As Americans we are a consumer driven culture. We spend a lot of time effort and energy on buying things…stuff…items. Sometimes we buy what we need, and in other cases we buy what we want. And in some cases we suffer from ‘status’. Status is when we buy things we don’t want or need with money we don’t really have to impress people we don’t really know. In a consumer based society we get caught up in the stuff and forget how to stop once we have enough. 

Some people call it retail therapy. Some people enjoy the phrase ‘shop until you drop’. And still others call it worshiping capitalism. Whatever you call it, it boils down to trading your hard earned money for some tangible item. When I think about all the hours and dollars I have spent over my lifetime on ‘items’ I wanted or needed it makes my head spin. So much time and so much money, not all of it wasted and yet too much of it spent in vain. 

I’ve gotten to the point where I have a hard time watching commercials on telelvision. I feel like a victim of marketing where people I don’t know are trying to sell me items I don’t really want…and I just sit there while they do it. I throw away most catalogs we get in the mail, looking only makes we think about stuff I don’t really need. All this may sound negative, yet it is my way of honoring what I really want. I am working towards being debt free. My husband and I have an aggressive plan to pay off any debt, so we can own our lives instead of owing all our lives. To do that, it means taking control of our money instead of letting money control us. I want to be victorious over debt not a victim of debt. 

Buying things on credit assumes I know the future and that in the future I will be able to pay off the credit card. I am not able to predict the future, so we live our lives by spending cash. So not sitting through commercials and not viewing catalogs or not spending hours shopping for stuff frees up my mind, my money and my future. I celebrate capitalism. I am abundantly grateful that we live in a free country where you can buy anything you want. I am grateful that abundance also mean being content with whata you have and not always seeking something new. I also celebrate my choice to live free of debt and the burden debt inevitably brings.

How do you celebrate your capitalistic freedom? Are you in accumulation mode, nesting mode, or are you downsizing? I encourage you today to check the pulse of your financial world. It might be awkward to add up all your finances and run the numbers on where you stand…and yet it is worth it. By knowing where you are you can then chart a course to get where you want to go. And sometime breaking even each month is a superb accomplishements. Know where you stand so you can get where you want to go. Make choices everyday that will support your decisions and life. Only you can control your spending…be victorious over your wallet, your life and your future are worth that fight.