Gimme Gimme Gimme! Reining In The Spend Impulse


All of us have been in the position of wanting something we cannot have. It’s an unpleasant place to be. Whatever the reason we can’t have it – it costs too much, it is limited edition, or anything else – it feels frustrating. The fact that we can’t is almost the worst thing about the whole situation. It makes us want the thing more than we initially did, because not being able to have it dominates our minds.

Situations such as that are ones where we have to take a sensible approach. OK, so we can’t have that item, that service, whatever it is. We can’t have it right now, at least, so there is no point moping about it. What we need to do is find the positive in that situation and move forward with that. This is perhaps best illustrated by thinking in terms of a consumer item. It could be a TV, some shoes, anything you really want.

  1. Why Can’t You Have The Item Now?

It may be that the item is too expensive right now. This is the main reason for most of us when we find an item out of reach. We have to be sensible about what we can afford and what we cannot. There is no point taking excessive risks with our financial future to have something that may be transient. In this situation, you just need to wait. It’s impossible to ignore that levels of personal debt are ever-climbing in the USA, so be careful every time you spend.

It may also be the case that the thing you wanted is no longer in stock – it was a limited edition or it has been replaced in the company’s line of products. If this is the case, your best bet may be to check out online sources such as eBay. You may have to pay more than you would have for rarity value. On the other hand, someone may have bought their replacement and put the older item online for a cut price. You never know.

  1. Is There Anything You Can Do To Change This?

If you cannot afford the item up front, you need to consider what you can afford. Is this a situation where you can take out a credit card, like If spreading the costs makes it possible, then it’s worth looking into that as an option. You do need to make sure you’re making repayments, though.

  1. Do You Just Want It Because You Can’t Have It?

It’s actually a commonly used trick in business to exaggerate demand for an item, or release items in small quantities. The idea is that people will be prepared to spend more money on something, and part with that money quicker, if they think they might not get it at all. Ask yourself if the item is something you really need, or even really want. Are you just getting carried away by marketing?


All of us, from time to time, will spend big money on something we really do want. It is important to make sure you are spending for the right reasons – and treating yourself is a good reason if you can afford it, or can earn extra to cover it. Just don’t get taken in by the desire to have something you can’t.