I am going to stop shopping or at least stop spontaneous shopping! I know this sounds weird considering my recent post was lamenting about financial responsibility and that we all have a right to shop without judgment. However, that does not mean that I am oblivious to the pitfalls of overspending or racking up too much debt.
Before we bought our condo, I was so frugal. I didn’t care what I wore to work. The apartment we rented was so outdated; I never spent money on decorating. It would have been a waste of my money! Now, I buy anything I want. One extreme to the other…
Balance is a difficult thing for me. I either go to the gym gung-ho for three months or I don’t go at all for four. I do the same thing with shopping. The first step is to figure out how I can shop and buy a couple things over the course of the month instead of feast and famine.
Do I really NEED to buy it ALL and NOW? Last year I finally convinced the bf we should take up camping (a feat in itself). It’s an affordable way to vacation, and many campgrounds allow dogs. Because we had never been camping, we had almost no equipment. Instead of buying a couple sleeping bags and a tent and acquiring everything else come with time, I cleared out the packing list REI provides on their site. Nowadays I hate lacking anything, whether I need it or not! The second step is to edit the list of things I want/need.
None of this matters if I can’t be consistent in achieving these goals. If I decide not to use credit cards, I need this to become part of my financial budgeting. It doesn’t make sense to go through this process if next month I throw it all out the window to buy the pair of sapphire earrings I want without saving cash to pay for them. This is really where all the hard work comes into play! I get paid once a month, so until I get through an entire month, it’s all just lip service. So, that leaves the final step of consistency in applying this discipline over time – not just week to week.
As I eluded in my last post, this is still a new project. I still haven’t figured out: do I budget to buy myself a little something each week or do I wait until the end of the month and use leftover cash for the next great buy? What happens when an unexpected event comes up, such as a vet visit for the Bear? How will I respond to maybe not getting that one thing that month? I know these issues sound simple – just don’t buy it, you don’t need it, who are you trying to impress… How do you decide when you can buy something? Do you just charge it, wait till you save the money, talk yourself out of needing it? I cannot be the only one that struggles with these decisions. I can’t wait till I make some of them!