Today’s mantra: By incorporating frugal habits into the things we do automatically and everyday, we don’t have to expend energy calculating a budget or debating expenses–we simply are frugal by nature.
Today’s action: Write down everything you’re tempted to buy today because it’s only $…… and add it all up.
I think Liz wrote today’s challenge just for me. But, apparently, I’m not the only one with this weakness though, if it was important enough to be a challenge. And I totally failed at this yesterday- I bought an ebook… In my defense, it was a book I’ve been wanting to read, but it’s been checked out at my library and I had a discount! This is where you tell me, “no excuses!” Clearly, I still need to work on this one.
The biggest thing that has helped me combat this logic, is becoming more minimalistic. I’m a big nerd- my husband and I met at a comic book store that we were both working at (he ran the Friday Night Magic the Gathering Tournaments, and I manned the store)- that pretty much sums up our nerdiness. Do you know how much cute and cool nerdy stuff is out there that I NEEDED? Shirts, toys, games, figures, movies, lunchboxes, shoes, dishes, towels, you name it, they’ve got it. I got to a point where I felt obligated to buy things just because they were nerdy.
When it started to feel obligatory and no longer fun, I knew things needed to change. I’ve learned the skill of appreciating things without taking them home. Sometimes I’ll even snap pictures of things and either texted it to a friend who’d appreciate it or posted it on Facebook. That way the item had been captured and appreciated, without spending money on it or having it clutter up my home.
Unfortunately, ebooks don’t create any physical clutter, so I’m still struggling to nip that one in the bud. Have any advice for me on that one? I clearly need help.
Another thing that’s helped me, and seemed counterintuitive, is to give myself an allowance. I know what you’re thinking- I thought the point of this was to stop spending, not give yourself permission to spend. Well, for me at least, it creates a scarcity mindset about the money I have to spend. This means I watch what I’m spending more carefully because I only have so much.
When I give myself an allowance, I track every penny and I weigh my purchases more carefully. This is something I should be doing on my own already, but I struggle with it, it doesn’t come naturally. Giving myself an allowance helps me to develop and practice this mindset. I’m not saying you should practice a mindset of scarcity, but rather, develop a practice of carefully examining every purchase.
Do you have certain things that you struggle with saying “no” to? Books or shoes or chocolate? Or maybe it’s just anything that catches your eye that’s under $5 or $10? Have you found any tricks to help you avoid temptation?