Sometimes when I see something I like, I think, “Wow! I need that! Maybe even two of them…” Then before long, they add up like multiplying rabbits and before I know it, stuff is everywhere and then some. This is something I want to change. I want to start making each purchase a deliberate and purposeful one.
Now I’m not saying that spending on unneeded things is eating up my budget or causing me to fall behind on bills. The things I impulse buy usually come from the clearance section or yard sales but either way, there’s a price to pay.
Like I mentioned in Letting Go: Material Things I already have more than I need and adding more into the mix will only make it harder to dig myself out of that hole. This week alone I would have bought 12 bottles of lotion, 2 pairs of rain boots, 3 items of clothing, yet another pair of earrings, a projector and projector screen, a whole new theme for my spare bathroom, a toy for May (that she put me in line and told me to leave for other kids), and about $20 worth at the Dollar Tree if I had an unlimited budget. But thankfully, I don’t. Therefore I didn’t buy all of those things.
But sometimes when I find I have a little spare cash in my pocket, I’d be more tempted to bring some of those things into my home. I’m not saying that all spending is bad and sometimes it’s necessary to buy new clothes or it’s been so long that your bathroom is do for a makeover but those things should be planned out before hand so that you know exactly what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to spend.
So really, it comes down to one question:
Is this a want or a need?
Sometimes it gets a little tricky. You may need a new shirt but you want to get one in each style and color.
You may need to refurnish your bathroom but you want to buy everything the store carries with that theme.
See the difference?
Online shopping for me can also be a little tricky. I can see how much I’m going to spend before I actually buy (which helps me stay on budget) but then again, it’s so easy to find stuff I didn’t even need (and it’s on sale!) so I’ll buy things that wasn’t necessary.
From now on, I’m going to try to take more time to decide how badly I need something before I buy it. Is it a want or a need?
Then if it’s a want (but a reasonable want) I’m going to think of what else I could spend that money on that would make me happier in the end. I’m a big fan on “experiences” like going out to eat or to the theater so I could ask myself, “Would I rather have this $10 kitchen gadget or would I rather take May to see a play?”
I’m hoping that by doing this I will limit the amount of stuff I have to swim through on a daily basis and increase the amount of fun things me and May get to do.
And I hope that the next time that you think about buying something on a whim, you’ll hear the words echoing in your brain:
Is this a want or a need?
It’s a hard lesson to learn but I’m sure it’s going to be worth it!
*Sorry the picture is completely irrelevant. I just really like this picture and it emphasizes how much fun you can have spending money on experiences instead of junk.