The Lent Spending Ban

It’s that time of year where everyone promises to give up commodities like chocolate and beer for 40 days, knowing that it will never really happen. If our generation is going to trivialise a religious event, we could at least try and turn our back on consumerism for 40 days and appreciate what we have! Consumerism is at an all time high, despite the economic state. As a society who never has anything to wear, despite floods of ridiculous floordrobes, it is perhaps time to withdraw unnecessary spending. Here are some of the questions I ask myself to reason whether or not I can justify that cheeky purchase.


  1. Do I really need it?

Let’s be serious now. Is it life changing or will it lead to my overall happiness? Will the absence of it lead to eternal sadness? Probably not! We’re talking about wants not needs here. If it is a new item of clothing, do you really need it? Look in your wardrobe; I am sure you have plenty of other things! It’s easy to say yes to something which you don’t really need, just because you desire it, but seeing your untouched bank balance is a lot more satisfying than that item. Trust me.


  1. How often will I use it?

How many uses will you get out of the item; does the cost justify it? Is it a clothing of item which is a trend and not timeless? Even a £10 dress would probably only be worn a couple of times. Depending on the circumstance, the item might not be used much; we just like to know that that we own it! If you were to divide the number of uses by the cost, it would be easy to work out whether or not is is worth it.


  1. Is it substituting something I already have?

So, you have a brand new game console and a dwindling bank balance, do you really need a slightly larger television screen to play it on? If something is still functional, there’s no real point in spending a lot more on something which is slightly better. I’m sure your high street rip-off of a designer handbag – at a snippet of the cost of the original – will suffice; there’s no point in upgrading usable things!


  1. Is it an amazing deal, or something which can’t be missed?

If the questions so far have all seemed reasonable and you have concluded that you will use it and it isn’t substituting something, you should ask yourself whether you need it right now. Is it at a reduced price or is there an offer on? Sales shopping is always when my spending ban goes out of the window, but I now only buy things if I know I will get use out of it. I don’t want to be a storage hoarder! If the item is a one-off or limited edition and it is something you couldn’t find elsewhere, then do it, as long as you compromise other unnecessary expenditure.


Essentially, it all boils down to what makes you happy. If it will impact you for longer than the time you spent lusting after it, then perhaps it could be justified. Spending bans are to save money, resulting in improved self-control and happiness, but hey, everyone deserves a treat!


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