Debt free step 5: Fight the invisible pull

There’s a huge invisible thing that’s trying to stop you from getting out of debt. It’s an entire industry of well trained, expert individuals. It gets in the way when you’re having a really good week of saving, and it can even make you relapse into debt when you have already paid it off.

Every time you look at your phone, every time you watch television, every time you step out of your house, or read your email, or use the internet. They are there, analysing your behaviour and learning how to better pull at your subconscious, and extract the money from your bank account. What’s the optimum time to show the ad so that those consumers are most receptive to our message? We saw them like X on Facebook, let’s spam them with adverts relating to that. Let’s make our user interface so slick, and so easy to use that they barely even know the money has left their account.

You may not even be very aware of it, but you are fighting this every day. You are in a mental battle with people trying to make you feel like you aren’t enough, and that you can only be happy and content if you have what they’re selling. You can get a free trial, and a special, limited time introductory offer, with free delivery – all for the low low price of being in debt for the rest of your life.

You need to learn to be aware of all these pulls on your spending desire, and you need to learn to ignore them all, because they are a big, steaming, pile of bullshit.

You are enough. You are capable, smart and good looking. You are a fantastic human being. And owning the newest iPhone isn’t going to make your life better, or make you a better person. Feel free to replace the word iPhone with literally any advertised product.

To counteract the effect of advertising, say out loud what that advertising is trying to make you think or feel. “If I buy a land rover, my life will suddenly become really exciting and I’ll go driving in the American desert and feel really cool and rich and free.” Probably not going to happen is it?

Or “This whisky is really cool, it’s a rebel whisky – if you drink it you’re a rebel” “Eating this chocolate will make putting up with your office job so much easier, and it will make you the cool interesting person in the office.” Once you start saying these things out loud, they start to sound really ridiculous – and in that way they lose their power.

Or better yet, just turn the TV off, put ad blocker on, and remove as many adverts from your life as you can.

I have a lot of respect for influencers, but if they are telling you about a product they just started using, then they are the embodiment of the same problem. They are saying “you should buy this too, because then you will look / be more like me” and as we have just discussed, that’s a load of rubbish.

Pay off the debt. Then your life will be better.

I will leave you with the funny words of Bill Hicks on the subject.

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