Money Saving Monday: Reeling It In
Last week’s Money Saving was really all about spending. This week’s will not be, I promise. Sorta.
There was some itch scratching to do. After a drought, a few spending episodes were in order. By all accounts they were calculated, somewhat frugal endeavors. They involved coupons, thrift, patronizing independent businesses, and procuring re-usable materials. Not too shabby.
Still, it has to stop. We must resume our regularly scheduled miserly ways. It’s easy to get into the habit of spending. Spending begets more spending. (Curse you, Momentum.) Like eating, spending is something we generally have to do, (unless you are this guy). As much as I’d like to (sometimes), I can’t opt out completely. Gas tanks and refrigerators need filling, or more appropriately around here these days, the Veterinarian needs paid.
So, how do we collect ourselves, once we’ve run off the reservation for a few days or weeks?
Washing Soda. At least in this case.
Somewhere in the midst of my spend-a-polooza, I pick a future point, a particular purchase, and identify that as DONE. It becomes a plan. Not a spur of the moment decision. That doesn’t work for me. As I am whipping out the Credit Card (or eating the cookie), I don’t have enough time to focus on it as THE END. But, if I plan for that end. If I can think about the end, a lot, before we even get there, then when we arrive, I’m good and ready. I’ve planned to be done, and I know what it looks like. I’ve reached my destination. And it’s lovely.
When the Amazon box arrived it was almost a relief. That’s it. Done spending.
Although it may have contained more than just utilitarian washing soda.
Aaaaaaand, maybe I felt using chalk on my homemade garden markers was not sufficient any longer.
A little fancy chalk ink seems to have done the trick. Useful for a variety of other household projects. Further justification? Also, yes.
In actuality, it doesn’t matter what I bought. I doesn’t even matter that it didn’t cost me anything. Even last week, I knew I would do an Amazon order. More importantly, I knew that order would represent the dramatic conclusion of my spending.
For me, this works. Giving myself time to hyper-focus on ‘not spending’ has become an important part of the spending itself. The spending that is unsustainable. As much as I love a good spree, it’s not conducive to my life choices. At some point, you have to bring it back to center, reel it in. If you know that, if you make it part of the process, then the spending always has an ending.
See, this isn’t about spending. Exactly. It’s about spending to stop.
How do you get back on the wagon? Once you’ve started, what strategies do you employ to stop spending?