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*
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.