I usually spend my weekends close to home. I’ve become really good at finding fun stuff to do without spending a ton of money, like hardcore Apples to Apples tournaments with some of my best friends (if you’ve never played, you’re missing out!) or watching movies on Netflix.
This weekend? Total failure.
My 21 year-old cousin recently got his first place. He has been asking me to help him decorate, and I’ve resisted because home accessories are one of my biggest weaknesses. This weekend I finally said I’d go.
The good news is that my cousin got some stuff for his house. The bad news is that I bought things too. The damage? $150, between a print for my spare bedroom wall (it was 50% off!) and a pair of shoes (I had a $10 off coupon!).
I am incredibly angry with myself right now. I did want something for the huge blank wall in my spare room, but I wouldn’t have died without it. I did not NEED to buy the print no matter how great the deal was. And the shoes – let’s just say I have a bit of a shoe problem. I have an eight foot wide closet with four shelves holding nothing but shoes, and I have to double them up because there isn’t enough room. To make things worse, I bought sneakers when I already own about 30 pairs.
With both purchases, I justified spending the money in a number of ways. As I said above, both items were purchased below regular price. That’s one of the easiest traps to fall into – thinking I’m saving money because of a discount. I could’ve saved 100% of that money by leaving my debit card in my purse! I also told myself I deserved to buy something new because I had a stressful week. For me, that’s dangerous because every week can become “stressful” if that’s how I’m allowing myself to spend. I also reminded myself how disciplined I’ve been and reasoned that spending a little would keep me from going on a spending spree. That is total crap! If I had a dollar for every time I used one of these excuses, I’d have a lot more than I just spent.
It hasn’t seemed that difficult to save, but this situation has shown me that I’m not fully recovered from my addiction to stuff. I need to get it together before I regress even more. I decided I would lose money by returning the things I bought (I was about 80 miles from home and those stores aren’t available any closer), so I’m going to keep them, but I’ve reduced my discretionary budget for March to make up the difference. That money will be put in savings instead.
I’m trying not to be too depressed by my mistakes. Time to refocus on my goals and remember this yucky feeling the next time I start telling myself I deserve something.