because the reason those infomercials make so much money is from impulse buyers. I remember when I was a kid and I had a allowance, when you had to save for what you wanted. You couldn’t rely on impulse to guide you. You had to take a step back, and consider what it was that you wanted, because you only made a quarter a week, or whatever your allowance used to be. And when you focus on what you want, and save your money or find odd jobs to do (I used to mow lawns), it makes it easier to enjoy this, when you are able to buy what you want. Instead of being suckered into something that you don’t even know why you are buying it in the first place.

And he actually never went to Australia, because the time he took trying to find a boat other than a cruise ship took longer than his excitement lasted. So patience won out, as it usually does, because something like that knows how to wait. And when your brain decides to have a contest between two emotions, the one that doesn’t mind waiting around is the one that is going to win.

Which is eventually what his wife did. She enforced a strict rule where he wasn’t allowed to watch TV and hold a credit card at the same time. It wasn’t like she gave him pin money or anything, but he knew that if he bought something from TV, he would have to ask her permission, and if he still wanted it by the time they got around to going to the electronic store, then they bought it. She got to save them money, and he got to realize that a lot of things that he was buying were things that he really didn’t want in the first place.


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