ARE YOU ON A FINANCIAL TREADMILL?

The power of our feelings and desires on personal income and spending habits

“Your budget and income balance are exact measurements of your feelings, thoughts, actions and habits pertaining to money.” — Steve Down

The Financial Treadmill

t’s so easy to spend money now with diverse payment methods and new technology making payment effortless. From cards and mobile money transfer to biometric authentication and so on. You can now purchase things at the comfort of your bed.

Spending on things we think we want makes us happy. We feel elated, satisfied and comfortable. Eventually, things we buy lose their shine. Our interest dies down and this initiates another cycle of satisfying a want, stemming from our dynamic desires.

What desires control your income?

Think about it; Could be the ‘pit’ stomach and watered appetite from that inviting bakery or barbecue aroma that assaulted your nose as you walked past a restaurant. You’re satisfied and feel achieved when you finally buy a pair of new shoes you window-shopped and had your eye on. Perhaps it’s that new-car smell, the sleek design and how the car sales agent tells you to “just lean back and imagine your driving experience”. Or the rush of excitement in you when you get your tickets to a concert, event or place and play it all out in your mind as if you were already there.

Getting what you desire is a euphoric feeling. The urge to consume. The obsession to constantly maintain something’s new look. With time, your level of satisfaction is stretched. Probably an increase in income or reduced expenses. In this case, you have more to spend on your desires. What you had bought no longer reaches the threshold. Spending on new or better gratifications could point your Wealth Compass mindset towards the West spending. It is not a long lasting fulfillment.

A financial treadmill is the tendency of a person remaining at a relatively stable level of happiness despite a change in fortune or an achievement of a major goal. Typically the faster you run on the treadmill the faster it goes. The more they earn/save, the more they spend.

Our financial treadmill tends to accelerate when we make more money. That’s because we believe we deserve to spend money we earn on what we desire. After all, its your money!

When our income is proportional to our spending, our financial treadmill accelerates when we make more money. That’s because we believe we deserve to spend money we earn on what we desire. After all, it’s your money! This line of thought- “The more I make the more I can spend”, is part of a mindset that leads to scarcity.

How do I get off my financial treadmill?

Well, it begins with changing the way one feels about money. In principle, the most practical methods of getting off the financial treadmill involve reasoning out whether how you feel is based on a necessary need.

Make your income — expenditure ratio disproportional. In attaining physical health and fitness, calories are king. We tend either decrease calories or increase your exercise. The same applies decrease your finances, It needs to be disproportional. You can decrease your expenses or increase your income. Here are a few tips to help you get out of your financial treadmill:

  1. Downsize; decrease your expense by decreasing your lifestyle. Spending money at first to meet our basic needs such as food and shelter bring us increased fulfillment, extra purchases apart from this bring us to our level of comfort.
  2. Set goals: being objective about your spending habits is an integral part of your wealth vision. Think about the financial position you will be in if you spend on a certain gratification now.
  3. Focus ; your financial goals can only be achieved once you set your thoughts and actions towards them. Do not succumb to envy. Your desires if left to control your financial decisions can entice you to the financial treadmill. Foster the self discipline to follow through with your goals and achieving your vision.
  4. Say No; this is the only way to learn how to deal with intense desires of spending that are unnecessary. This builds up to no. 3 (Focus).
  5. Be contented; satisfaction can only come from within. Make wise financial decisions and avoid living beyond your means. Contentment leads to sustainability and a healthier financial life.

Financially Fit Africa values your personal spending and covers a wide range of topics on Medium to promote sustainable financial goals to create wealth.

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Financially Fit is the global leader in personal wealth education offering personal finance education to individuals, families and businesses and nations.