Have you ever convinced yourself that you NEED something? Justified all of the reasons in your head to determine how it’s a no-brainer that you make the purchase?
The Justification Game is a game we all play.
The game where we take something we want, and somehow try to justify how it’s a need.
A new cell phone, new clothing, upgrade to our house, car, etc. Even though our current life if perfectly fine as is, the justification game is too enticing.
It all starts with a “what if” around a shiny object. What if you buy it? Wouldn’t it be great. You life would be so much better!
But you know you don’t need it… Although maybe you do?
When you start to conjure up all of the benefits that the shiny object could bring in your life, you’d be stupid not to buy it!
The more of the justification game you play, the more you will successfully convince yourself that you need to buy the shiny object. With the final result being a purchase of something you don’t actually need.
Those of us who are very good at the justification game understand this well… We can probably point out a handful of things in the last year alone that we bought through playing the justification game.
Changing The Rules of The Game
It’s important to understand that you are in control of the justification game. It was YOU that initially considered purchasing something. So it’s YOU that can apply some rules to make it more in your favor.
- Consider The Real Costs – When playing the justification game, we typically overestimate the benefits, and underestimate costs. A good rule is to force yourself to always objectively consider the true costs. If you buy this, can you not buy something else you need? (opportunity cost) Are there recurring costs? Consider everything.
- Wait on a Purchase – The larger the purchase, the longer you need to put it on a “wait list.” A week, a month, a year… Write down what you want, then set a time limit for the earliest you can buy it. Forcing yourself to wait on a purchase will help take the emotions out of the decision.
- Remove the “Happiness Benefit” – We know that buying stuff doesn’t make you happier. So don’t let yourself justify a purchase by convincing yourself you will be happier from it. Take an honest look at how a purchase will change your life.
- Check Your Budget – If you can’t afford it, you can’t buy. Any purchase that you make should fit into your budget. If it’s a larger purchase, you’ll need to save money for it overtime. Always pay cash!