12 Behaviors To Help You Change And Get It Together (Finally!): Part 4

Almost there!

This is part 4 of 5 about the liberating behaviors that I utilize in my personal life and what I “endorse” as a social worker.


Here are the other parts in this series, if you need to play catch up:

Part 1

12 Behaviors To Help You Change And Get It Together (Finally!): Part 1

Part 2:

12 Behaviors To Help You Change And Get It Together (Finally!): Part 2

Part 3:

12 Behaviors To Help You Change And Get It Together (Finally!): Part 3

Part 5:

12 Behaviors To Help You Change And Get It Together (Finally!): Part 5


Two inter-related problems in the Western world: 1) Buying shit we don’t actually need and
2) Spending money we don’t actually have. Smh!

 Here are two more behavioral routines for us to explore!

Daily Liberation - www.DailyLiberation.com #Behavior #Change #Minimalism

In the advent of materialism from the tree of consumerism, these type of behaviors are crucial, not only for our finances, but also for our basic mental sanity. We hold on to so much SHIT! As a social worker, I think our physical life can be a representation of our emotional life. We hold on to emotions that do not benefit us, just like we hold on to junk that does not benefit us. We buy “things” because we can, and it is clear that buying things in the Western world is a status symbol. Buying stuff also is a pleasurable activity and works on our dopamine levels, like eating pleasurable foods.

Here are a few issues with having too much stuff:

  • All this stuff eats up our physical space

  • All this stuff clutters our mind (and our spirits too!)

  • All this stuff is money we have spent that probably is collecting dust

  • Having a lot of stuff has a weird effect of leading us to buy more stuff

  • More stuff = more stuff we have to think about/be worried about

With all this being said, decluttering and simplifying your physical surroundings can be a powerful (and relaxing) activity. Every time I have moved over the past 5 years, I have tried (not always successfully) to get rid of some junk that I no longer need. Obviously when moving, it helps to have less physical items to move into your place and doing the decluttering during this transition is natural. I just swept my room and got rid of so much junk I feel like I meditated, its weird. Getting rid of our stuff is an odd mental-emotional-physical activity: We think as we go through our stuff, re-discovering memories associated with certain items and the emotions associated with those memories. It’s kinda trippy. Yes, I think decluttering and simplifying your life is trippy.

If you (not a moving company) have to move a huge full-size pool table that you don’t even use, you will strongly re-consider if it is worth moving to your new house.

In this tradition, I have decided to begin doing what I am calling a “Moving Sale.” “Moving” in the sense that I am moving to a higher state of consciousness, which for me is about releasing the past, since there is so much crap that I own, that no longer serves me and I do not use. It is funny when you try to get rid of things, because you (your mind) will concoct all sorts of reasons why you need to keep something.But then you realize all of that shit that is in boxes in your basement never gets used. Even getting rid old t-shirts made me so uncomfortable, it was perplexing how much I wanted to hold onto some random shirt I got 7 years ago.

Its. All. Gotta. Go!

Even books! I love books, but I realize that I have too many (and many that I most likely will never read), so I want to cut my book collection in half. I have about 100 right now and I want to sell/give away 50 or so. It is about trimming the fat or cutting the dead-weight. No exceptions! No excuses!

Frankly, I don’t have too much stuff like I did 10 years ago while I was still in college, but I have more than I need right now. I have about 8-10 moving boxes/bins of items, that I would like to narrow down to 2-3 boxes/bins. As part of this challenge, I want to get to a point where I can literally see all the possessions that I own in my bedroom. Obviously, my car would be the exception to this rule. When I first read about this philosophy, it made so much sense to me. It helps you stay accountable to how many things you own and ensures you aren’t stuffing shit you don’t need in the basement or a hall closet, next to that exercise bike you don’t use.


“I think you need to get rid of that car.”
“What?!?! I’m going to work on it soon.”
“Yea, you said that 5 years ago…” “And if it takes me 20 years, that is soon.”

Daily Liberation - www.DailyLiberation.com #Behavior #Change #Budgeting #Frugal #Finances

I could definitely make a living dedicated to solely blogging about our financial behavior and transcending our poor financial habits. This is something so many people struggle with in principle, in addition to struggling because they are not making enough money for basic needs and expenses. As a social worker, one of the most important issues facing large populations of people in the US is financial instability. Many other social issues (i.e. crime) can be directly and indirectly attributed to low socioeconomic status and economic plight in communities.

This is why budgeting is SOOOOOOOO important! When you already don’t have that much money, it is exponentially important to be able to save as much as possible. Waste and carelessness with money will only hurt you long-term, if not in the short and medium term as well.

Budgets are an important tool to support financial stability by measuring defined outcomes. It is essentially financial goal-setting, because it defines what monetary outcome you are seeking aka the parameters of your “financial spending behavior.” If you have no budget or an “open-ended budget,” you don’t know if you are doing well or not. Success and failure are not defined and you can interpret (in a skewed way) the results however you want! If you set your food budget at $50/week, if you spend $40 this week, your goal is intact. But if you spend $60 the following week, then there is a problem that needs to be evaluated further.

I am surprised how little (if any) curriculum about budgeting and finances is instilled in children and teenagers in school. This is what I refer to as practical education. It baffles me that students aren’t usually taught financial skills ranging from understanding the purpose of money, how banks work, how to write a check, investing, budgeting etc.

Personally, my father is someone who is above reproach when it comes to finances, but these skills were never directly taught or indirectly absorbed by my sister and I. Thus, even with an amazing model in our father, we rarely engage in behavior that makes financial sense (or cents hahaha). I’m still struggling but I’m getting closing everyday, mainly by telling myself “no” when I feel that urge to buy something unnecessary. I think I am going to ban myself from buying anything new, unless it is a clear need, until I complete the moving sale. Whenever I want to buy more shit, I think “Am I utilizing what I already have to the highest degree?” Until that answer is yes, I know I have too much shit and/or I’m not using what I already own.

Regardless of our financial background, it is important that we:

  • Limit the money we spend (budgeting) — plug the holes in the ship!

  • Save! Even a few dollars per week/month to start

  • Create multiple streams of income (part-time jobs + side hustles)

  • Work toward becoming our own full-time or part-time boss (from your own creativity/skills/knowledge) — what I’m working towards as a blogger!

  • Invest! (business, land, real estate etc.)

Remember: It’s not about how much you make (well, it is but hear me out folks), it is about how much you spent.


We are conditioned to spend our disposable income on frivolous items like electronics and media. We need to set behavioral parameters for our spending habits and make sure we are not wasting money on “things and stuff.” At least put your money towards experiences like travel, not tangible goods that are just new.

What do you think about decluttering your life? Do you find it difficult? Why is difficult for you?

What do you think about budgeting and finances? What aspect of financial behavior do you struggle with the most?

Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it!

Thanks,

Chris


Part 1

12 Behaviors To Help You Change And Get It Together (Finally!): Part 1

Part 2:

12 Behaviors To Help You Change And Get It Together (Finally!): Part 2

Part 3:

12 Behaviors To Help You Change And Get It Together (Finally!): Part 3

Part 5:

12 Behaviors To Help You Change And Get It Together (Finally!): Part 5

 

About The Author

Posh Gibson

Raised by poodles in the Yucatan Peninsula around 1933, Posh Gibson also almost won Academy Award for an uncredited role in Toy Story II.

He loves patty melts and dogs, so eventually he decided to do social work and community organizing, although he is working on his debut off-broadway in 2018.