We’ve made it to Friday! I hope you’re looking forward to the weekend.
Today’s activity is called ‘#Deinfluence yourself‘ and it’s all about finding ways to reduce some of the unhealthier influences on our spending habits. Some of these are very obvious, and others are very subtle indeed.
If you haven’t seen the #deinfluencer and #deinfluencing hashtags on TikTok and Instagram, they’re often about honest reviews for overhyped products (it’s amazing how many positive reviews turn out to be illegally concealed advertising), or people suggesting that we reduce, reuse and recycle instead of going on spending sprees.
Today we’re going to go one step further, and remove one unhealthy spending influence from our lives. Just do it temporarily, until the end of this weekend, and see how it makes your feel afterwards.
Here’s the activity:
- Think about someone or something that has influenced you to spend money in the past, perhaps a purchase that you have regretted, or couldn’t afford at the time.
- Find a way to temporarily avoid their influence for the next few days.
- Check in with yourself on Sunday evening – how did you get on? Consider making any positive changes permanent.
Where do the influences come from? It could be:
- Social media accounts that don’t make you feel good about yourself or your body.
- Influencers who make you feel poor, uncool or that you’re missing out when you compare yourself to them.
- Influencers who are regularly pushing brands and expensive products but don’t put disclaimers such as ‘#ad’ or ‘#gifted’ on things they probably didn’t pay for themselves.
- Luxury brands that you realistically can’t afford anything from in the next 12 months.
- Neighbours/friends who have a bigger house / car / luxury watch than you (quick reminder: they might actually be up to their necks in debt!).
- Friends or relatives who call you stingy or tight when you tell them honestly that you can’t afford something.
- Relatives, partners or kids who use emotional blackmail or pester power to get you to spend, spend, spend.
- Advertising on the TV, the internet, in magazines, on the radio, and so on.
- Brand newsletters or catalogues you find hard to resist, even if you know it will cause you problems down the line.
I’m sure you can think of a whole load more influences that seem superficially nice or pretty on the surface, but that probably aren’t all that good for you. If it’s swayed you into spending that you later regret, it might be worth taking a short break from it.
How do you temporarily remove or reduce this influence, and give yourself some Friday breathing space? Here are a few very quick ideas:
- Unsubscribe from a tempting but expensive shop’s e-newsletter, or delete their latest message without reading it.
- Unfollow someone on social media who makes you feel ‘not good enough’ by comparison.
- Unfollow influencers who are overhyping brands or products.
- Watch TV shows on catch up and fast forward through the ad breaks.
- Don’t go window shopping in person or browse online shops this weekend.
- Delete your most over-used social media app temporarily from your mobile phone.
- Tell that particular friend who always influences you to buy stuff that you’re busy this weekend and can’t go shopping with them, or suggest a non-shopping activity instead.
- Stand up to people who call you nasty names if you can’t afford something.
- Avoid TV shows, magazines and movies where everyone is impossibly glamourous and rich or has had tons of cosmetic surgery – make different choices just for this weekend and see how it makes you feel.
For example, a while back I stopped keeping up with a couple of fashion and fitness people who I suspect have quite serious eating disorders who were also using so many filters on their posts that they almost didn’t look like human beings any more. I don’t miss any of that at all, and it’s lovely and peaceful without it.
No, the person in the fancy pool pic above probably did not pay for their own holiday. #ad.
What’s happening here
Yesterday we went out to the UK Special Screening for the new series of Succession. It was a real treat, held at The British Museum and introduced by actor Brian Cox. I’m not allowed to give you plot spoilers, but I will say that the opener for Season Four did not disappoint and all the characters in it are still absolute shockers. Nice excuse to get a bit dressed up. Oh, and there was free champagne.
For today’s activity I’m going to be deleting the usually-very-tempting Friday morning email from one particular brand, and I’ll also be unsubscribing from another that’s started sending me almost-daily marketing (I hate that level of contact, why can’t they say what they need to say in a weekly one? I’m getting RSI in my thumb from deleting them all…)
Spent yesterday: £0.
Total spent so far: £5.00 (of my £25 budget).
Which temporary change are you thinking about making today? How are you going to fill that time instead?