I really, really want a tulle skirt.
Except I really, really need to rein in my spending. It’s not that I’m reckless with my money. I always make sure I have X amount of dollars in my savings account, contribute to my 401K, and save a modest portion of every paycheck. My dad’s a financial consultant, so I get a little queasy when I think about breaking the “finance rules” he’s passed on to me.
Still, I like to shop. Probably a little too much. The dangerous thing about having financial independence is knowing when to spend and when to save. I’m decent about budgeting, have never not had money to my name, I pay all my bills, blah blah blah. Lately, though, I’ve been buying things just to buy them. Yes, I’ve been a dirty rotten materialistic so-and-so. The first step is admitting that you have a problem, right…?
In an attempt to spend less and save more, I’ve employed some sneaky tactics.
One of which is shaming. This is, admittedly, a last resort as it makes me not feel so good about myself, but it makes me not spend money. I tell myself, “You know what? Someday you want to not drive a Buick.” And like magic, I suddenly don’t feel the need to purchase 8 Body Shop body butters.
On the day-to-day, though, I’ve been using the “want versus need” thing. It works surprisingly well.
“Mackenzie, do you really need another blazer?”
“You have a lipstick so similar to that one. Let’s pass this time.”
“You want a tulle skirt, but you’ve been needing a gym membership for a while.” (That’s what it was today: I bought a gym membership and paid a parking violation instead of ordering the tulle skirt. Womp womp.)
I also get a really awesome sense of satisfaction from watching the number in my savings account grow. To be honest, it usually feels a little better than a new sweater from The Loft. I feel proactive and responsible and great when I plan for the future, whatever that is.
Do any of you have budgeting tips for the frivolous spender? Or have you ever felt the need to do a spending detox of your own?