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What do I mean by this? As a young adult, you often purchase something because you just have to
have it. Someone else has it or it’s the latest and greatest item. Manufacturers and marketers make
their money by quickly making products obsolete and by using advertising to persuade you that you
need a new product now.
Analyze your purchase behavior. If you’re constantly buying new products while the old product is
functional, then look to prioritize which new items you truly need. So the new iPod looks “cooler”
and has more gigabytes. Well, if your old one holds ten thousand songs and you have only one
thousand on it, then you probably don’t need to buy the new one.
An example on a larger scale is your first couple of car purchases. You may feel that you deserve a
car with all the bells and whistles, and the car salesman will definitely tell you why they are all so
very important. Think about how much the extra-wide wheels will matter to you a month from now
(especially when you realize they cost you $1,000). Or how valuable that $750 upgraded stereo is
when the standard one sounds just the same to your ears (unless you’re a true aficionado).
Based on experience, this is the most difficult area of spending to maintain discipline. Try this
approach: Every time you balk at buying the latest and greatest product, put the money saved in a
special saving area reserved for big-ticket items. When you go to buy something that truly matters to
you, you will be amazed at how much money you’ve saved up.

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