In today’s consumerist culture, we often find ourselves caught in a cycle of spending money, whether we need to or not. From flashy advertisements to social pressure, it can be hard to resist the temptation to buy things we don’t really want or need. I’m sure your mind is reeling thinking of all the items in your closet that Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok convinced you to buy.  

 But the truth is, saying “no” to spending money can be a powerful tool in taking control of our finances and improving our overall well-being. It’s a short two letter word but the power it holds is infinite. Last week I took a dream vacation to Chile and Argentina where I was able to hike and explore the famous Patagonia region. (And yes, this is where the Patagonia clothing brand got its name from). 

Every time a take a big trip like this I always get a few people asking me how I made this possible. One of the biggest reasons? I said no to the things I didn’t want. I cooked at home more rather than eating out or grabbing take out. Instead of buying clothes I didn’t need I put money aside to buy new hiking boots for the trip.  

I focused on what I really wanted to do which was take a once in a lifetime trip to Patagonia. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy. Chipotle is one of my favorite places to grab a quick dinner from. Nordstrom and Ulta call my name every time their emails show up in my inbox. But, I had to constantly remind myself that this was just stuff and spending money in the short-term would deprive me of the lasting joy and happiness I would get from going on this trip. 

Saying no to things that you don’t want is in no way meant to deprive you. This allows you to live out your dream. I encourage you to look at your spending habits. What things are you spending money on and saying yes to that is really depriving you of being able to live out your dream life.  

Caroline Tanis