Save. Spend. Splurge.

I am not saving money just to deprive myself of things

It’s not that I have some sick desire to hoard every penny I have and never spend my money like some Scrooge McDuck.

I am not that person who can’t spend money on buying nice things for herself, I am actually the total opposite.

It’s more that once I start spending, it’s hard for me to stop, so I try not to get into the flow of spending to begin with.

It’s the difference between turning off a kitchen tap, and a fire hydrant — my shopping is like the fire hydrant on full blast.

Once I start spending and not watching my money, the money flows out and takes a long time, and two burly fireman to help wrestle that shopping back under control.

Granted, I don’t go into debt at all for this, but I do look back and think:

OMG. WHERE DID THE MONEY GO? Yeah.. oh right.

On crap I didn’t need, but REALLY wanted at the time.

I see the money that’s wasted, in the hundreds, even the thousands that could have gone into savings instead.

 So what makes me spend?

These are my two main triggers for spending:

  • Keeping up on trends on style blogs
  • Just walking into the mall to “browse”

 Keeping up on trends on style blogs

I like reading about fashion, I’m very interested in what other people wear and I can’t help it.

I can’t shut off an interest of mine, and frankly, I don’t want to.

If BF can be interested in cooking, why can’t I be interested in style? I know cooking is far more practical, but does he really need 8 spatulas either? 😛

How do I combat this?

  • Let’s shop my wardrobe instead to re-create that look with what I own!
  • Hmm.. that style doesn’t really work on me, I’m too short to wear that
  • Ouch. That look would be far too expensive, and I’d rather buy _____ instead
  • Actually, why don’t I “shop” for mutual funds and stocks instead? YEAH!!! :P*
*Not as sexy as looking for a pair of shoes, but.. even so.


With a combination of the above thoughts, I’ve been a lot more careful about just running out and buying the latest (cheap) version of the trend.

I sit and mull about it, I go through my wardrobe and I add it to my list to ‘think about’ instead of pulling the spendy trigger immediately.


Just walking into the mall to “browse”

I know that’s a lie. You know that’s a lie.

NO ONE goes into a mall to ‘browse’. It’s a financially-draining, bad habit.

I usually do this because I’m bored.

Why am I bored? Because I am not tired or I am being lazy about doing things that actually matter like calling a lawyer to get that will written up. (Read: Essential documents you should have created and on file)

How do I combat this?

  • I start going through my list of REAL “To Do” items and just pick one at random
  • I go through my budget to re-acclimatize about how stupid it would be to spend
  • Becoming VERY picky about what I do buy — no more impulse buys

If I still somehow, make it to the mall or onto the streets unguarded :P, then I go through my list of Wardrobe Needs. Actual needs that are missing in my wardrobe, and I hunt for the perfect ________.

Currently, I’m looking for a pair of mid-calf, low-heeled, simple boots that doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg.

I spent 4 hours looking for them downtown, before realizing that no one makes simple, classic shoes any more and gave up.

I didn’t spend a dime and I was so turned off by shopping, I avoided malls for two weeks.

 I like to spend, but I need to keep myself under control

This is my nature. I’m a spender, but luckily, I hate being a waster. I am definitely NOT someone who CAN’T spend (that’s the other extreme of being a shopaholic).

I hate knowing that I spent $150 on something, and can only resell it for $50.

I hate knowing that my money was WASTED because I was a dumbass.

(Trust me, the stupidity has gone down quite a bit since I started budgeting and tracking my expenses)

I will never be able to change that part of myself and turn into a Frugal Fran overnight, but I can at least stop myself as much as possible, from wasting my future money.


  • PK

    “Currently, I’m looking for a pair of mid-calf, low-heeled, simple boots that doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg.” – It sounds like you have a chicken and egg problem – if you give up a leg, how will you wear your new boots (or type)?

    If you prefer, you can flip the script – if you spend now, you are depriving yourself 10-fold in the future. All money will be spent, but it has higher utility when saved, and each dollar earned will turn into more and more when you finally go to take it out.

  • Amy Ong (Nievera)

    For the boots, have you tried Poppy and Barley? They’re a Canadian startup that does customized leather shoes.

    As for the hydrant, I know exactly what you mean…

  • Tania

    ‘shop my closet’ not ‘shop my closed’ 🙂

  • Tania

    I completely relate to the fire hydrant analogy. Same here. Once I buy one thing, it’s very easy for me to buy another and another. I don’t keep up with fashion trends per se but I love different & quirky personal style & enjoy looking at pics of people that have put together items in unique ways. Vintage pieces and handmade jewelry are my trigger points, labels or specific styles “as seen on” not so much. But if there is a vintage piece that speaks to me and can’t be easily found again ~oh boy, I’m in trouble, but thankfully those types of things cost less generally than say, luxury shopping.

    Great tips for avoiding the mall. For me, I’d also add pay bills, track expenses and write. There’s nothing that kills the urge to “browse” more than looking at where one’s money went the last month or so. I know for you it’s a given but for me I’m still trying to form the habit of tracking my spending. I tend to do a lot of $50/$100 purchases so sometimes I don’t feel like I spent alot but when you add it all up, uh oh. But I see you look at your budget so it’s similar.

    It’s getting a little more fun to shop my closed now that the scale is moving downward so I think adding cooking or exercising to the list of things to do when the urge to hit the mall strikes would be wise for me.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Budgeting does make me quash the spending bug, but I don’t have my budget IN MY FACE when I am shopping which is what makes it hard. I just have to learn to not be tempted, although my new No China thing has done wonders for me not even shopping at all. Higher end clothing, vintage and secondhand clothing is a LOT harder to find in my size and style without spending a ton of money.

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