A Case of The I Wants and how to Shake It Off

Want to know an easy way to save money? Don’t buy a lot of stuff. Seems logical, right? My husband and I have never been big shoppers so normally this isn’t hard for us. I would say we’re borderline minimalists. We try to limit the amount of “stuff” in our lives. It keeps our lives simple, it keeps our home clutter-free, and our wallets happy. But if we are really honest here, even though we live on strict budget and watch our spending very carefully, sometimes I cave. I can’t help but sometimes wanting to splurge and go shopping. 

A Case of the “I Wants”

Even though I don’t generally enjoy shopping, there are moments when I get hit with a case of the “I wants“. It’s where I get this intense desire to start shopping. Have you ever had this feeling? It gets especially tempting when I think about how disciplined we’ve been over the last few years on spending money and paying down debt. I deserve to do a little extra shopping right? I also get a case of the “I Wants” while at work. While I am not a shopaholic, my coworker is one. She’s constantly shopping online and talking to us about her purchases. I totally get sucked in. So I deserve to buy myself a treat for all the hard work…right? Right? If I could go on a shopping spree, here’s the “stuff” that I would love to buy today:

I want

1) Erin Condren Life Planner – I’ve always had a weakness for planners and organizers.  I haven’t been using a planner for awhile and am starting to miss it/need it. Life seems to be getting busy again so I need more organization. This brand is amazing- I love the colors, designs and all of their accessories.

The cost? $50

2) L’Occitane Divine Skincare Line – Ever since studying abroad in France during college and getting a tour of the L’occitane headquarters, I’ve been addicted to these products. They bring me back to my college days and my skin seems to love the products. I recently got a sample in the mail of a serum in this line. Wow did it feel heavenly on my skin.

The cost? $180+ for the set

3) Diamond band – This is my really ridiculous “want”. I’ve always loved the look of diamond bands and I used to joke with my husband that I would get a hardware upgrade for our five year anniversary. Unfortunately, I can see that even by our fifth anniversary (less than a year away) we’ll still be paying off our student loans. I would really like those  gone before I was to get something crazy like this.

The cost? $1,300 (at Costco)

How to Cure a case of the “I Wants”

I’m not going to lie, when I get the “I wants”, it can be a really hard feeling to shake. I start obsessing over the stuff and justifying the expense in my mind. I’ll waste time comparing prices and looking for deals and check if I can buy it used. While I’m no shopaholic, I know how hard it can be to tell yourself “no.” Here are a few ways that I get rid of the intense desire to spend money on stuff I don’t need:

1) Look at your finances – Sometimes all I need to do is open up Quicken and look at our budget and goals to bring me back down to earth. It’s important to keep your financial goals at the forefront of your mind as they will help you navigate your day-to-day decisions. If I purchase that ring, I know we won’t be able to reach our debt payoff goal of December 2015. Sometimes it’s as simple as that. I know that ring isn’t worth us failing our debt payoff goal.

2) Just forget about it – Try to get shopping off your mind. Do NOT go to the store to just look at the product. I think that’s the worst thing you can do. Instead, find an activity to do and try to forget about wanting something. This will give you more time to think about your purchase instead of buying on impulse. Call a friend, go for a walk or get something done around the house.

3) Consider a cheaper alternative? If you decide that you really need something by all means, don’t deprive yourself. I not only want a calendar/planner, I actually need a calendar to keep my sanity. However, let’s get real here – I don’t need to spend $50 on one. I’m pretty sure I could get a calendar at Target for $10 or less. Even better, I could probably download a free app for my phone or use a printable.

Tell me, what is something you would love to buy but don’t need? How do you avoiding spending extra money on these types of items?


  1. Those planners are fancy! I don’t think my life is that complicated that my trusty hotmail calendar won’t be able to handle. 🙂 Right now for me a want would be clothes…it’s almost a borderline need as my wardrobe is a hot mess. Holes, tears, you name it. But, like you, I just open my budget an see that right now I have to wait. Sigh…
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Thoughts on Loving Your Life…Right NowMy Profile

  2. I am a sucker for organizers too! And journals! Anything I can write in, really. I think the best tip is to just try to forget about it. That’s what I have to do. 🙂

  3. It’s absolutely important to look at your budget before buying a big-ticket item (or, really, a bunch of small-ticket items). Even if it brings you crashing back down to earth, that’s better than being brought down to earth by a bill that you can’t pay! I tackled this tricky subject in a post here, if you’re interested: http://froogalstoodent.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-dont-buy-stuff-budget.html
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  4. Yep. That may be easier said than done, though 🙁
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  5. I completely understand the “I Wants”! For me, it´s typically food! I start daydreaming about all the nice restaurants we haven´t been to in ages, and then more specifically about which appetizer I would order, which entree, which dessert, which drinks… then I´m dilly-dallying at work looking at menus all day–no good!

    The way I shake it off? I try to think about how much said splurge would realistically cost. Say, $70-$100 for an average meal at a nice-ish place for me and my husband. AND THEN I think about what that $100 could go to in my budget/savings. Then I get really happy feeling like I dodged the bullet. Putting that $100 toward a nice savings account or toward paying off debt feels MUCH better for much longer than a nice meal would.

    I love your blog, by the way 😉
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  6. I’m a fan of dystopian novels. There are a lots of in the bookstore. I used to spend more than hundreds of dollars just to get what I wanted. However, seeing those books I bought piled up in the house. I kinda regret those wants of mine. Now, what I do is really the pick the best book I need and just download free ebooks online for some so it saves me some money.
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  7. I usually get the wants for weekends away. We love to take weekend trips and it’s always nice to have one to look forward to….but they’re really just not in the budget right now. There’s really no cure, but we’ve tried to plan longer weekends really far in advance so we still have something to look forward to.
    Autumn @ The Barefoot Budgeter recently posted…A Fantastic and Frugal Camping TripMy Profile

  8. I stopped hiring organizers and decorators for simple events that I personally would be able to do. It also keeps my wallet in a very good shape. :_I loved the baked buns. Its a cheap alternative for my lunch when my wallet is not in a good shape 🙂
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  9. I’d love to have my own tablet with keyboard right now but I simply can’t justify spending that much money on one.
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