How to Avoid Compulsive Spending: A “Free Trial” Story

A few days ago, I received a gym coupon stating “Try a 5 day free trial.”  Rumor had it that this gym has a variety of amenities, like a pool and a movie room with treadmills!  So already having the feedback from my peers, I knew that taking this free trial, would have led to the “had-to-have it” attitude!  So I geared up and came up with a plan of action to fight the temptation of signing up for the membership.

1. Pick up the Phone

Don’t see a number listed on that coupon?  Google it!  Before I step foot in that gym, I want to call and ask all the questions while having a perfectly clear mind.

Do not be surprised to hear the person on the other line respond “Come on in so that you can fall in love with our facility…then we talk prices.”  No exaggeration, that’s what happened… But, don’t lose hope…asked the questions and they will answer.

For starters, I asked about the membership fees, increases, additional fees, inclusions, etc…By far, my best recommended practice for decision making.

2. Check Your Priorities

I had to really sit with myself and think if this expense would add value to my life.  Visa versa, if it would apply added weight to my life.  I currently have a super cheap gym membership that does not have all the bells and whistles.  However, in this stage of my life, I do not need all the bells and whistles.  I wholeheartedly believe that health and fitness is super important.  But, I have tried the fancier gyms and it did not change priorities.

3. Kill the Fear of “Missing Out”

The fear of missing out, can deter what’s most important and place value to the wrong things.  Even though, it may seem like the deal is here now and may never return, the truth is, they do.  And as long as Capitalism lives, there will always be a deal in some way shape or form.  Deals and sales never have an expiration date.  The same coupon I received, I must have seen the same exact coupon, in my mailbox, numerous times!

4. Make a Decision

Now that you have informed yourself, sorted priorities, and shot down the fear of missing out, it is time to make a decision.  Ultimately, the free trial should compliment goals you already had set in mind; not perpetuate added burdens or unnecessary expenses.  If it is not something you envisioned or planned to do in the near future, skip out on the free trial!  It is not worth your time or energy.

What are some of the ways that you avoid tempting purchases or memberships?

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