2. Purchasing Decisions
c. Understand the role your background can play in determining what is a need and what is a want
As we’ve shown, peers can have an important influence on spending. Sometimes your background can have an even bigger influence on spending. We gather many of our beliefs, both rational and irrational, during our upbringing, from our parents and our communities.
Different families and cultures place importance on different things. Sometimes these cultural or family traditions and beliefs help you lead a fulfilling life and hold on to your heritage, but some may not be helpful. Going outside the customs of your family can be uncomfortable or even unacceptable.
We know that education beyond high school, whether it’s a 4-year university, a community college or a trade school, expands options and can offer greater opportunity for you and your family. The financial investment you may have to make to go to college can really pay off for your family and your community. Try to help your family think about long-term rather than just short-term goals if they are discouraging you from attending school.
Some families may hold the belief that the amount of money that you spend shows your value as a person. We know that for a person to feel fulfilled, they need more than a lot of flashy stuff. Putting too much emphasis on the stuff you have can mean sacrifices to other important aspects of life like family, friendships and life experiences.
Can you identify an irrational spending belief that comes from your upbringing? Consider blogging about it – you might find other people working on disputing the same irrational beliefs.