The ratchet effect

how come some of the personal finance bloggers achieve 40 or 50% savings when most of us struggle to save 10% ? I barely hope for 30% myself this year and I feel committed to this.

To go beyond that first 10% saving level you can start buying more clever, wait for promotions, buy in bulk, buy one get one free, use all the coupons, try to get more for less, but still what you do is buying.

The ratchet effect, what is it ?

at first, because we are used to a certain standard, it is proven to be extremely difficult to let go long build spending patterns. Think when you were young, personally I had no money most of the time, but did I need all that stuff for sale, not really… (ok back then you promised yourself as soon as you could afford it you would buy it and developed insanely accurate memories of all these thi vs that are now completely obsolete but you still want to buy because it’s vintage…) : how comes I feeel the need for all this ? I think I got trapped by the ratchet effect, or at least by it’s consumer society version of it. Basically: it is difficult to go down one notch when you are used to certain standards.

In order to save more, I have to give up on the next shiny thing to buy and a certain amount of stoicism might be required here. I’ve recently read a post on Medium I think which inspired this post that said you have to think about what you do and ask yourself if you would still do it if you were alone, all alone with no one in sight to cast a judgement on you or no one you could compare yourself with. If the answer is yes, then it is a meaningful activity to you and you should carry on, otherwise you are still in competition mode and you are essentially doing things relatively to others and not out of your own will. You are not driven by your own aspirations, your motives might be flawed.

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