Thursday, October 25, 2012

What is Impulsive Spending?

What is Impulsive Spending? By Nelson Letshwene "What you resist persists. What you look at disappears.” Neal Donal Walsch When a person is said to be impulsive, it seems to imply that they are out of control or that they act quickly, without much thought. But the word ‘impulse’ also means instinct or inclination, which means, a tendency towards a particular thing. When we talk about impulsive spenders we are talking about people who spend their money quickly and without much thought. An impulsive spender should experience what is called ‘buyer’s remorse’, which means regretting why they made that purchase. The question is, do impulsive spenders experience buyer’s remorse? If they did, they would stop being impulsive in their buying behaviour wouldn’t they? If that were true, then impulsive spenders would be impulsive only once, and during their next buying cycle, they would be ‘normal’ spenders. But impulsive spenders seem to be that way every opportunity they get. This should take us back to examine that word, ‘impulse’, which means ‘instinct or inclination’. Have you noticed that impulsive spenders are only inclined to be that way around things that they like? A person who likes clothing, only gets the ‘impulse’ to buy ‘without thought’ only when they see clothing. If books are on sale, and they don’t like books, they don’t get the ‘impulse’ to buy. If cows are for sale, and they don’t like cows, there is no impulse to buy. This means that impulsive spending is not a random act of madness. So then, impulsive spending has to do with the character of a person. Money does not judge anyone. It goes wherever its owner sends it. People often want to know how to control impulsive spending. The first thing is that you must know yourself. You must identify the things that trigger your impulse to buy. Until you can identify your triggers, you have no way of dealing with them. It will then seem like you are acting without thought. If you do your shopping when you are hungry, you may notice that you tend to buy more food than you need. If your rational brain was in charge of your shopping experience, it would know that you couldn’t consume all that food and you wouldn’t buy that much. But when you are hungry, survival instincts take over the shopping experience, and you ‘are not thinking straight’ anymore. That is why I say you should never do your shopping when you are hungry. If you are an impulsive spender, realise that those impulses to buy come only when you are around things that you like, or you are thinking bout those things. This knowledge may cause you to examine your character and understand yourself better. Why are you inclined to buy the things that you buy? What need are you trying to meet that does not seem to get met? Examine your impulses, your instincts, your inclinations! Namasté. Your comments and suggestions are welcome at

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rules of Integrity and Money




“Include yourself among those you love”


Neale Donald Walsch


Betsy Broke: If it’s true that money follows the character of its owner, and that it doesn’t seem to matter how much money I am really making, then it seems that working on my character is the most important rule in the game of money!

Robbie Rich: Yes. The woman earning a small income, who is able to build her house over time with very little resources, may be impressive, but most of us want more than that. We want the house, the car, the clothes, and the lifestyle! We want the investments that can produce all of that and more!

Betsy Broke: Yes, what are the tools that we can use to achieve that? There must be some character shaping tools that can help me to achieve that!

Silver: It would be very easy to talk about what to do to achieve all that. But most people know what to do, but it is their characters that stand in the way. I don’t have to tell you that a good education may be one of the things to do. I don’t have to tell you that investing is part of the game. I can say, save money, invest money, start a profitable business. Chances are you know all of that already.

Betsy Broke: So, what is the missing link?

Silver: The missing link, my friend, is focus on yourself! Let us start with the building of integrity!

Betsy Broke: What is integrity?

Silver: Integrity is the opinion you have of yourself! One of the reasons we focus so much on our outside appearance, or acquiring degrees and stuff, is to improve other people’s opinions about ourselves. We want “them” to think better about us. But very rarely do those things help us to think better about ourselves!

Betsy Broke: Yeah but, “they” are my employers, so “they” must think well of me otherwise “they” won’t promote me; “they” won’t give me the project!

Silver: So you have placed “them” in charge of your life? Do you see how in that process you have dis-empowered yourself? Living a life of quite desperation is doing what you think is “required” of you in order to survive, even if it means discounting your own natural talents.

Betsy Broke: Yeah but “they” don’t pay for my natural talents. “They” pay only for what can help them achieve their goals. That’s why I do what I do. It’s because I get paid for it.

Silver: That may be true for many people. And yet this is now an invitation to include yourself among those you love. “They” may think whatever they think about you, and they will pay whatever they think you are worth. Don’t you think you are worth more than that? Of course you do! As Stephen Covey says, integrity is the opinion you have of yourself.

Betsy Broke: So, how do I improve my integrity, my opinion of myself?

Silver: Start with honouring yourself. That includes fulfilling your own promises to yourself. If you have promised yourself something, let your word mean something to you. If you have promised yourself to lose weight, honour that word. If you have promised yourself to read, or wake up at a certain hour, just do that. You have done so much for others, but your own progress starts with you doing things for yourself. You can’t really respect another until, at least in a real sense, start to show the same respect for yourself. It is at the centre of the “self” that real transformation begins!

Betsy Broke: That just sounds so selfish! I’ve been taught self-sacrifice.

Silver: Self-sacrifice leads to bitterness! The problem with self-sacrifice is that it builds expectations. At the end of all self-sacrificial episodes, people stare at the people for whom the sacrifice was made and say: ‘after all I have done for you, is this how you treat me?’

Betsy Broke: How then do I create this self-centredness without being selfish?

Silver: You include yourself among those you love.


Nelson Letshwene is the author of Functional Mastery Over My Finances (Reach Publishers, 2008) 

Personal Borrowing and Lending Rules

"Guilt and fear are the only enemies of man. Guilt is the decision to feel bad about what you feel good about."

Neale Donald Walsch

The Setswana word for debt, “sekoloto’, seems to have been derived from the Afrikaans word, ‘skuld’, which has roots from the German word for debt which means guilt. Even ‘skuldig’, in Afrikaans means guilty. 


Now consider how much guilt people feel when they are in debt. Where does the guilt come from? It comes first from an acknowledgement of your own inadequacies. I think we all innately hate the idea that we are insufficient unto ourselves.


The idea that to arrive at our own point of satisfaction, we have to rely on other people’s resources leaves us feeling empty. The reason we feel so bad is because the idea that we are insufficient unto ourselves does not speak the truth of who we really are. Deep down we know that we must be better than this.


To manage this crisis of borrowing and lending, there are a few rules to apply that could help us to bridge the gap between our perceived self and our real self. Here are some rules to follow:


Rule number one is: Never Borrow money. Never open that room of guilt. That may be a very hard rule to follow, but if you can, then there would be no need for the rest of the other rules.


The second rule is a slight relaxation of the first rule and it says: never borrow money unless your survival depends on it. I know we all define survival in different ways, but perhaps you can sleep it off before you borrow. If you wake up alive the next day without having borrowed the money, then perhaps you have survived. You can probably do without the debt… perhaps!


The next rule is: Never lend money to friends and family, unless you are willing to write it off. We haven’t quite established this here but the general psychology of a borrower is one who sees themselves as being unable to cope with either waiting or without assistance from a source outside of themselves.

You are seen as a ‘helper’ at the time of the loan, and then an ‘enemy’ when you demand payment. Your debt will induce guilt in those you love. Are you willing to forgive? Really, the reason they’ve stopped visiting is not because they are “crooks”, but that they feel guilty and can’t face you. They are also angry at their own inadequacies and worried about the loss of your trust.


The inverse of this rule is: Don’t borrow from friends and family, but you can let them invest in viable projects —therefore know why you are borrowing the money. That means, if you can’t figure out from the onset how you are going to repay the loan, don’t borrow.


The follow-up to those rules is: Don’t lend or borrow money to “solve problems”, lend or borrow money only as an investment in viable operations. The borrower must tell you how they’re going to repay you.  Don’t blindly fall for “the month end” trick. If you do, make sure they don’t feel guilty afterwards. Reach out with love.


Finally, always know how much debt you are in, and have a debt elimination plan. Follow your debt elimination plan.

Get financial advice and pay for it!

Nelson Letshwene is the author of: Functional Mastery Over My Finances (Reach Publishers, 2008 - (Contact him on





"You know, it’s very simple to be a genius. All you have to do is think for yourself."

-  Ramtha  -


So, what are the basic rules of making money that you know?

Betsy Broke: I only know one rule, and that rule is: get a job!

Robbie Rich: Well, I’ve got a job and still, I’m not making money!

Silver: Before we talk about how to make more money, let’s talk about the character of money. Did you know that money takes the character of the person who owns it?

Betsy Broke: What do you mean by that?

Silver: Let me start with an explosive question. Where does the money of a drunkard go?

Betsy Broke: Well, of course towards his priorities, which is mainly drinking?

Silver: Right. Where does the money of an investor go?

Betsy Broke: Towards investments.

Silver: That is why we say money follows the character of its owner. If your priorities are your children’s education, that’s where your money will go. So, if you draw up your list of priorities, you will generally notice that you have more money for the things at the top of your priority list, and you don’t have enough money for the things at the bottom of your priority list. If saving is at the bottom of the list, no wonder there’s never enough money to save. However, if paying your debts is at the top of your list, that’s exactly where your money will always go. Do you get it?

Betsy Broke: No, but the reason I don’t have enough money to cover the things at the bottom of my priority list, is because I’m not making enough money!

Silver: Technically yes, but in reality, it’s not true! Did you know that even if you made a million bucks or more, that money will still follow your character! If saving is the last thing on your list, you will not have anything to save! It’s just a matter of time and you will be broke again! A study was done on lottery winners that showed that about 98% of all winners lose their money within the first two to ten years. Some are worse off at the end than they were in the beginning.

Betsy Broke: You see, that only proves that money is evil!

Silver: No it’s not. It simply follows the character of its owner. That’s what we’re saying here.

Betsy Broke: That’s not fair. That’s just an excuse by you capitalists to keep employers paying us peanuts! If they paid us more we would be better off!

Silver: While high salaries may improve your living standard in the beginning, they do not change your character! Besides, the economic implications of high salaries means high input costs to production, leading to high prices of goods and services, thus leaving you in the same vicious cycle, just a higher end of the cycle.

Betsy Broke: So, what are the rule of making more money?

Silver: There is no rule greater than understanding that money follows the character of its owner. The rest are just details and we’ll get to them; but you must grasp this first.

Betsy Broke: I don’t know if I agree with you!

Silver: I’m not looking for agreement. Besides, you can’t agree with what you have not experienced. Yet this is an invitation for you to examine your character and see where your money tends to go, then ask yourself why.

Betsy Broke: My money goes to my debts because I have a lot of them!

Silver: And you have a lot of debts because your money goes there, if you know what I mean! Haven’t you observed a woman earning low salary but building an entire house without a loan, and furnishing it? That’s character!

(Nelson Letshwene is the author of Functional Mastery Over My Finances, (Reach Publishers, 2008). He is also a columnist with the Botswana Guardian. You may contact him on (or +267-7170-4836)