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:
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.