Passive barriers are those small mental impediments that keep us from making smart choices. Things like over-drafting your bank account because you're too lazy to stop by the bank to make a deposit, or not going for a run because it's a pain to get your exercise clothes together. But while passive barriers can prevent us from meeting our financial goals, they can also be used as a force for good.
In the video below, I discuss three passive barriers (some might call these money hacks) that my wife Courtney and I use to help fend off consumerism. In the past, we've had these sorts of barriers work against us in our finances. It feels good to turn the tables.
Rather than just have passive barriers that work against us, Courtney and I decided to install some that would work for us! In the video above, I discuss the following concepts that have worked well for us:
- The 30-day list for Wants – [1:20]
- Two items out for every on item in – [2:40]
- Experiences over possessions – [3:55]
The trick for us is to make these consistent. Whenever we face a buying decision, we want it to pass through these barriers. If it makes it through, then great! There's nothing wrong with purchasing something valuable or that we'll really enjoy.
Using these barriers helps to ensure that our spending is as intentional as possible. They counteract (and even replace) our old barriers and justifications. Of course, these are just three examples of dozens that could be effective.
I'm sure that many of you use similar methods. What barriers or filters have you experimented with in your life? Let me know in the comments below!